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Label:
Name: TWILIGHT TIME
Number: TWILIGHT233-BR

THEATRE OF BLOOD (1973) (BLU-RAY)
Starring:  Harry Andrews, Jack Hawkins, Robert Morley, Diana Rigg, Ian Hendry, Coral Browne, Robert Coote, Vincent Price
Directed By:  Douglas Hickox
Composed By:  Michael J. Lewis

“The crowning glory of Vincent Price’s career as the screen’s horror-comic bogeyman…partnered wonderfully by the equally versatile Diana Rigg. Superb!” – Kim Newman, Empire

“Well regarded amongst Price fans and beloved by the late actor himself, Theatre Of Blood offers Price one of those rare ‘perfect’ roles. No one else could have brought the same sense of both mayhem and tragedy to this part.” – Ian Jane, Rock! Shock! Pop!

Theatre of Blood (1973), directed by Douglas Hickox, offers the one and only Vincent Price in a role both madcap and touching. He plays a Shakespearean actor determined to wreak vengeance on the critics who fail to appreciate his genius, killing them in a series of set-piece murders based on scenes from Shakespeare. Diana Rigg plays Price’s Cordelia-like daughter, and a lineup of British thespian legends incarnate the critics, including Robert Morley, Jack Hawkins, Harry Andrews, Arthur Lowe, Robert Coote, Michael Hordern, Dennis Price, Ian Hendry, and Coral Browne.

LANGUAGE: English
VIDEO: 1080p High Definition / 1.66:1
AUDIO: English 1.0 DTS-HD MA
SUBTITLES: English SDH
1973 / Color
104 MINUTES
RATED

Special Features: Isolated Score Track / Audio Commentary with Film Historians David Del Valle and Nick Redman / Original Theatrical Trailer

Limited Edition of 3,000 Units

  
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Posted by Mark Turner on October 23, 2017 3:52 PM
Vincent Price was the king of horror in the early 60s having just successfully bringing Edgar Alan Poe to the screen with director Roger Corman. To this day those films are treasured by horror fans and used in English classes to demonstrate the transfer of the written word to the screen. After those films Price starred in several other horror films but nothing that was as popular and for a time he did little more than TV appearances.

That changed in 1971 when he came back to the forefront in a small film called THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES. It was followed in 1972 with a sequel, DR. PHIBES RISES AGAIN. So it only seemed natural that he would come out with another horror film the following year which is where this film comes into play.

Using a theme that was found in the Phibes films we have another series of deaths at the hands of a madman. This time around the protagonist is Edward Lionheart (Price), a Shakespearean actor who supposedly committed suicide after being shamed by the critics circle. But death was not meant for him yet and he survives with the help of a group of vagrants who become his henchmen/women.

The critics circle is still around and doing well. But suddenly they begin to be killed off one by one. And with each death is some cryptic message involving the plays of William Shakespeare. The initial suspect is Lionheart’s daughter, Edwina (Diana Rigg). But top critic Peregrine Devlin (Ian Hendry) doesn’t believe it. Of course the rest of us know she’s involved in one way or another as we’ve witnessed her at each murder in disguise, a bit that tried to make the viewer unaware but which we can see through easily.

Each of the deaths of the critics is played for both disgust and humor of the darkest sort. For example one critic, fond of his two tiny dogs, has them fed to him in meat pies. As with Phibes we have her examples of cleverly written murders that are involved in a countdown to the last one. The problem is it doesn’t quite work as well this time around.

The fault here doesn’t lie in the performance of Price or of Rigg for that matter. Both do a great job here, Price especially. It’s one thing to perform a role poorly but quite another to perform it as someone trying to do it justice but doing it over the top unintentionally. The movie just doesn’t have the same feel that the Phibes films did even though you can see the obvious attempt to replicate those films.

In the end the move remains a fun horror film to watch but moves along at a much slower pace than the aforementioned films. That does more damage than good here. Price fans will find this a must see if for no other reason than to see his performance. The same goes for fans of Rigg.

The presentation lives up to the standards of all releases from Twilight Time with the best picture quality found. Extras include an isolated score track, an audio commentary track with film historians David Del Valle and Nick Redman and the original theatrical trailer. As with all Twilight Time releases they’ve limited it to just 3,000 copies so if you’re interested in one order it today.

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