Well Halloween may have been and gone, but that doenst mean I cant bring this little slice of horror to the table! and WHAT a recording this was. we ended up talking for almost an hour before we even hit record and almost as soon as the credits had finished I was immediately dragged out of the house to move a sofa. Total. CHAOS. and it turned into one of my favourite recordings.
Special thanks to Triv of Trivial Theater for joining us on this months recording. if you enjoyed her presence you can find WAY more of her stuff by clicking here.
Perfection. thats all there is to it, I consider this to be one of my (if not my) favourite horror film ever made. I have nothing more to add to that other than. this halloween, go and watch “Theatre of Blood” total. underrated. CLASSIC.
Well! we’re in full motion on this whole “Month of Vincent Price” Malarkey and with only one more movie to go we arrive at the ever incorrigible “Abominable Dr. Phibes” a film that get so SO close to being my all time favourite Vincent Price film. I mean; it pretty much has everything. weird and over the top deaths, Price getting a real scenery chewing and somewhat cmapy role decent visual effects and an aesthetic thats quite literally timeless. I really REALLY like Phibes. but it’s just…not quite perfect for me.
I feel like a lot of this film gets bogged down in the policing segments, which feel a little too close to cop TV shows in the UK from the 1960’s. While it has all this weird and zany good stuff going on, I do feel in places it is missing that “Oomph” y’know? that zeal. that fire that takes a movie from just being really good to something that stands head and shoulders above it’s peers. is this film Iconic? absolutely, how do you forget a film featuring a killer frog mask, a clockwork orchestra and Anton Phibes himself!? but is it the best Vincent Price film? to me? no. it’s up there. but I think i’d prefer “The Tingler” and of course…theres our final film in this series to cover. which undoubtedly very much IS my all time favourite Vincent Price film.
As an aside, I havent seen “Phibes Rises Again” partly because, I want to save some new Price for days to come. I know right now, if I wanted to, I could freebase ALL of Vincents work over a weekend. but then; what would I have to look forward to in future? So…for now it sits on my shelf sealed and ready to be spun when I need a pick me up that only our Vincent could provide.
I’ve gotta be honest, I dont gel with the Corman/Price films as much as i’d like to. In principle, their collaborative works should have everything i’d want in a movie. Campy Macarbre, stunning direction and visuals, interesting and engaging scripts that quite often use the original source material as a launching pad rather than a dogmatically rigid “Sacred text” that must be abided to. and Vincent Price AND! for even more bang for your buck, Peter Lorre. Whats not to like!?
Well; this is the question I ask myself. I just…dunno. I kind of feel like the end result of mixing such amazing ingrediants together should be something quite mindblowing. but I just end up feeling a bit underwhelmed. Now I cant say that for EVERY Price/Corman film. I really enjoyed “The Pit and the Pendulum” and I also like “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “The Masque of the Red Death”. But I havent seen ALL of their works together and most of the ones I have seen (The Raven, Tales of Terror, The Haunted Palace) just…dont do much if anything for me.
Thats not to say they dont have decent moments, or even just scenes that are entertaining. and thats DEFINITELY not to say the quality isnt there, because it very much is. I just find myself kind of sighing and clock watching with some of these films when I should be on the edge of my seat praying the films nowhere near over. I think, to me at least, I just feel like the films dont deliver on their pitch. Which made choosing which film of the Corman/Price/Poe series quite difficult. it was a literal coin toss that decided whether to talk about this movie or “Fall of the House of Usher” and on reflection. I think I chose the right movie. I prefer “Fall” of these two. but this film I think has infinitely more to talk about and is a MUCH more visually interesting treat.
As we continue on with our look at the life and times of Vincent Price we arrive at this…MASTERPIECE. of cinema. Im not kidding when I say “The Tingler” is probably one of my favourite films thats widely classed as a “B-movie” I personally dont really consider it as such, as a “B-movie” somehow instills the sense that the quality is somehow lesser than an “A-movie” and watching “The Tingler” and contrasting it against GENUINE “B-movies” of the time it’s easy to see that this thing is FAR more advanced than a B-movie. this isnt “Robot Monster” level trash, this isnt “The Mad Monster” level Schlock. Is it campy? absolutley. but it’s directed more than amicably and the cine throughout is decent with some nice ideas that are well implemented.
And while some of the practical effects ultimately do let this one down a little bit, its not bad enough that I could penalise this picture. it’s just a damn fun, slightly silly, quite well made Columbia picture that I feel gets lumped in with a bad crowd. So what I’ll say here is, if you’ve never seen “The Tingler”, go and watch “The Tingler”. I think it’s arguably William Castles best movie, and probably my 2nd ever favourite Vincent Price role.
I really wish that this thing would get a re-release in cinemas with percepto in tact. what I wouldnt give for a night of Castle films with the gimmicks put back in…but still, one day my dream may come true. for now though, “The Tingler!” a film that, not too long ago got a VERY nice bluray restoration and is currently available on Google TV and Amazon Prime. if your looking for a halloween movie to rock your world this year. you my friends have found it.
So this halloween marks my 5th anniversairy of doing halloween specials and literally ever since my 2nd set of reviews i’ve REALLY wanted to cover the films of Vincent Price. BUT! I decided it was probably best to save such a series to films to cover until a milestone, something to help really push the boat out and celebrate with. and so! we’re here! and kicking things off we have 1953’s “House of Wax” which is a more than exemplary watch that more and more people seem to be finding each year.
I really enjoyed this one and equally I do have a bit of a soft spot for the remake which, while not having the “class” and attention to detail that this movie has, is enjoyable in a grindhouse and exploitationey way. they’re very different films, but I enjoy them both in spite of their diversity.
Of course, with it being such a big special occasion I realised I couldnt do this one alone! and so I drafted in help from my good buddy Chris over at Channel 83 to help me really give this film the love it deserves! and I highly recommend checking Chris’s work out! you can get to his site here and im sure you’ll find plenty to love 🙂
Anyway! pop a black cat on your shoulder, eat a pumpkin and strap yourself in for the start of our month on Vincent Price!