Friday, October 01, 2010
31 Days of Halloween - Day 1 - Movie 1
It's been a while since I've seen Masque of the Red Death (1964) starring Vincent Price as the cruel and corrupt Satan worshiper, Prince Prospero who secures his wealthy "friends" in his castle to wait out the plague of the red death which is sweeping the land outside, spending their time within the castle in an endless rite of debauchery. Like the other Roger Corman movies based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe this one takes quite a bit of liberties from the source material, which also includes "Hop Frog." The film has some really nice visuals, and uses the sets and color to good effect. Price is pretty sinister, but the movie, overall is a bit dull. There's quite a bit of padding and some strange choices in presenting a couple of scenes, including the climax as almost modern dance numbers.
There's also a very strange casting decision for Hopfrog's love, fellow dwarf who dances in the court. She's played by a child actor with an adult's voice dubbed over her. In her initial scene, she's silent, and it's not made clear that she's actually meant to be a dwarf and not a child, making Patrick Magee's lecherous remarks about her even more disturbing. Until she spoke, I just thought this was further license taken with the source material, and that she was meant to be a child.
The ending seems a bit silly as well with its rainbow legion of death which reminded me of some of the sillier superhero comics from the 1950s and 1960s.