Welcome, children of the night! This Blog is for fans of vintage horror films as well as those who are just beginning to discover the joy of these classic movies. I'd love to hear from you!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Masque of the Red Death (1964)

If this film had begun without any opening credits, I would have sworn that Masque of the Red Death was the work of Hammer Studios.  Much to my surprise, this film was directed by Roger Corman whose films include the unbelievably bad Creature From the Haunted Sea (1961) which he produced.  [See the review elsewhere on my site.]  Masque is a beautifully shot and acted film, starring the incomparable Vincent Price.  Price plays Prince Prospero in this adaptation of the Edgar Allan Poe story.  His character is delightfully heartless and takes center stage in every scene he's in.  Hazel Court [The Curse of Frankenstein] is also great as Juliana, Prospero's wife and bride of Satan.  Furthermore, Jane Asher [Alfie] also does a nice job as Prospero's red-headed love interest.  
Every scene is crafted beautifully and the story unfolds nicely, reaching a wonderful dramatic climax at the end.  I love all the Red Death plague scenes and the conversations with Death/the Man in Red.  I also found the "dwarf's revenge" scene to be wonderfully disturbing and effective.  [Watch the film and see if you don't agree.]
There is nothing about this film I don't like.  I distinctly remember watching Masque as a teen and loved it then.  My opinion of it hasn't changed over the years.  You can watch this film instantly on Netflix or rent it anywhere.  It's a classic old-fashioned horror film in the best sense of this description.  It should be regarded as one of Roger Corman's finest efforts as a director.
RATING: Excellent.
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

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