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  • BA_Harrison4 April 2021
    After watching director Alan Birkinshaw's The House of Usher (1989), I wrote that it was probably the worst film to be inspired by Edgar Allen Poe's novel The Fall of the House of Usher (I hadn't yet seen Jess Franco's Revenge in the House of Usher). Birkinshaw's other Poe movie, The Masque of the Red Death, is also a load of garbage. At least he's consistent.

    In this totally oddball late-'80s offering, Michelle McBride plays Rebecca Stephens, a reporter for Snoop magazine who crashes a lavish Bavarian costume ball being hosted by eccentric millionaire Ludwig (Herbert Lom). Dressed as Cupid (meaning that she isn't wearing much), and armed with a secret camera in her bow, Rebecca snaps the other guests, but the party doesn't go quite as planned when people start turning up dead, murdered by a mysterious figure in a red mask and hooded robe.

    What could have been a fun, trashy, gory slasher is totally undermined by Birkinshaw's dreadful direction, which results in irritatingly quirky performances and bizarre scenes that simply reek of the 1980s, but not in a good way. Battling for the title of worst actor are Frank Stallone as Duke, Brenda Vaccaro as Elaina, and Christine Lunde as Colette: one wonders what Birkinshaw was putting in the water to elicit such strangeness. Runner-up has to be the singer in the godawful pop-rock band who blast out tunes during the mayhem: his acting is even worse than his singing.

    The film's best moments (ie. The only parts that are bearable) are the murders: one victim is cut up with an open-razor, a woman is threaded into a loom with needles piercing her flesh, and another finds herself trapped under the razor-edged pendulum of a clock, the blade coming closer and closer to her neck with each passing second. They're imaginative and reasonably well staged, but even though they provide a little respite from the horribly dated craziness, it's not enough to make me recommend this mess other than to dedicated connoisseurs of straight-to-video trash.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    an insult to the classic original has some EXTREMELY annoying and unlikable characters and a totally cliche plot and this is not a remake it's just a slasher and not a very good one at that below average for sure the acting ranges from bad to decent Frank Stallone is a bit of both at times he was very amusing and made me laugh but at times got under my skin and my nerves still he did okay Brenda Vaccaro is annoying and i wanted her to die fast! plus that annoying voice! Herbert Lom is great here one of the very few good actors in this he gives a solid show too bad he wasn't in a better movie Michelle McBride is actually quite decent in this she has her moments of bad acting but SPOILERS!! she was decent as the heroine Simon Poland just annoyed me BIG TIME!!!! he had no charm he was totally unlikable and glad when he SPOILERS!! got his Christine Lunde is HOT! but annoying and a SPOILERS!!!! a weak killer this has plenty of blood but it has a silly silly finale overall AVOID!! * out of 5 it was watchable but painful it had a sweet death scene where the pendulum decapitates Kitra
  • Well, if you like cheese and trash 80s style, you may watch this flick, but nonetheless I would strongly recommend to watch the fine piece with maestro Vincent Price (1964) instead - it is in every aspect the superior one.
  • Why? Why? Why? Why does Frank Stallone get work? How does he get it? Sorry...that's my spiel on Frank Stallone. He stars in this awful film version of the classic Poe tale about a dying millionaire who throws a castle costume party that's a killer.
  • A dying millionare decides to throw one last party for old times sake. The theme of the party is Edgar Allen Poe's Masque of Red Death, but someone seems to have token the theme of the party to heart, because all of the guests are being slashed by a mysterious red masked, cloaked figure.

    Starts out suprisingly interesting with some good shocks in spite of Z grade cast and low budget, but unfortunately the film is not able to keep up it's momentum and it becomes flat and boring. Still, some of the visuals (sets, costumes, and a tad of the make-up) are lively and flashy enough to bring this film slightly out of the gutter at times.

    Rated R; Nudity, Strong Violence, Profanity.
  • There is nothing really decent to say about this 80's horror movie, Watched it because of Herbert Lom, who can be forgiven due to his great previous works, especially 'The Ladykillers'. The Script is loosely based Edgar Allan Poe's short story, but unfortunately the screenwriter did not have Poe's ability with the pen. The acting is awful, but the music is even worse. Avoid at all cost.
  • I gave this film a try for a couple of reasons, first of which being that I'm a die-hard Poe fan. However, every film made that uses Poe's name has made a mockery of his work - Haunting of Morella, House of Usher, Ulli Lommel's The Raven - all horrible films. I'd have to put this beside Morella as the best of the Poe films but that isn't saying much. The other reason I picked this flick up is because it stars Subspecies' Michelle McBride - only one of three films she was ever in. She was fine as the lead but received little support from the co-stars and from a director too obsessed with making a flashy masque party than telling a decent story.

    VIOLENCE: $$$$ (There is plenty of violence given that this is a murder mystery. Fans of inventive deaths will have something to cheer about. The death scenes were about the only thing the director excelled at. We have a decapitation, stabbings, stranglings and a sewing... that's right, a woman is murdered by use of a sewing needle).

    NUDITY: None

    STORY: $ (Poe's story isn'tdepicted well here - big surprise. We have a poor script that follows snoopy reporter (McBride) to a lavish masque held by a dying millionaire. She wants exclusive interviews and photographs but has to put her story second when a murderer begins bumping off the party guests).

    ACTING: $$ (It is all rather wooden, albeit McBride and Herbert Lom as the millionaire. Lom does a solid job with weak dialogue but is out-shined but Michelle McBride in her only starring vehicle. This film just proves that Hollywood doesn't know talent when it sees it. McBride makes a strong lead, bringing a never-give-up attitude and a tough, independent aura to her role. Frank Stallone isn't as bad as others would lead you to believe but he doesn't do that great of a job. The Inferior Acting Award goes to the blonde bombshell Elizabeth Lunde, who has a meaty, substantial role. Why she was given a major role is beyond me. Her darting eyes and grating, poor European accent add to the descent of this picture).
  • Don't take it too seriously and you may have some fun!

    Light, breezy slasher with colorful costumes and wonderful set pieces. Music is very 80's complete with an 80's band. Some of the acting is pretty hammy but enjoyable enough... you can tell they had fun while making this movie. Don't overthink the plot holes and all the stupid decisions the characters make... just run with it :)
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Alan Birkinshaw's The Masque of the Red Death was one of two movies released in the same year that attempted to give a classic Edgar Allan Poe tale the full slasher makeover. Gerard Kikoine's abysmal Buried Alive was the second of the pair to secure a worldwide release, but both efforts were heavily panned and didn't take too long to vanish into obscurity. Buried Alive was notable mainly for two cast-related reasons. Firstly, it was the last screen role for horror vet John Carradine before his untimely death in 1988, and secondly it is perhaps most infamously remembered for an embarrassingly out-of-character performance from Donald Pleasance.

    At first glance I hoped that Masque's intriguing premise would be enough to make it the better of the two efforts. It boasts an interesting ensemble of prolific B-movie faces and also a killer's disguise to rival the hilarity of the costumes featured in both Girl's Nite Out and Killer Party respectively.

    Eccentric millionaire Ludwig (Herbert Lom) is hosting a masked ball at his huge 18th-century castle in honour of Edgar Allan Poe's The Masque of the Red Death. The partygoers are all rich and famous celebrities that owe a majority of their fortune to the mysterious bachelor. All except Rebecca Stephens (Michelle Hoey) who is nothing but an ambitious journalist that has forged a dodgy invitation to get a story on the conceited actress, Elaina Hart (Brenda Vaccaro). During the eighties, not many fancy dress parties commenced without someone ending up splattered (think – Hack-O-Lantern, Terror Train, Killer Party etc. etc.) – and this one certainly isn't looking to break the mould in that respect either. Before long a maniac wearing a disguise that's hilariously similar to that of a Star Wars imperial storm trooper begins hacking his way through the guest list using various imaginative methods. So who is this maniacal intruder and what are his motives for murder?

    The fromage is spread thick and fast throughout The Masque of the Red Death like a particularly large fondue. As soon as I saw a typical mid-eighties soft rock group turn up with an entourage of female dancers sporting hair that was higher than the Ronettes' beehives, I knew that I was in for a cheesy runtime of utter slop. The script is pathetically structured and the methods that the director chooses to lead the victims to their demises were also bordering on utter brainlessness. At midnight for example, the revellers are invited to partake in 'King Ludwig's great Easter egg hunt'. This of course means that they can wander around the castle all alone only to meet up with the laughably costumed maniac and get their just punishment for having an awful agent. When the inept guests finally realise that there is a psycho roaming the stone corridors, Ludwig has the ingenious idea of locking everyone inside for six hours for reasons that remain unexplained. This leads to perhaps the most hilarious moment of the bunch when Frank Stallone is confronted by the assassin and decides to grab a sword and stand off for a bizarre fencing contest. I guess I shouldn't have to tell you that he gets exactly what he deserves.

    One thing that I did find amusing was the fact that the castle was furnished with absolutely EVERYTHING money can buy, including video surveillance and electronic gates that it would take a billion chainsaws to cut through. Despite such a heavy paranoia in regards to security, Ludwig didn't seem to think that installing a phone, radio or any such contact with the outside world was necessary?

    If you've read this far into my write up, then I'm sure that you must've seen a cheesy eighties slasher movie before now and know exactly what to expect from the Z grade performances. Frank Stallone offers us the evidence to prove why he's always been in the shadow of his elder brother and the rest of the cast look to be comfortably going through the motions of B movie plop. Look out for the laughable final scene that sees the heroine and the unmasked killer scrap like junior kids in a school playground – truly unbelievable.

    Thankfully one or two of the murders were quite imaginative and the director at least proved in places that he was not totally inept. One scene sees an unfortunate female get chained beneath a swinging axe-like pendulum that's motorised by a huge clock. As the seconds tick by the blade drops an inch closer to her throat and if the minute hand reaches twelve, then it's sayonara from her. Birkinshaw does well to build the suspense as Rebecca struggles desperately to free the victim from certain demise. There's also a couple of other fairly gruesome scenes that I won't spoil for you, except to say that when the killer is finally revealed it leaves you scratching your head in confusion at how he managed to orchestrate such mayhem. It's also worth noting that Scott Wheeler's tacky gore effects passed through unedited in the BBFC eighteen prints, which is amazing seeing as it seemed that the Gestapo controlled UK censorship throughout the eighties and nineties .

    There's really nothing solid here to recommend and Masque fails on almost every level
  • I saw this movie on TV here and here is a summary:

    A young photographer goes to a castle to photograph a soap opera queen and ends up watching the guests get slain.

    The setting was great, the music was cool but the acting SUCKED:

    I.E. OLD RICH GUY: No, don't [the killer] will kill you. PHOTOGRAPHER GIRL: Life without [recent boyfriend] just isn't worth it.

    Doesn't look bad, but the guy she's talking about she met that night and says she can't go on. They didn't even have sex or kiss.

    All in all, ** stars

    Also, if you watch this a "Fall of the House of Usher" the 1989 version, you might realize that they used the same sets in both movies.

    P.S. If you're a kid who read the book for class, and went to the video store to rent a copy to compare, stick with Vincent Price.
  • Firstly i was punished for letting myself watch this painful trash the other day on TV, i guess i rightly deserved it Any way here is the plot, a millionaire invites his close friends to his castle and suddenly one by one people start dying ,voila you find out that there is a murderer amidst them yes the MASQUE OF RED DEATH,he looks more like darth vader painted in red.. Now for the warnings 1) Beware of frank stallone (a potential wmd to all the viewers) 2)This is no way related to Edgar allan poe's work.3)Watching this movie more than once might lead u retarded. ***warning again*** Seeing Frank stallone act is like putting chilli powder in your eyes.

    aaaaaaaaaaah i am bliiiiiinded.
  • ofireskao1 December 1999
    This is one of those horror movies that stick in your head, just because its plain weird and scary too. It is about this hot photographer who visits an eerie castle where the partying and strange music never ends until death strikes... I really enjoyed this movie. I saw it on late night TV and never knew the name until I read the novel a day ago. I have been searching for this movie for a long time and must have it! and, and so should you. This is absolutely the strangest and scariest movie I have ever seen.
  • You haven't lived until you witness the completely inept, untalented Frank Stallone in action. Movie has nothing at all to do with the Poe short story. It in fact it has nothing to do with reality. A total waste of time
  • ChaoS-3727 March 1999
    5/10
    So so
    I saw this film by mistake on Tv. It wasn't really bad, but the acting and the plot was. The only plus was that it had these kind of original and gruesome murders. If you rent it you'll use the ff button a lot.
  • I really enjoyed this movie. I thought that Michelle McBride was a refreshing and exciting actress who balanced brilliantly with the other cast. She looks great and boy is she sexy. Frank Stallone made a perfect Duke. He's a great actor; does a fabulous tango - not easy to do. Herbert Lom was fun as the mad King Ludwig and the lovely Brenda Vaccaro gave a sterling performance as usual. The story was good - I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next and the thrills and fears of an old fashioned horror story were certainly there. Some pretty good visual effects and an exciting twist on the original Edgar Allan Poe story by action director Alan Birkinshaw. The scene with the pendulum in the clock was one of the best dramatic scenes from any Edgar Allan Poe movie I have ever seen. It left me clinging to my chair in a cold sweat. I believe Birkinshaw also made the House of Usher and the award winning Punch with Donald Sutherland. All in all, it was an entertaining and exciting piece of cinema. More please. More.
  • Yay!! Frank Stallone is in this movie! No where near as good an actor as his more famous brother - an actor of immense depth and range (Rocky, Rambo, Tango was he Cash?], the goalie in "Escape to Victory", the guy in "F*I*S*T*", the dude from "Cliffhanger" - the list is endless) - but still, he blows everything off the screen with his sensitive portrayal of the Duke.

    No, really, this movie sucks, don't waste your life on it. Go rent "The Godfather".

    And, trust me, that song will haunt your dreams...
  • I saw this movie with my friends. We rented it for Halloween. This movie was crap. The saddest thing is that the best acting job is done by Frank Stallone. The acting is obviously acting. The plot is so bad that a drunk chimpanzee could write a better screenplay. After seeing this movie I felt the overwhelming pleasure of knowing that if the actors and actresses could get jobs then maybe so can I. The best part of this movie is the credits, and if you watch it I should recommend that you keep a surgeon handy as you might want a full frontal lobotomy upon reaching the end. I am still trying to figure out why I actually sat all the way through to the credits. If you have one brain cell you will lose it upon watching this. My recommendation is that if forced with watching this movie or having your sight and hearing taken from you go with the latter, because at the end you will wish you had anyways.
  • seychely24 October 2017
    I love this movie since I was 15, means 15 year after I still like to watch. I know its B movie but I like the murders, egg hunting, stitching , guillotine pendulum.... Considering the age of this movie Alan Birkinshaw made a great horror. I haven't seen Neuschwanstein Castke yet but hopefully gonna see it next year.