Archive for vincent price

AustinChef reviews: SCREAM AND SCREAM AGAIN

Posted in horror, movies, UK with tags , , , on December 16, 2009 by goregirl

I would like to welcome fellow horror film fanatic AustinChef to the Dungeon! He will be dropping by from time to time with reviews and other horror goodies. Today’s contribution is a review of ‘Scream and Scream Again’ starring Vincent Price, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.

Reviewed by: AustinChef

If you grew up in the South Jersey/Philly area in the 70s & 80s you will remember channel 48 (a UHF channel. Look it up on the internet kids). Every Saturday they played classic horror films all day long. This is when I 1st experienced Scream and Scream Again. I love this movie; I can’t say enough good things about it. Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing … I mean come on; a cast doesn’t get any better than this! And the plot is a wild, confusing, fun mess. There’s a serial killer on the loose who is draining his victims of blood. The police, in a very loooong chase scene, follow the killer back to a mad scientist (is there any other kind?) played by Vincent Price who is trying to create a super race of human beings. Why? Why the hell not!! Price even has a nice big vat of acid to dissolve his failures in. But wait. There’s a few subplots here that need mentioning: We have a Fascist-like country with a cabal of power-hungry men and a mysterious “hospital” collecting body parts (one would guess the body parts are for Price’s experiments). How all these stories converge makes for a really good time. The acting is great. How could it not be with the trinity of Price, Lee, and Cushing? You just know there’s gonna be some over-the-top, scenery-chewing acting. This also has one of the creepiest openings of any movie. During the credits we see a man jogging. He has a heart attack and wakes up in a “hospital”. He is sedated. Credits roll. He wakes up to find they took his leg. More credits roll. He wakes up again to find an arm missing. Credits roll. This pattern keeps going until he is just a torso with no limbs. It’s a genuinely creepy opening. And we can’t forget about the girl being interrogated in the above mentioned fascist country. Well she loses a few fingers to an ordinary, everyday set of wire cutters in a very suspenseful scene that will have you flinching. All these elements and a really kickass, jazzy soundtrack makes this a great flick that you will have a really fun time with. Maybe it’s just my nostalgia flaring up but this flicks’ a winner. Definitely check it out.

THE LAST MAN ON EARTH – The Dungeon Review!

Posted in horror, Italy, movies with tags , , , , on October 13, 2009 by goregirl

last man on earthI’ve seen both ‘I Am Legend’ with Will Smith and ‘Omega Man’ with Charleton Heston. Until just a few days ago, I had no idea there was a 1964 version starring Vincent Price! It’s a great story, and I think Vincent Price is the cats ass so I had to check it out.

Based on the Richard Matheson book “I Am Legend”. ‘The Last Man On Earth’ is the story of one man’s survival in a world where everyone is dead or has been transformed into a blood-thirsty monster.

It takes only one sentence to describe the bleak premise of ‘The Last Man On Earth’. Can you imagine waking up day after day without contact with another human being? Or trying to sleep through the night with blood-thirsty predators at your door? This is the life of Robert Morgan. Formerly a scientist, happy husband and proud father. We watch as Morgan awakes to another day. Three years in to his solitary existence, driven solely by the instinct to survive. Morgan’s day-to-day existence involves discovering where the creatures lie during the day, staking them, and transporting their bodies to a pit to be burned. Occasionally there is a need to pick up supplies; food, fuel, mirrors, wood for stakes. As he goes through his daily rituals, we also see flashbacks of his personal experience, and the unsettling circumstances involving his family’s demise. This black and white gem is dripping with atmosphere. Desolation as far as the eye can see. Roads littered with dead bodies and abandoned cars. In one extremely effective scene Morgan sees a dog, and his stoic demeanour is replaced by unadulterated joy. He is suddenly filled with hope upon seeing another living being.

still from last man on earth

I don’t want to give away any of the story, but I will tell you that all three film versions offer a different spin to the subject matter. Unfortunately I have never read the book so I have no idea which version is truest to the original. But the twist in this particular version is truly brilliant, and Morgan’s hopeless situation becomes decidedly worse. Morgan stakes vampires during the day while they sleep but generally avoids contact with the creatures when they are awake. He has garlic and mirrors on his door to help keep them away. They come in droves each night. They mindlessly bang on his boarded up windows moaning for hours on end. They slowly amble, staring ahead, pail and dirty. The film insists they are vampires but they have more zombie qualities. They are undead, and Morgan disposes of them with the classic stake to the heart method, but they had no other vampire characteristics. Regardless, the vampire-zombie creatures are not ineffective. In fact, they are featured in some impressively eerie scenes outside of Morgan’s house that work extremely well. You can’t deny the similarities to Romero’s ‘The Night of The Living Dead’, which came out four years after. Vincent Price gives a nicely understated performance as Robert Morgan. ‘The Last Man On Earth’ had a relatively slow-pace, but it compliments the tediousness and redundant nature of Morgan’s existence. There is a single scene towards the end that I thought was a bit clumsy and should have been left on the cutting room floor. There’s not a whole lot to criticize here otherwise. I thoroughly enjoyed ‘The Last Man On Earth’. Highly recommended!

Dungeon Review: 4.5/5

Directed By: Ubaldo Ragona and Sidney Salkow

Starring: Vincent Price, Franca Bettoia, Emma Danieli, Giacomo Rossi-Stuart, Umberto Raho, Christi Courtland

THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM – The Dungeon Review!

Posted in horror, movies, USA with tags , , , , , on June 11, 2009 by goregirl

pit and the pendulum“Until now no one has dared to film this …… the most diabolical classic of all time!”

This is another Roger Corman/Vincent Price outing. I haven’t seen every Corman film by any means, but this is definitley one of the best from what I have.

Francis Barnard travels to Spain after learning his sister Elizabeth has died. His intention is to question his sister’s husband Don Medina. Medina is the son of a notoriously barbaric Spanish inquistitor and lives in the family’s isolated castle. Francis is told Elizabeth has died of a blood disease. He is immediately suspicious of this explanation and insists on staying at the castle until he uncovers the truth.

The films greatest strength is an extremely well written screenplay. I was fully engaged in the story from the first scene to that awesome finale. It is well paced and maintains a moody atmosphere throughout. Vincent Price does a good job with Don Medina but does get a little over dramatic at times. John Kerr who plays Elizabeth’s brother Francis, is a bit dry and rather uninspired. He was bearable, but I would have preferred someone with more energy in this role. The supporting cast really shine in this one. Antony Carbone and Luana Anders do one hell of a job. The stunning Barbara Steele has little screen time but leaves a lasting impression. The film is quite suspenseful. There are no monsters, gore or cheap scares. There is only a nice steady climb to the climax that will keep you guessing. The sets are pretty nifty, especially that pendulum device set. Esthetically speaking this film is pretty much perfect, unfortunately a dull performance by a lead actor does stand out. This minor infraction will not effect your overall enjoyment of this extremely entertaining film. Highly Recommended!

Dungeon Rating: 4/5

Directed By: Roger Corman

Starring: Vincent Price, John Kerr, Barbara Steele, Luana Anders, Antony Carbone, Patrick Westwood, Lynette Bernay, Larry Turner, Mary Menzies and Charles Victor

THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH – The Dungeon Review!

Posted in horror, movies, UK with tags , , on June 9, 2009 by goregirl

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