BASED ON THE short story by Edgar Allen Poe and directed by B-Movie legend Roger Corman, this macabre story centres around a prince who lords it up whilst sheltering from the plague-ridden scenes that envelop the town around him.
He’s more than happy to delve into his riches and ignore the plight of others.
In fact he relishes in it and goes to great strengths to terrorize the peasantry.
Playing the role of the villainous tyrant Prospero is another horror icon, Vincent Price who becomes embroiled in a satanic cult and despite being known for his hammy antics, in this role his very nature is well suited to the character and he appears to be incredibly comfortable in his skin.
Corman was also evidently a huge fan of Poe’s work, this movie being the seventh of eight series, which included The Pit and the Pendulum and The Raven. The Masque of the Red Death is definitely the stronger of these titles, with Corman hitting all the right notes and belying the negative image that has been depicted upon him by critics.
In this movie he has a great lead in Price and plays with the melodrama and nuances with great style and substance and is a fine example of a director at the height of his craft.
– Paul Farrell