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Author Topic: Theatre of Blood (Douglas Hickox, 1973)  (Read 15523 times)

Jonny

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Theatre of Blood (Douglas Hickox, 1973)
« on: 18 Sep 2007 - 10:50 »




A first rate gem of a move and more than likely my favorite horror film starring the late, great Vincent Price. I first saw this on video after my Aunt and Uncle recorded it off air in the early 80's, I was staying over at their place and they'd recorded it specially for me knowing I loved horror movies. I think I've owned a copy in some shape or form ever since.

It's almost like one of the Amicus portmanteau films, in that it's very episodic, making it very easy to watch and is never boring. Price is near perfect as Edward Lionheart and Diana Rigg as his daughter Edwina is sheer class and I believe she's gone on record as saying that she considers this the best film she did.

The cast is chock full of the 70's British acting fraternity with the likes of Robert Morley, Ian Hendry, Jack Hawkins, Denis Price, Diana Dors, Eric Sykes, Arthur Lowe, Madeline Smith and many more all putting in a fine show and truly making this a quintessential British horror film of the 70's.

I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in my thoughts, anyone care to jump in and wax lyrical about this film?

Anyone have a favorite death? I'm particularly fond of the Arthur Lowe decapitation scene  :'(
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Inspector Tanzi

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Re: Theatre of Blood (Douglas Hickox, 1973)
« Reply #1 on: 18 Sep 2007 - 11:11 »

THEATRE OF BLOOD is definately my favourite Price film.

As for favourite deaths i think Robert Morley getting fed his poodles is a classic ::)
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Paul

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Re: Theatre of Blood (Douglas Hickox, 1973)
« Reply #2 on: 18 Sep 2007 - 11:14 »

This is such a great film, and a truly underrated gem of British horror. It really should be afforded more respect, as should its director, the brilliant Douglas Hickox.

Favourite death? They're all very elaborate and memorable, but the one that makes me chuckle, just thinking about it is the one in which a very camp Robert Morley is forced to eat his beloved dogs.

EDIT: Looks like Tanzi beat me to the punch on that one!
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Jonny

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Re: Theatre of Blood (Douglas Hickox, 1973)
« Reply #3 on: 18 Sep 2007 - 11:24 »

The Robert Morley death's a good one, love Vincent as the French chef  ::)

What always makes me laugh about the Arthur Lowe one is his wife drugged in bed next to him who occasionally comes round, talking in her sleep complaining about his snoring. Vincent has to take a break from sawing off Lowe's head to drug her again.  :-\
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Paul

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Re: Theatre of Blood (Douglas Hickox, 1973)
« Reply #4 on: 18 Sep 2007 - 11:27 »

The Robert Morley death's a good one, love Vincent as the French chef  ::)

What always makes me laugh about the Arthur Lowe one is his wife drugged in bed next to him who occasionally comes round, talking in her sleep complaining about his snoring. Vincent has to take a break from sawing off Lowe's head to drug her again.  :-\

Yeah, that's an amusing scene. I think the reason why theis flick doesn't have the props it deserves is because its humour is jet black and teeters on the edge of poor taste. So with that in mind, I can see why some people may have an issue with it.

Are you a fan of the PHIBES films, Jonny? They're similar to THEATRE OF BLOOD, in the respect that each of the murders form the centre of an elaborate set-piece. I like the PHIBES films but think THEATRE OF BLOOD is vastly superior.
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Jonny

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Re: Theatre of Blood (Douglas Hickox, 1973)
« Reply #5 on: 18 Sep 2007 - 11:37 »

Are you a fan of the PHIBES films, Jonny? They're similar to THEATRE OF BLOOD, in the respect that each of the murders form the centre of an elaborate set-piece. I like the PHIBES films but think THEATRE OF BLOOD is vastly superior.

Yeah, big fan of the 'Phibes' films and definitely agree that they are similar in tone though with 'Theatre of Blood' being the better film by far.

Also agree with you on the point about the humour being very dark and there's also some quite nasty scenes in it, Michael Horden being slashed and stabbed by the tramps being an example. Lionheart is a very bitter and twisted bastard in this and really does seem to want inflict as much pain on his 'critics' as possible.
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Paul

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Re: Theatre of Blood (Douglas Hickox, 1973)
« Reply #6 on: 18 Sep 2007 - 11:45 »

Are you a fan of the PHIBES films, Jonny? They're similar to THEATRE OF BLOOD, in the respect that each of the murders form the centre of an elaborate set-piece. I like the PHIBES films but think THEATRE OF BLOOD is vastly superior.

Yeah, big fan of the 'Phibes' films and definitely agree that they are similar in tone though with 'Theatre of Blood' being the better film by far.

Also agree with you on the point about the humour being very dark and there's also some quite nasty scenes in it, Michael Horden being slashed and stabbed by the tramps being an example. Lionheart is a very bitter and twisted bastard in this and really does seem to want inflict as much pain on his 'critics' as possible.

I think the whole Lionheart versus the critics aspect is what really elevates THEATRE OF BLOOD over the PHIBES films and makes the film work on a completely different level. How many artists have wanted to take a swipe at a critic? How many have fantasised about killing someone who's dragged their name through the mud? It's genius and Vincent Price has never been better, IMO.
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Inspector Tanzi

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Re: Theatre of Blood (Douglas Hickox, 1973)
« Reply #7 on: 18 Sep 2007 - 16:13 »

The Robert Morley death's a good one, love Vincent as the French chef  ::)

What always makes me laugh about the Arthur Lowe one is his wife drugged in bed next to him who occasionally comes round, talking in her sleep complaining about his snoring. Vincent has to take a break from sawing off Lowe's head to drug her again.  :-\
Should have killed her aswell, she was Mrs.Marple and i hate that fucking programme, the blue Fiesta-driving piece of shit™ used to go on about it and that made me hate it even more.

PAUL: put a trademark in there for me please i can't do it :D

I wonder if someone will try pulling me up, Paul will know what i've done on purpouse ::)
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Paul

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Re: Theatre of Blood (Douglas Hickox, 1973)
« Reply #8 on: 18 Sep 2007 - 16:15 »

The ™ has now been added. Please note the uppercase 'F' for Fiesta.  :-*

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Inspector Tanzi

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Re: Theatre of Blood (Douglas Hickox, 1973)
« Reply #9 on: 18 Sep 2007 - 16:23 »

Vincent Price has some great disguises in this film.

Check out his groovy afro!

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Paul

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Re: Theatre of Blood (Douglas Hickox, 1973)
« Reply #10 on: 18 Sep 2007 - 16:25 »

the disguise a re a real hoot, aren't they. i still can't shake the image of Diana Rigg with a moustache out of my head, neither...
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Jonny

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Re: Theatre of Blood (Douglas Hickox, 1973)
« Reply #11 on: 18 Sep 2007 - 16:43 »

Vincent Price has some great disguises in this film.

Check out his groovy afro!



The woman he's killing in that scene is Coral Browne, Vincent was knocking her off during filming and married her shortly after.

There's some really great pictures of her and Vincent at her website...

Coral Browne
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IL COMMISSARIO

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Re: Theatre of Blood (Douglas Hickox, 1973)
« Reply #12 on: 18 Sep 2007 - 16:49 »

Great, great movie all around. Saw this on Shock Theater around 10 years old. Loved it ever since. Originally there was to be a third Phibes movie entitled THE BRIDES OF PHIBES and this film was done instead but I like it just a tad better than those even though the PHIBES films had darkly humorous nods to the Bond films with his gadgets of death, here, the set pieces are similarly outlandish but more in the grand guinol sense. I also love how this film is somewhat autobiographical of Price in that everyone in the film considers Lionheart a ham much like critics thought of Price in real life.

Again, great movie and one I can watch over and over and never get tired of. If I were to pick a favorite it would be a tie between this and THE RAVEN (1963). I absolutely love that one and have seen both of these over a dozen times. There should be a VP appreciation thread.
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MarcMorris

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Re: Theatre of Blood (Douglas Hickox, 1973)
« Reply #13 on: 18 Sep 2007 - 17:20 »

The scenes in the hairdressers were filmed in Knightsbride at a friend of mine's dad's shop he once ran.

And then there are the shots across Hammersmith Bridge.
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Jonny

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Re: Theatre of Blood (Douglas Hickox, 1973)
« Reply #14 on: 18 Sep 2007 - 17:29 »

The scenes in the hairdressers were filmed in Knightsbride at a friend of mine's dad's shop he once ran.

And then there are the shots across Hammersmith Bridge.

This is Hammersmith bridge isn't it Marc? Right next to the Riverside Cinema where the Nightmare USA fest was earlier this year?

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