Theater of Blood (1973)

As we start off the final week of the EYG Halloween Horror Bingefest, we have a movie that I had never heard of before and only found out about thanks to the podcast Critically Acclaimed, featuring critics William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold.

Theater of Blood starred the iconic horror actor of the 1950s-1970s, Vincent Price is a roll that he is clearly having a blast playing.

After losing out on a prestigious acting award, Shakespearean stage actor Edward Lionheart (Vincent Price) threw himself from a balcony into the river Thames in front of the group of self-important critics who had blasted his work in print and whom he blamed for costing him the award.

However, Lionheart did not die from his fall. Instead, he was rescued and saved by a group of vagrants and he spent two years healing.

When he was ready, he began to slay the critics, literally, in the same manner in which Shakespeare had killed some of his characters. It comes down to facing off with Peregrine Devlin (Ian Hendry), the critic who presented the actual award.

This is a horror/comedy and it delivers. Vincent Price is so over-the-top that he fits this perfectly. He provides his Shakespearean lines with gusto of an actor obsessed with the Bard. He could have been a perfect Batman villain as much of Lionheart’s story felt like a supervillain origin.

The camp factor on this is high, and very enjoyable. The British film directed by Douglas Hickox, included a large variety of well-known British actors. Some of these actors were Sir Michael Hordern, Coral Browne, Dennis Price, Jack Hawkins, Robert Morley, and Arthur Lowe.

Diana Riggs is also in the cast, giving one of her favorite performances as Lionheart’s daughter Edwina.

I suppose since I loved this, I’m safe from any retribution.

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