Theatre of Blood

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Comedy horror that really does give Vincent Price a chance to do his stuff, with deliciously absurd results. He plays a vilified classical actor driven to mount a series of elaborate Shakespearean charades in which eight drama critics will die: one is decapitated in his bed, another is forced to give a pound of flesh, yet another is drowned in a barrel of wine, and all are subjected beforehand to the manic posturing and rambling of the mad actor romping through a succession of tragic characters with grotesque brilliance. Price's Richard III is enough on its own to make the film worthwhile (as he snakes his way through a cobwebbed corridor in full royal gear, hissing 'Now is the Winter of our discontent...'); but unfortunately the overlong script eventually runs out of steam, and the ending is feeble.

Release details

Duration: 102 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Douglas Hickox
Screenwriter: Anthony Greville-Bell
Cast: Vincent Price
Diana Rigg
Ian Hendry
Harry Andrews
Coral Browne
Robert Coote
Jack Hawkins
Michael Hordern
Arthur Lowe
Robert Morley
Dennis Price
Diana Dors

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

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Jack Schroeder

Vincent Price named this as one of his favorite roles, and it's easy to see why. He gets to cut loose with unrestrained glee with some of Shakespeare's most famous lines. The cast is uniformly excellent, with what seems like all of the top British character actors of the period. The script is witty, although the plot becomes predictable. There is more blood than was generally allowed in 1972, but by today's standards this would be a PG-13 movie. An interesting idea would be to watch Theater Of Blood in sections. Perhaps after you've watched another movie, and would like to watch a few more scenes, but not another complete movie. Because of its structure, this one could be enjoyed a bite at a time, so to speak.