6 October 2005 | The_Void
A hilarious spoof....Vincent Price rules!
Vincent Price is one of the best actors of all time, and this is a SUPERB film! Theatre of Blood follows much the same plot formula as Price's earlier success, The Abominable Dr Phibes, only this time instead of playing a deranged madman; Price plays a self-parody of himself. Edward Lionheart is an over the top version of Price in all but name, and it's clear that the great Vincent Price is the only man that could have lead this film. This macabre film depicts what, I'm sure, many actors would like to engage in; the brutal punishment of less than impressed critics. And these punishments aren't just brutal - Price murders his victims in the style of the Shakespeare plays that they lambasted, and the result is a high camp and very fun little horror comedy. The deaths are all violent, but also very playful and inventive. We see people being drowned in a vat of wine, waking up next to their dead husband, being electrocuted, eating their pets and more! And it's all done with such a big sly grin that the result is practically impossible not to go along with.
Being a British made film, Theatre of Blood utilises that great British style that the Hammer films did so well, and this massively adds to the fun camp element of the movie. We've got all sorts of things from everyone speaking in a thick London accents to the bumbling policed force that made The Abominable Dr Phibes so hilarious. The movie starts of ridiculously, with Price hamming it up to the max, and then it just continues to get more and more ridiculous; with the final two death scenes being beyond the stupidity of anything else Price ever did. Being a self-parody, the impact of this film increases ten fold if you've seen a lot of Price's other work. It's all good though, and despite being knowingly hammy; Price really shows his worth as an actor as he dons all sorts of different disguises. It's hard to mask the Vincent Price persona, but the great thespian manages it a few times in this film. Films of this nature; i.e. ones where a bunch of people get murdered in a certain way, tend to be quite monotonous; but thanks to the superior handling, this one is never dull. Far from it, in fact! Overall, Theatre of Blood, despite often being overlooked, is a great film and one of the best Price ever made. HIGHLY recommended!