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Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Masque Of The Red Death (1964)

Starring Vincent Price, Hazel Court, Jane Asher, David Weston, Nigel Green
Directed by Roger Corman
(actor & director credits courtesy

A cruel satanist revels with his guests within his castle while outside a deadly plague decimates the countryside.

This film was the sixth in the series of Edgar Allan Poe adaptations by producer/director Roger Corman, and as with the others, Vincent Price brings distinguished class and a sinister aura to his role, and Nicolas Roeg's dynamic photography is a highlight.  However, in expanding Poe's short story, the screenwriters have a whole lot going on, from Price's character's corruption of an innocent woman to satanic rites undergone by his consort, played by horror veteran Hazel Court, to a subplot about a midget's revenge scheme on an arrogant noble.  I checked on Wikipedia, and the midget storyline actually comes from another Poe story, "Hop-Frog," which was absorbed into the screenplay.  So there's a bit more to follow than I would have liked, which kept me from enjoying this as much as some of Corman's other work, but it's still a work of quality.

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