Watched: October 19 2019
Director: Roger Corman
Starring: Vincent Price, Hazel Court, Jane Asher, David Weston, Patrick Magee (double feature night with Seance – we had a Magevening!), Nigel Green, Skip Martin
Runtime: 1h 29min
An old woman is given a rose by a red-cloaked figure and all hell breaks loose.
Prince Prospero (Price) is a villain and a tyrant. And a satanist. After the Red Death appears in the village providing for his castle, he burns it to the ground with the exception of three villagers. Francesca (Asher), her father Ludovico (Green) and her betrothed Gino (Weston) are taken to the castle to provide entertainment.
Prospero throws decadent parties for his rich friends to distract from the plague ravaging the outside world. He enjoys humiliating and mocking his guests, but as they seem to have little in the way of dignity, they tend not to mind.
The prince is into some dark shit though, and his new goal quickly becomes to turn the Christian Francesca to his own faith. His wife (?) Juliana (Court) senses competition and decides to go all in with the whole Satan-thing to please her man. But will their close, personal relationship with the Devil save them from the looming threat outside?
Another Poe, Price and Corman collaboration, and we’re living for it. Vincent Price is his usual fabulous self, and we loved the colours, the clothes, the sets and the story.
The start was almost Bergmany with Death hanging around playing cards, and in the end it comes full circle with a bunch of colour-coded Deaths (Illnesses? Plagues?) marching away in a conga line of doom.
An excellent Halloween movie and wonderful entertainment all around, The Masque of the Red Death is everything you would expect and more. Love, love, love this.
What we learned: Don’t sell your soul to Satan over a guy. Do it for yourself!
Next time: The Naked Kiss (1964)