Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Masters Of Horror! (Vincent Price)

Pure class.

(IMDB page)

Tower Of London (1939)

His third film, and his first sorta-horror.

It's got Basil Rathbone, and Boris Karloff, so its got that pedigree going for it.

About Richard III.
Richard III was still a boogeyman to people, I guess.

"Eat your vegetables, or Richard III will come and kill you in your bed".

Well, look at the year, no one knew how bad Hitler really was yet, so, Richard III was still considered a badass.

Now it's like, "who?".

Shakespeare geeks, and Blackadder fans, that's the only ones who really know anymore.

The Invisible Man Returns (1940)

See here.

Ehhh, it's Invisible Man, but it's still not full-on horror, he's a good-guy Invisible Man.

Which makes the title a lie.
The bad one fucking died, and stayed dead.

Then, a bunch of cutesie period crap, and dramas, then....

Shock (1946)

A film noir.
Ooo, insulin as the murder weapon, that's timely.
Yeah, that needs a remake.

Then, crap, crap, crap, then....

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

See here, here, here, and here.

It's back!
You thought it had been buried with last Halloween, but it rose from the slab, and here it is again!!

Then, four years of everything but horror, then...

House Of Wax (1953)

Bam, "the Price villain", is born.
And we're off.

Still one of his all time best, still a great horror film.
TCM still plays it, you can't miss it.

Also, it was the first color 3-D film by a major studio.

The Mad Magician (1954)

Another 3-D one.
The first 3-D movie to be played on TV.

Plot wise, it's kind of "The Wizard Of Gore", without the gore.

Well...explicit gore, there's some pretty gruesome stuff implied.

The Ten Commandments (1956)

See here.

Yep, magnify the image, there he is second from right, in the little white and blue Egyptian hat.

The Story Of Mankind (1957)

See here.

See? I knew doing all those would come in handy someday.
I just knew it.

The Fly (1958)

See here.


House On Haunted Hill (1959)

See here.

The Tingler (1959)

Another William Castle, this time with the "percepto", gimmick, which was basically a vibrator in your seat.

Pretty much responsible for inspiring John Waters to get into movies.
I know, because he's flat out said so.
Like, TODAY, on TCM.

Return Of The Fly (1959)

See here.

The Bat (1959)

See here.

House Of Usher (1960)

See here.

And, we're back to the Corman Poes!

I didn't say much about this one last time, and...the finer details still escape me, but, I'll talk about this series overall some more.

Yes, I am aware that for the most part, they mutilate the Poe stories.
That's not the point.

"Wizard Of Oz", only vaguely resembles the novel, and no one fucking cares.
Movies are a different beast.

Mary Jo Pehl from MST3K hates these (yes, even 'The Raven'!), and wanted to do them on the show, but they could never get the rights.

There's no ambivalence to these, you either love 'em, or hate 'em.

Master Of The World (1961)

Oh, I fucking love this one!
It just finally came to DVD.

It's Price as the ultimate steam-punk super villain.
But, he's a villain with good intentions, like Ozymandias.

He flies around in an airship, that's practically a Star Trek ship, and wants to abolish all aerially pummeling anyone that tries to instigate one.

Hmm...kind of a satire on Cold-War America...
Updates just fine to post-9/11 America...

Has Charles Bronson as the hero.
In real life, no Bronson. (:-(

The Pit and The Pendulum (1961)

See here.

Yeah, I think I said it all in "House Of Usher".

Tales Of Terror (1962)

See here.

Tower Of London (1962)

Sorta-remake of the 1939 film.
Uses stock footage from the '39 version.

Produced by Roger Corman.
Yeah, whoops, left it out.

This time, Vincent Price is Richard III.
Price felt Rathbone's performance was superior to his.

The Raven (1963)

See here.

Dairy Of a Madman (1963)

Price runs afoul of an invisible creature called the Horla, which is intelligent, and an utter prick who ruins his life.

The ending cops out that the Horla is the evil side of man, but fuck that religious horseshit.
The Maupassant short story it's based on said otherwise.

The Haunted Palace (1963)

See here.

Twice-Told Tales (1963)

Another anthology of 3 stories like "Tales Of Terror", but this time, using  Nathaniel Hawthorne instead of Edgar Allen Poe.

A worthy sorta-sequel.

The Comedy Of Terrors (1964)

Tough call as to whether I like this, or "The Raven", better.

You've got Price, Karloff, and Lorre again, and this time, Rathbone.
It's a riot. I love it.

And hey, that's right, not only did Price do this, and "Raven", but "Abbot-Costello-Frankenstein".
He bridged the generations!
Monster mash, and gothy-mash!

Yeah, humor really evolved in 16 years, gothy-mashes were better.

The Last Man On Earth (1964)

See here, and here.

"Survival horror", is born.

The Masque of the Red Death (1964)

See here.

The Tomb of Ligeia (1965)

See here.

And thus, once again, ends the Corman-Price-Poe cycle.

War-Gods of the Deep (1965)

A.K.A "City Under The Sea".

Price plays a sea captain who's found an ancient underwater city with an atmosphere that extends life, so he and his crew have been living there for centuries.

AIP tried to cash in on both "20'000 Leagues Under The Sea", with the subject matter, and the Corman Poe cycle by swiping Poe's "The City in the Sea", for the title.

AIP were some cynical sonsabitches.

Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (1965)

So, AIP were doing the Price horrors, and the beach movies, so they did a mashup of Price and the beach movie kids for this one.

This is a spy spoof, and is totally where Austin Powers swiped the fem-bots from.

Y'know, the mix of comedy-horror, and 60's-mod teenagers...I see seeds of Scooby-Doo in this.
Scooby would pop up on airwaves just 4 years later.
And then, Price would be on Scooby in the 80's.

Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs (1966)

Directed by Mario Bava.
Who directed "Black Sunday", starring Barbara Steele from "The Pit And The Pendulum".

See how it all connects into these loops?

Batman (1966)

See here for Adam West Batman.

Price relished and delighted in this role.

Spirits of the Dead (1968)

Another Poe anthology.

Directed by Roger Vadim, Louis Malle, and Federico Fellini.

Jane Fonda, Peter Fonda, Brigitte Bardot, and Terence Stamp star.
Price narrates.

The Fellini bit is widely regarded as the best part.

Witchfinder General (1968)

A.K.A "The Conqueror Worm".
Another attempt to cash in on Poe with a poem title.

About the real witch hunts in 17th century England.

The gore sent censors and critics into a bitch-tizzy.
Why are these people even alive?

The Oblong Box (1969)

Price co-stars for the first time with Christopher Lee!

Ah, another generation bridging!

Scream, and Scream Again (1970)

*Happy gasp*

This time, with Price, Lee, and Peter Cushing!
Both Hammer guys!

Price is sort of a Doctor Frankenstein type, and Cushing and Lee are spies.

Cry of the Banshee (1970)

Price is another witch-hunter, this time in Elizabethan times, and the witches get supernatural revenge.

The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)

A cult classic, Price at his absolute best.
Ditto the sequel.

Plot involves Phibes killing his targets in the style of the 10 biblical plagues.

Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972)

This time, Phibes's killings take on an Egyptian theme.

Brady Bunch (1972)

The famous Tiki curse episodes!!

Theater Of Blood (1973)

Kind of a sorta-threequel to Phibes, skeletally.
This time, Price's killings take on a Shakespearean theme, and he's killing critics, which we all can enjoy.

Price loved this one, cuz he got to recite Shakespeare, because he hadn't been able to do any with all the horror stuff he'd been typecast with.

My favorite bit, the scene with the guy who gets fed his own poodles as pot pies.
It's just so fucking grim and absurd at the same time.

Madhouse (1974)

A sorta-quadquel to the Phibes-es, now it goes meta, and Price kills people in the modes of death of his Corman-Poe pictures.

Also stars Peter Cushing.

The Price horrors were kind of winding down at this point.

The Muppet Show (1977)

Saw it when it was new, and yes, it was awesome.

Scavenger Hunt (1979)

Kind of a modern "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World".

Features cameos by Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Meatloaf.

And, a shitload of other people.
Google it.

I'm so fucking tired....

The Monster Club (1980)

Welcome to the monster CLUUUUUB!!!!

Tried to work this in last year, and it just wouldn't fit in.

And yes, that fucking song will earworm on you.

An anthology, can't seem to make up its mind of it's trying to scare adults, or make children squeal with delight.

I don't know what the fuck it is, but it's damned happy with itself as it does it.

Freddie the Freeloader's 
Christmas Dinner (1981)

An HBO special.
One of the last things Red Skelton ever did.
They played it for quite awhile.

Price plays Freddie's pal, Professor Humperdo.

I haven't seen it in ages, but I remember being fond of it when it was new.
Curious to see if it holds up.

Vincent (1982)

One of Tim Burton's first films.

Price later said of it "the most gratifying thing that ever happened. It was immortality—better than a star on Hollywood Boulevard."

Aww. :-)

Anyway, watch it here.

House Of The Long Shadows (1983)

The one time teamup of Price, Cushing, Lee, and John Carradine.

Also, the final Cushing Lee teamup.

Shit, why haven't I seen this?
On the viewing list it goes...

Thriller (1983)

See here.

Darkness falls across the land
The midnight hour is close at hand
Creatures crawl in search of blood
To terrorize yours neighborhood
And whosoever shall be found
Without the soul for getting down
Must stand and face the hounds of hell
And rot inside a corpse's shell
The foulest stench is in the air
The funk of forty thousand years
And grisly ghouls from every tomb
Are closing in to seal your doom
And though you fight to stay alive
Your body starts to shiver
For no mere mortal can resist
The evil of the thriller

Terror In The Aisles (1984)

A documentary encompassing multiple eras of horror.
Kind of the "That's Entertainment", of horror.

Price is only in archival footage.

On one hand, I miss shows like this, but on the other hand...we've got all these specific little docs that come with the DVDs now.

So, it evens out.


The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo (1985)

Ahh, there, this finally hooks up to the Scooby link I mentioned way back at Dr. Goldfoot.

So, Scooby lets 13 ghosts out of this Pandora's box, and has to put them all back in.

As with most shows with a goal like this, we never found out if he succeeded.

Price plays himself, and sends Scooby, Shaggy, Daphne, and this Mexican kid on their missions.
I think Scrappy was there too, but I don't exactly want to remember.

The Whales Of August (1987)

I've never sat through it, but my grandmother loved it, so there you go.

It had Bette Davis, Lillian Gish, and was shot in Maine.

Shot in Maine, Bette Davis was her idol, no wonder she loved it.
I'll have to see it sometime.

Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Vincent's last theatrical performance.


Edward's Hands were built by Stan Winston.

So, I've pushed myself through neck pain, and eyeball burning, so clearly I gave a damn.
Yep, Price was dear to us all.
He will be missed, but what a legacy he left.

Tomorrow, about Bela Lugosi?

No comments:

Blog Archive