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, February 18, 2012

Madhouse (1974)

Vincent Price pays tribute to Vincent Price.  This is the core story of Madhouse where Price plays aging horror movie icon Paul Toombes.  Who better to play an aging horror movie icon that, uh, an aging horror movie icon.  While this movie also stars another horror icon, Peter Cushing, Madhouse is Price's world and we're all lucky to live in it.
Vincent is as radiant as ever and can even make average material seem like something special.  I have always admired his talent and he doesn't disappoint.  The script has a few problems and the "twist" ending is a bit stupid, but this doesn't diminish Price's radiant presence on screen.
This movie is Scream before there was a Scream.  See if you don't spot some of the major ideas in Craven's movie that are evident in Madhouse.  It makes me smile to see the connections.  It's also fun to view snipets of Price's earlier work in films such as The Pit and the Pendulum, Tales of Terror, and Fall of the House of Usher.
The only drawback to Madhouse is that the special effects are horrible.  It's obvious they had a tight budget with this film and the murders of the cast are poorly executed at best.  There simply isn't enough terror here.  Therefore, I sadly have to give this film a Good rating instead of a Very Good rating.  Madhouse has potential that it just doesn't reach.  This is unfortunate because there is such good stuff to work with here.  If you a fan of Vincent Price then this one is a must-see.  However, Madhouse does not represent his finest work on the silver screen.  If you're looking for that, try two of my favorites The Masque of the Red Death or House of Wax.
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

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