The countdown of horror comedies continues with…

Vincent Price is back for more stylish revenge in this clever variation on the Dr. Phibes format, there as a Shakespearean actor bent on getting even with the critics who made his career an exercise in bitter frustration. The critics are played by a who’s who of great British character actors, all dispatched in the nastiest methods the Bard could devise – most memorably Robert Morley, forced to go all Titus Andronicus on his beloved pet poodles.

Deathless Prose:

“Where could my doggies have got to?”

Happy Halloween. And bon appetite.

October 31, 2011 · Posted in Legends  

The countdown of horror comedies continues with…

(1971, Robert Fuest)

Whimsically stylish and darkly humorous, this 10 plagues of Egypt-meet-Ten Little Indians revenge fantasy gives Vincent Price one of the roles of a lifetime as an insane tragic genius bent on getting even with a group of doctors whose only crime was their failure to work a miracle…but watching him glide through his paces as a clockwork angel of death is so much fun that no one’s likely to notice how pointless the whole exercise is. The whole thing is a triumph of campy production design, dominated by Price in a masterful silent movie performance, his face immobilized by grotesque makeup while his burning eyes and graceful gestures do all the emoting against a pre-recorded background of juicy over-the-top villain monologues.

Deathless Prose:

“There’s some very strange people practicing medicine these days.”

October 24, 2011 · Posted in Legends  

Halloween’s on its way, and so are the usual marathons of vampires, stitched-together corpses and overachieving serial killers. For those who can’t take their gore seriously, check back daily for a countdown (in no particular order) of some of the deliberately funniest, drollest or just plain goofiest horror flicks of our acquaintance – comedies that combine laughs with a genuinely scary moment or two.

(1963, Roger Corman)

Yes, a lot of the comedy’s strained, and young romantic lead Jack Nicholson is years away from his glory days, but the film’s powerhouse trio of horror vets (Boris Karloff, Vincent Price and Peter Lorre) carry the day with tongues firmly in cheek. There are even a couple of chilling moments amidst all the silliness, and – best of all – Lorre gets to strut his stuff as a seedy magician who appears for a good chunk of the film in a preposterous bird suit.

Deathless Prose:

“Milk. How vomitable.”

October 17, 2011 · Posted in Legends