Author Topic: The Masque of the Red Death (60s Poe adaptation/Corman/Roeg/Price)  (Read 912 times)

Chedney Honks

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I finished this Roger Corman-directed 60s horror last night, and really enjoyed it once it picked up. The central performance from Vincent Price as a Satanist Italian prince is fantastic, and well worth the price of admission alone. Probably the best I've ever seen from him. I really enjoyed his delight in the suffering and humiliation of his subjects. Jane Asher is also great as a morally-grounded innocent, ripe for corruption.

It's an adaptation of an Edgar Allan Poe short story and I swear I read last year (maybe even here) that it had been given a boost in popularity by the coronavirus pandemic. The parallels are pretty stark, albeit also perfectly predictable with the elites shutting themselves off in safety, decadence and depravity, leaving the peasants to die of a ghastly plague.

While it seldom escapes the feel of a lower-budget 60s movie made in Britain, it's beautifully photographed by Nicolas Roeg. The colours and costumes are spectacular, and the monochrome rooms of the castle are fantastic, moving through yellow and purple, red and black. Very eerie but beautiful.

Here's an interview with Roger Corman and Jane Asher from last year, following its resurgent popularity:

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2021/feb/08/how-we-made-jane-asher-horror-classic-masque-red-death-vincent-price-roger-corman

Recommended.

Magnum Valentino

  • Formerly magval
Re: The Masque of the Red Death (60s Poe adaptation/Corman/Roeg/Price)
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2021, 07:40:55 AM »
It's great isn't it? It's been unavailable on Blu-ray for years over here, and was finally released in January. It's probably the best-made and most successful of the Corman Price Poes, although House of Usher is probably my favourite for Price's incredibly over the top "that's too loud" acting.

Kim Newman's commentary might be worth a listen Ched, depends on your tolerance for his particular brand of highly informed smugness. At least his companion on this track isn't trying to outdo him - those are the worst kind of movie commentary, like peeking in at two nerds permanently showing off in the void, assured that someone will listen at some stage.

Your man voicing the Red Death at the party sounds remarkably like Christopher Lee doesn't he?

mothman

  • I don't know why
Re: The Masque of the Red Death (60s Poe adaptation/Corman/Roeg/Price)
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2021, 05:40:50 PM »
The final scene, with all the Deaths meeting, is one of my favourite images. Soon as there’s a nice remaster or something, then it’ll be Blu-Ray, screencap, new desktop background.

Famous Mortimer

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Re: The Masque of the Red Death (60s Poe adaptation/Corman/Roeg/Price)
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2021, 05:55:00 PM »
Love this movie, but the heat death of the universe will come and go without me voluntarily listening to a second of Kim Newman.

Chedney Honks

  • When life gives u no hair, ball spin
Re: The Masque of the Red Death (60s Poe adaptation/Corman/Roeg/Price)
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2021, 05:55:21 PM »
The final scene, with all the Deaths meeting, is one of my favourite images. Soon as there’s a nice remaster or something, then it’ll be Blu-Ray, screencap, new desktop background.

Here you go, mate. Smashing restoration on this recent release. That shot's a beauty.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Masque-Red-Death-Blu-ray/dp/B08GM9VXKZ/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=masque+of+the+red+death+blu+ray&qid=1614880349&sprefix=Masqu&sr=8-1


And cheers, Mag, I'll defo check out that commentary and see if I can stomach it. I'm sure I missed a great deal. Will also check out House of Usher at some stage soon. I've heard of it, certainly.

Magnum Valentino

  • Formerly magval
Re: The Masque of the Red Death (60s Poe adaptation/Corman/Roeg/Price)
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2021, 06:19:47 PM »
Arrow has the other six films in a box set that sells for 25 quid every time they have a sale, of which there are about four a year. Six Gothic Tales, worth it for sure.

Re: The Masque of the Red Death (60s Poe adaptation/Corman/Roeg/Price)
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2021, 06:43:49 PM »
I love all those corman Poe ones https://www.imdb.com/list/ls069118306/ and the Haunted Palace which is a Saucecraft book and not Poesif, but haven't watched many for ages, Das Raven was the last one i see'd cos i didn't watch it when i was small. These seemed to be on late on BCC on Friday's and Saturday's loads at one point when i was all child faced.

I've got a really nice memory of my and my fam on holiday in cumbria and being in our caravan and my dad getting the tv their working off the car battery cos we had to stay in as it was pissing down one evening. We watched one of these though which one is slightly hazy, i think it was The Pit and the Pendulums and then we watched a tv doc about Night of the Living Dead which scared my right up.

I love Poe too and how loads of his stories are about the horror of how people torture themselves most of all and guilt eats at peeps.

Re: The Masque of the Red Death (60s Poe adaptation/Corman/Roeg/Price)
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2021, 07:07:11 PM »
It's so great. The whole danse macabre section at the end is a fantastic example of how to do a horrible climactic setpiece very effectively with a skeletal budget. Easily my favourite of the Corman Poe adaptations, and one of Price's best performances.

"If a God of love and life ever did exist, he is long since dead. Someone ... something rules in his place" *pops a grape*
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7VXNSHbfVg

Magnum Valentino

  • Formerly magval
Re: The Masque of the Red Death (60s Poe adaptation/Corman/Roeg/Price)
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2021, 07:21:45 PM »
"There is no other god! SATAN killed him!" is sampled on Entombed's excellent second album, which speaks volumes about the film's appeal to cool motherfuckers.

Re: The Masque of the Red Death (60s Poe adaptation/Corman/Roeg/Price)
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2021, 07:48:38 PM »
"There is no other god! SATAN killed him!" is sampled on Entombed's excellent second album, which speaks volumes about the film's appeal to cool motherfuckers.

I think the whole speech I quoted from was also sampled on a Theatre of Tragedy song. Like you say, cool motherfuckers!

mothman

  • I don't know why
Re: The Masque of the Red Death (60s Poe adaptation/Corman/Roeg/Price)
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2021, 09:03:39 PM »
Here you go, mate. Smashing restoration on this recent release. That shot's a beauty.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Masque-Red-Death-Blu-ray/dp/B08GM9VXKZ/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=masque+of+the+red+death+blu+ray&qid=1614880349&sprefix=Masqu&sr=8-1 

Ooooh. Thanks!

EDIT: Ahh, Jane Asher. She’s looking darn good for her age. In fact, a few years ago I sat directly opposite her during a talk her husband (yer actual Gerald Scarfe) was giving, and didn’t realise it was her. Granted, I do have form for making eye contact with famous people, not recognising them (at the time, obviously) but instead staring blankly at them. See also: Andrew Marr; Ed Sheeran, Sajid Javid.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2021, 09:25:04 PM by mothman »

Re: The Masque of the Red Death (60s Poe adaptation/Corman/Roeg/Price)
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2021, 04:22:36 PM »
.

Magnum Valentino

  • Formerly magval
Re: The Masque of the Red Death (60s Poe adaptation/Corman/Roeg/Price)
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2021, 10:34:01 AM »
The other six Corman/Price films are on sale at the moment on Arrow's website for £25 (really great set), search for Six Gothic Tales.

Naturally Amazon has price matched them, so use the CAB link so Badmin can benefit too.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/b?_encoding=UTF8&tag=codanbod-21&linkCode=ur2&linkId=78b1311c7ca6d2c6128e73588499d405&camp=1634&creative=6738&node=300703

Catalogue Trousers

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Re: The Masque of the Red Death (60s Poe adaptation/Corman/Roeg/Price)
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2021, 05:34:57 PM »
Quote
Your man voicing the Red Death at the party sounds remarkably like Christopher Lee doesn't he?

That's John Westbrook. He plays the part for the whole film, apart from the moment when Price dons the robes at the climax. Even then, Westbrook dubs him. The man had a marvellous, baritone voice which often saw him playing big and/or menacing voice parts, Treebeard/Fangorn in Bakshi's The Lord Of The Rings for one.

zomgmouse

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Re: The Masque of the Red Death (60s Poe adaptation/Corman/Roeg/Price)
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2021, 11:27:32 PM »
Love the colours and mood in this. Patrick Magee delivers here as well. His scowl never stops.

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