Wednesday, October 04, 2006

31 Days of Halloween - Day 4 Movie

I've wanted to see "Madhouse" (1974) for a long, long time. Even though I finally got my hands on it, I didn't fit it into my Halloween viewing last year. I even managed to resist the impulse to watch it between then and now, and "why?" I ask you? While nowhere near as bad as the unwatchable "Scream and Scream Again," this movie starring Vincent Price, Peter Cushing, and Robert Quarry, doesn't have much to recommend it. Price plays horror movie actor, Paul Toombes, who made his name in a series of movies in which he played a character called Dr. Death. Now, in real life, someone dressed as Dr. Death is killing people associated with Toombes, using murder gimmicks taken from the Dr. Death movies (actually A.I.P. Price movies from the previous decade). Is it a mentally unbalanced Toombes, or is it someone else? The payoff to this mystery is unsatisfying, and there are many convoluted red herrings along the way that don't build to anything. There is a twist ending on top of all of this, but it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. If you've seen "House of Wax," "Theatre of Blood," or the Dr. Phibes movie, then this movie will be too, too familiar. In fact, you're better off with any of those choices, or any other Vincent Price movie (except "Scream and Scream Again," of course) than watching this one.

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