HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Halloween Kills
Cicada
Sun Shines Bright, The
Last Thing Mary Saw, The
Comets
Herself
Mon Oncle d'Amerique
Wild Strawberries
Runner, The
Don't Look Up
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Eternals
Forever Purge, The
Memoria
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Legend of La Llorona, The
Japon
Glasshouse
Perdita Durango
Commando, The
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Boiling Point
Malignant
Deadly Games
Ailey
Voyeurs, The
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
In the Earth
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hotel Poseidon
Zola
No Time to Die
Klaus
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Candyman
Power of the Dog, The
StageFright
Voyage of Time: An IMAX Documentary
Suicide Squad, The
One Night in Miami...
   
 
Newest Articles
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
   
 
  Madhouse Lost In The Role
Year: 1974
Director: Jim Clark
Stars: Vincent Price, Peter Cushing, Robert Quarry, Adrienne Corri, Natasha Pyne, Michael Parkinson, Linda Hayden, Barry Dennen, Ellis Dayle, Catherine Wilmer, John Garrie, Ian Thompson, Jenny Lee Wright, Julie Crosthwaite, Peter Halliday
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: About ten years ago, actor Paul Toombes (Vincent Price) was master of all he surveyed in the field of horror movies, recognised across the globe as the finest exponent in the genre, especially as his famed Doctor Death character. However, one New Year's Eve at a party round at his mansion it all went horribly wrong in real life for him, as after he showed a film of his to the guests, he announced his engagement to Ellen (Julie Crosthwaite). Mere minutes later, producer Oliver Quayle (Robert Quarry) approached the couple and informed Paul that he had given Ellen her big break - in pornography...

Which would be bad enough, but after losing his temper Toombes visits Ellen in her room to apologise, only to discover someone has cut her head off. Since then the question remained: did he do this dastardly deed, or was someone out to get her? Or him? This opening, full of bitchiness and sour humour, set the tone for Madhouse, with the location of the title apparently referring to the world of moviemaking, making this yet another film not so much to have mixed feelings about the the profession but to actively despise it. It might have been significant that this was one of Price's last entries in the horror cycle which made his name.

He made others, but none too many, as if he had been spent by his association with the genre given his age was catching up with him, which offered Madhouse perhaps more praise from Price's fans than it otherwise would have. Although it was amusing to watch him go through his paces here, you couldn't in all honesty observe this was one of his career highlights, even if he got to act alongside Peter Cushing in frankly too few scenes, with Cushing playing the screenwriter who invented the Doctor Death character (Price's makeup is really fun; his pink pajamas maybe not so great). In a film full of in-jokes, one of the best was seeing Cushing at a fancy dress party in Dracula guise: oddly jarring, but interesting all the same.

Anyway, after ten years away from the screen thanks to a nervous breakdown understandably brought on by his shock, and nobody arrested for the murder, Toombes agrees to return as his most famous character for a TV series under the guidance of Quayle, who has made a name for himself in more respectable fare by this point. Although Toombes can't be doing with the publicity - and too-ardent fan Linda Hayden who trails around after him - he feels this will be cathartic for him, but wouldn't you know it? Once work begins the killings begin too, as the supporting cast are cut down in their collective prime by a death-masked maniac, leaving us wondering who the culprit could be.

The problem with that was even when the film was over, there had been so many red herrings you still were not very clear on what had happened, with conundrums such as why was one victim replaced with an exact replica dummy, apparently for no other reason than to pay tribute to Price's House of Wax? That was not the only loose end in a screenplay which seemed to have been still in the writing stages when shooting had started, or else how would you explain the murderer's identity being so arbirtrary? A British co-production between Amicus and A.I.P., this should really have brought the best of both sides of the Atlantic's traditions in horror together, but actually landed us with a mishmash of setpieces a la Dr Phibes - essentially how many different methods of dispatch could they think up - combined with a curiously tetchy regard to showbiz. Meg Ryan should be warned if she wanted to watch this, Michael Parkinson appeared as himself, interviewing Toombes on TV. Music by Douglas Gamley.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2453 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: