The Masque of the Red Death

The Masque of the Red Death ★★★★½

It's impossible not to see this as the culmination of Corman/Price's work together; it's properly distinguished and vivid. Working from several different Poe stories, this feels the most complete of them all. Equal parts Fellini, Bergman, and Poe, this one stands out from the pack. Strikingly shot by a young Nicolas Roeg, Corman's complete control over the production is felt in every frame. This is assured, masterful filmmaking. Vincent Price, while at the center of the story, is used more sparingly than in previous collaborations, which, coupled with a nuanced, truly sinister role, make this one of his best creations. Additionally, Patrick Magee turns in a memorable performance as a loathsome piece of shit. Add to that a script that was tinkered on by both Robert Towne and Charles Beaumont, and you've got something special.

A feast designed to be mulled over, revisited, and lived in.

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