Random Film of the Week: Theatre of Blood

Theatre_of_Blood_MPI can recall as a kid really, really wanting to see a third Dr. Phibes movie after enjoying the first two back in the day and being nicely surprised that Theater of Blood is basically Vincent Price back as a similarly maligned character with a lovely female assistant (Diana Rigg) bumping off in some rather offbeat manners those that did him wrong. Granted, Price here plays the wronged Shakspeare quoting actor Edward Kendall Sheridan Lionheart as less determinedly psychotic than Phibes and more of someone who’s otherwise a likable man bullied by his critics to the point he decides to clean up the gene pool a bit.

But beggars can’t be choosers at all, and Douglas Hickox’ great, campy as all get out plus tax film packs in some nice 1970’s blood and chills in about an hour and forty five minutes of running time. Although it’s nowhere as gory as straight up slasher films that would pop onto screens less than ten years later, some of the kills here win awards for creativity and sheer ACME-style setup and payoff moments… Continue reading

Shout Factory’s The Vincent Price Collection: Timely, Indeed (Warts and All)…

The Vincent Price CollectionSomeone hipped me to this upcoming Shout Factory box set of six classic horror flicks featuring the late, great Vincent Price (who’s also Star of the Month on TCM all October) and I had to give it a thumb and a three-quarters up just for that lovely cover art alone. Oh, alright, the six sick flicks here are all top picks (and on Blu-Ray for the first time, I believe).  But I’d still have to gripe out a grape sized whine about the total lack of love for Doctor Phibes Rises Again, which SHOULD have been grafted into this sextet just because it’s the darn sequel to The Abominable Doctor Phibes and yes, I’m STILL waiting my ass off for Tim Burton to announce he’s remaking both Phibes philms at the same time like Peter Jackson did with his epic The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Granted, Phibes’ offbeat mix of camp and 70’s era gore “lite” isn’t anywhere on the same level as Tolkein’s works, folks. But hey, I grew up glued to the tube with many of Price’s films and those two hold a very special place in my still beating heart. Hey, it’s not as if I’m asking for Scream and Scream Again, right? RIGHT? If you ever see that one, you’ll understand, kids…

Anyway, if you’re too lazy to click links, that collection costs $55, features tons of special features and the six films are as follows:

THE PIT & THE PENDULUM

THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH

THE HAUNTED PALACE

THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER

THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES

WITCHFINDER GENERAL (aka THE CONQUEROR WORM)

Who needs to go out on Halloween and get a tummy ache from some lousy cheap candy bought at the dollar store? Get this Blu-Ray set, pop up that dried out corn display you’ve had on the table for years and sprinkle some chili powder on it, slap a few razor blades into a pomegranate (apples are SO last century!) pull up a chair and veg out! Friends optional, but go “borrow” some (have some rope and gags handy) so you can show them a good time before you kick them out in a more bewildered but appreciative state (like Maine or maybe California, ha ha)…