the masque of the red death
“LOOK INTO THIS FACE. SHUDDER… at the blood-stained dance of the Red Death! TREMBLE… to the hideous tortures of the catacombs of Kali! GASP… at the sacrifice of the innocent virgin to the vengeance of Baal!”

I hope to meet Roger Corman at the Rue Morgue Festival of Fear this summer. I thought I would check out some of his films I have never seen, and rewatch some of my favorites. What a great tagline! It says so very much! I can’t promise it will make you shudder, tremble or gasp but it does entertain. The Prince’s richly decadent world full of depravity and evil will keep you bewitched through to the final credits.

Vincent Price is Prospero, a devil worshipping Italian Prince. A woman in a small village has died of the Red Death and the prince orders the entire village burned. He takes with him an innocent and striking young women and imprisons her father and lover. It is the prince’s intention to corrupt the young woman and win Satans favor. Within the castle walls cruelty and debauchery abound but they are safe from the Red Death. Or are they?

This film actually had a bit of a budget so there are some beautiful sets and costumes. There are some campy moments but the film generally handles its material more seriously. Prince Prospero is an insidious, power hungry tyrant who rules with an iron fist. He is lacking morality and is devoid of compassion for any human being. Vincent Price isn’t over the top with his performance giving the evil prince a subtle flair. Hazel Court is great as Juliana. She is ready to give herself over to the devil and is in the films nastiest and trippiest scene. Patrick Magee and Skip Martin also give formidable performances. The Masque of the Red Death is packed with memorable scenes full of delicious cruelty, amazing sets and costumes and superb performances. Highly recommended!

Tomorrow’s review will be Sam Raimi’s DRAG ME TO HELL.

Dungeon Rating: 4/5

Directed By: Roger Corman

Starring: Vincent Price, Hazel Court, Jane Asher, David Weston, Nigel Green, Patrick Magee and Paul Whitsun-Jones

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