HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Predator, The
Shirkers
Human Experiments
Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte
Occupation
Intruder
Beast
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
King of Thieves
Unfriended: Dark Web
Blood Fest
Visit to a Small Planet
12th Man, The
Laura
Hotel Artemis
Dogman
Zama
City on Fire
Bird Box
Nico, 1988
BlacKkKlansman
Panique
Happy New Year, Colin Burstead
Accident Man
Tomb Raider
Cold War
Roma
Gemini
Yardie
Let the Corpses Tan
   
 
Newest Articles
Strange Days 2: The Second Science Fiction Weirdness Wave
Strange Days: When Science Fiction Went Weird
Ha Ha Haaargh: Interview With Camp Death III in 2D! Director Matt Frame
Phone Freak: When a Stranger Calls on Blu-ray
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
The Big Grapple: Escape from New York and Its Influence
The Conquest of Everett: The Kenny Everett Video Show on DVD
Bout for the Count: Hammer's Dracula in the 1970s
Nopes from a Small Island: Mistreatment of American Stars in British Films
You Know, For Kids: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box
If He Were a Carpenter and It Was the 80s: The Fog, Prince of Darkness and They Live
Tee-Hee, It's 80s Sci-Fi Horror: Night of the Comet, The Stuff and Night of the Creeps
   
 
  Theatre of Blood Brush Up Your ShakespeareBuy this film here.
Year: 1973
Director: Douglas Hickox
Stars: Vincent Price, Diana Rigg, Ian Hendry, Milo O'Shea, Harry Andrews, Coral Browne, Robert Coote, Jack Hawkins, Michael Hordern, Arthur Lowe, Robert Morley, Dennis Price, Eric Sykes, Diana Dors, Madeline Smith
Genre: Horror, Comedy
Rating:  7 (from 5 votes)
Review: When a top London film critic is murdered in a way reminiscent of Julius Caesar's death in the Shakespeare play of the same name, it is clear that someone is starting to kill off the members of the Critics' Circle. Could the murderer be Edward Lionheart (Vincent Price), an actor humiliated by the Circle, who apparently committed suicide because they failed to recognise him? Could be...

Vincent Price found an ideal role in this tongue-in-cheek horror, scripted by Anthony Greville-Bell, as a ham actor who takes bloody revenge for all those terrible reviews he's suffered. Of course, Price was often accused of being over the top, but always in a way that was right for the film - he could tone it down when need be. Here, however, Price obviously relishes playing a flamboyant murderer who acts out killings from Shakespeare in inventive ways.

The guest stars who play the critics are having fun portraying the pompous writers, so much so that it's almost a shame to see them being killed off. Robert Coote is drowned in a barrel of wine from Richard III, Jack Hawkins murders wife Diana Dors in a fit of jealous rage inspired by Othello, and Robert Morley is force-fed his own "babies", i.e. his pet poodles, in a Titus Andronicus moment. All the killings are enhanced by the comic performances, with Price quoting the Bard at every opportunity while disguised as a doctor, a masseur, a camp hairdresser ("I'm Butch!") or a character from the play he's acting out to display Lionheart's range.

It becomes plain to see that the Critics' Circle have a point when they lampoon Lionheart's acting, but he keeps every review just the same, ensuring his anger stays at boiling point. It makes you ponder just why he needs the approval of people he hates, just to win an award from them, when he clearly has no respect for their opinions. It's Lionheart's overbearing vanity that is his major flaw - he has the greatest belief in his talents, and it makes him furious that no one else can agree with him.

To be honest, in spite of the imagination that goes into the murders, Theatre of Blood does end up being repetitive. Patterned after Price's Dr Phibes films, each setpiece benefits from witty lines, but the whole thing does go on too long to reach such a predictable conclusion (funny punchline, though). But never mind, there are details like Lionheart's meths-swigging down and out henchmen, or the swordfight in a gymnasium (complete with trampolines!) to enjoy, and Price is at his best, so I won't give him a bad review. And I like his attempt at a Scottish accent. Music by Michael J. Lewis.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5685 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Stately Wayne Manor
George White
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
Rashed Ali
   

 

Last Updated: