Friday, March 5, 2010

The Masque Of Red Death (1964)

4.5 / 5 Mar '10
Tagline: LOOK INTO THIS FACE - SHUDDER... at the blood-stained dance of the Red Death! TREMBLE... to the hideous tortures of the catacombs of Kali! GASP... at the sacrifice of the innocent virgin to the vengeance of Baal!
Directed by: Roger Corman
Written by: Charles Bowmont, R. Wright Campbell
Actors include: Vincent Price, Hazel Court, Jane Asher
Genre: Horror
Length: 89 minutes
Banned: Finland

I actually thought this was pretty great, seriously elaborate and detailed and garish but in the best possible way! Roger Corman is the director here and I definitely appreciate his work but this doesn't even seem like him at all, it's so technically proficient! Vincent Price is perfect as the sadistic Satan worshiping rich jerk Prince Prospero, the dialog is pretty hilarious in places in a dark dark way. Prospero resides over a gigantic castle, and the "red death" plague seems to be swiping the poor folks. Prospero has taken in his wealthy friends to reside in his castle to worship Satan, dance and to avoid getting sick. He plans one heck of a costume party that one will never forget! Along the way he abducts a beautiful peasant girl (Jane Asher) and her Boyfriend and Father with the intent to kill the Men and to keep the female. This of course doesn't sit well with Prospero's lady friend and Satan's bride Juliana (Hazel Court) who seems rather jealous. The ending simply must be seen to be believed...I don't think I could describe it if I tried. This story is superb, it's bloody and violent so horror fans should love it, and it's thoroughly entertaining from start to finish. Of course this is based upon the short story from Poe called "The Mask Of Red Death" which I honestly haven't read so I can't compare, but I'll definitely read it after this. Highly recommended for those who like camp, Poe or horror, one of the best of it's kind!

Availability:  On DVD as part of a 2fer with Premature Burial

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