Thursday, November 26, 2009

Theatre of Blood Movie Review 74

This is one of my favourite horror movies. It is a British horror movie and it stars horror great Vincent Price and Avengers babe Diana Rigg. This movie was released in 1973 and was directed by Douglas Hickox. It is comedic in some ways, but it is Price's movie all the way.

Edward Lionheart(Price) is a Shakespearean actor who rates himself very highly. He is slammed by a group of critics who also deny him an award that he craves. He goes mad and he ends up trying to kill himself. His daughter, Edwina (Diana Rigg) is heartbroken. We cut to some time later and there is a killer in London. The killer seems set on striking down the circle of critics who denied him his award and his glory. The killer disposes of them in the manner of Shakespeare's plays. Firstly, a critic is murdered by a group of tramps in a manner similar to the death of Julius Caesar. Another critic is stabbed with a spear and dragged along by a horse.

The group of critics drop one by one and we see that before they are killed, they have been met by Lionheart in costume or disguise. These critics aren't very nice people in a lot of cases and we feel sorry for them,but we also can understand that they are not blameless. Lionheart becomes more maniacal as the killings continue and a police inspector Boot(Milo O' Shea) investigates. One of the critics, Mr. Devlin(Ian Hendry) investigates too. They track down Edwina and ask her if she knows about her father, but she doesn't seem to. What the police don't know is that Edwina is working with her father to kill all of the critics. She believes that her father was robbed of the glory he so rightly deserved and that he is right in getting his revenge on those who made him try and kill himself.

Devlin is saved for last and he is kidnapped by Lionheart and his group of tramps. We find out that the tramps saved Lionheart's life and they nursed him back to health. He has used them for his own gain and he has included them in his game of murder. He has a device set up for Devlin in which there are two red hot pokers on a machine,which will move closer to Devlin and blind him if he will not take back what he said about Lionheart. Devlin refuses and Lionheart sets the device. Luckily, the cops come in time and they save Devlin from blindness. Lionheart tries to flee by setting fire to the theatre where he held Devlin, but the tramps turn on him and his daughter. Edwina is killed and Lionheart is inconsolable. He goes up to the roof and he gives his final performance as the roof falls in on top of him and he falls to his grisly death.

It is hard to say who is the real victim in this movie. Lionheart was not an evil man before his career was taken away from him and we see that the critics are not so nice either. It is hard not to feel sympathy for Lionheart as he was crazed by the injustice of it all. Price was very good in this movie and I like this more than any of his other movies I would have to say. I am giving this one a 9/10.


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