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Vincent Price: 5 Movies [2 Discs] [DVD]

  • SKU: 5070715
  • Release Date: 08/11/2011
  • Rating: PG
  • 4.0 (1)
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Overview

Ratings & Reviews

Overall Customer Rating:
4.0
100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (1 out of 1)

Synopsis

Madhouse
This semi-serious horror film represented the first on-screen pairing of icons Vincent Price and Peter Cushing, who play, respectively, aging former horror star Paul Toombes and actor-turned-writer Herbert Flay, who unite in an effort to revive the popularity of Toombes' screen character "Dr. Death" for a TV series. Having recently recovered from a nervous breakdown, Toombes comes under suspicion when several members of the show's cast and crew are murdered in grisly reenactments of Dr. Death's greatest movie moments (as depicted in numerous colorful clips from some of Price's AIP films for Roger Corman). Though it at times aspires to the level of Price's classic of macabre humor Theater of Blood, this film tends to stumble due to a middling script that dodges the opportunity to generate energy from the interaction of its two superb leads. Also known as The Revenge of Dr. Death. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi

Pit and the Pendulum
American-International's standing "haunted castle" set is exhibited to peak advantage in Roger Corman's Pit & the Pendulum. Save for the climax, Richard Matheson's script bears but little resemblance to the Edgar Allen Poe original, though there are pronounced echoes throughout of Poe's The Premature Burial. Vincent Price stars as Nicholas Medina, the son of a notorious Spanish Inquisition torturer. Nicholas' wife Elizabeth (Barbara Steele) has died under mysterious circumstances, prompting Elizabeth's brother Francis (John Kerr) to arrive at the Medina castle to investigate. The tormented Medina believes that Elizabeth was buried alive, and is convinced that he can hear his wife's voice calling out to him. In truth, Elizabeth has faked her death, part of a plan concocted with her lover Dr. Leon (Anthony Carbone) to drive Medina mad. She succeeds in this goal (albeit to her own grief, as the film's very last shot reveals), pushing Medina over the brink. Convinced that he's his own father, Medina dons Inquisition robes, straps Francis to a table, and arranges for a huge steel-bladed pendulum to slowly, slooooowwly descend on his helpless victim. You'd never know that Pit & the Pendulum was shot on the budget and schedule of a B western; the film is consistently good to look at, with eerily evocative color camerawork (Floyd Crosby) and sumptuous art direction. Stock footage of the climactic torture sequence would later find its way into the 1966 spy spoof Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine, which also starred Vincent Price. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Raven
Although Roger Corman narrowly managed to avoid self-mockery in his pulpy, flamboyant adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe tales, it appears that the director chose this opportunity to let loose with outright parody; the result is a wonderfully entertaining romp with tongue planted firmly in cheek. The first screen teaming of legendary horror stars Boris Karloff, Vincent Price, and Peter Lorre -- later billed as "The Triumvirate of Terror" -- this so-called "adaptation" uses Poe's most famous poem as a springboard for Grand Guignol comedy from scriptwriter Richard Matheson. Melancholy magician Erasmus Craven (Price), having recently relinquished his membership in the Brotherhood of Sorcerers after the apparent death of his wife Lenore (Hazel Court), is paid a visit by a foul-mouthed talking raven, claiming to be small-time wizard Adolphus Bedlo (Lorre). After some persuasion, Craven returns Bedlo to human form, reversing a spell placed by the evil Dr. Scarabus (Karloff), Craven's chief rival. After learning that a woman bearing a strong likeness to Lenore was seen in the Doctor's company, Craven accompanies Bedlo to Scarabus' castle, where the resulting battle of wills escalates into all-out magical warfare between the two embittered sorcerers. Corman and company relished the opportunity to poke fun at the staid Poe series, and the distinguished leads contribute to the spirit of fun by lampooning their own cinematic reputations. Fans of Jack Nicholson (who cut his acting teeth on this and other AIP productions) should enjoy his melodramatic performance here as Bedlo's straight-arrow son; Nicholson would later co-star with Karloff in Corman's The Terror, which was shot in two days using the same sets! ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi

The Masque of the Red Death
Though based on two Edgar Allen Poe stories, Masque of the Red Death relies more upon its mood and atmosphere than its story values for its success. During a devastating 12th-century plague called "The Red Death," the decadent, devil-worshipping Prince Prospero (Vincent Price) holds court over a bizarre masked ball. Already established as a sadistic torturer, Prospero insists that his "guests" indulge in numerous depraved games, most of them ending with someone's death. Only two innocents are permitted to escape intact, but they go through the torments of the Damned to do so. Hazel Court is on hand as a Satanist who brands her breast for Price's bored amusement, while Patrick Magee is horribly burned to death by "Hop Frog" (Skip Martin), Price's demonic flunkey. The literally diabolical performance of Vincent Price is superbly complemented throughout by the crimson-dominated cinematography of Nicholas Roeg. Unlike many of Roger Corman's economical Price/Poe projects, The Masque of the Red Death boasts a generous budget, which the canny filmmaker exploits to the utmost. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Tales of Terror
Roger Corman's Tales of Terror stars Vincent Price in a trio of short stories, liberally adapted by Richard Matheson from the works of Edgar Allan Poe. The film gets off to a rousing start with "Morella," in which Price's bitterness over the long-ago death of his wife results in tragedy for his estranged daughter Maggie Pierce. The last of the three terror-filled tales, "The Case of Mr. Valdemar," finds Price being put into a state of suspended animation by the diabolical Basil Rathbone; when Rathbone claims Price's bride Debra Paget for himself, Price briefly revives, only to melt before our eyes (this horrific image was reproduced on the film's advertising posters). The film's best story is its centerpiece, "The Black Cat," which weaves elements of "The Cask of Amontillado" into a mordantly funny revenge tale concerning Price, his bitter enemy Peter Lorre, and Lorre's two-timing wife Joyce Jameson. This is the one in which a besotted Lorre walls up Price and Jameson in his cellar, then endures a hellish hallucination of Vincent and Joyce playing a football game with his head! A mixed bag, to be sure, but Tales of Terror remains one of the best of Corman's Poe cycle (though it does lose a lot when not shown in its original Cinemascope form). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Barry Dennen
    Barry Dennen - Blount
  • Image coming soon
    Catherine Wilmer - Louise Peters
  • Jenny Wright
    Jenny Wright - Carol
  • Image coming soon
    John Garrie - Inspector Harper
  • Peter Halliday
    Peter Halliday - Psychiatrist

Overall Customer Rating

(1 Review)
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