9 November 2007 | ferbs54
Jacques The Ripper
Not to be confused with the 1973 Vincent Price/Diana Rigg movie "Theatre of Blood," "Theatre of Death" (1966) gives us the story of a serial killer in modern-day Paris, who stabs victims and drains their blood (kind of like a 20th century Jacques the Ripper). The director of the local Theatre of Death, a Grand Guignol-type of entertainment, falls under suspicion, and, as played by that former neck nosher himself, "Mr. Tall, Dark and Gruesome," Christopher Lee, is is easy to see why. This sneaky, tyrannical, egomaniacal, Svengali-like, mesmerizing petty dictator is one intimidating personage indeed, and a likely suspect, to say the least. Anyway, I must admit that this little film has been stylishly shot and directed, handsomely produced, and well acted by one and all. However, it is also somewhat static, never especially scary or suspenseful, and certainly suffers when Lee's character mysteriously disappears halfway through. Still, it does somehow manage to hold the viewer's attention, although I'm still a trifle puzzled as to WHY the killer decided to go on a sudden homicidal spree, as well as a few other loose ends. To the film's credit, though, that killer's identity DOES come as something of a surprise (well, it did for me, anyway, but I've always been lousy at guessing this kind of thing). Yes, despite that gruesome title, and Mr. Lee's presence, this film IS more of a mystery thriller than a horror picture. Oh, and one other thing: An 11-minute interview with Mr. Lee makes for just one of the many fine extras on the crisp-looking DVD that I just watched.