Saturday, October 24, 2009


This Vincent Price vehicle is closely modeled after his popular THEATER OF BLOOD from a year earlier, with a dash of flavoring from his Dr. Phibes movies tossed in. Price plays a horror movie actor who announces, at a party honoring his latest movie featuring his popular character Dr. Death, that he's engaged to marry a busty young blonde. Porn producer Robert Quarry tells Price that the woman used to be a porn star. In a fit of anger, Price goes looking for her and finds her decapitated. He's cleared of guilt in her murder, but goes into seclusion for years until screenwriter Peter Cushing talks him into reprising his Dr. Death role for a TV series. Things get complicated when 1) it turns out that Quarry, gone legit, is producing the series, and 2) someone starts killing young actresses on the set in ways that duplicate killings from the Dr. Death films. It's pretty obvious that Price is not the killer, but who is? Cushing? Quarry? A loony disfigured actress (Adrienne Corri) from Price's past who is now married to Cushing? A young network flack (Natasha Pyne) who's always buzzing around? This was the last movie Price made with American International, and it provides a nice send-off, being played rather tongue-in-cheek, though not as campily as the Phibes movies, and it includes clips from several of his AIP Poe films. Cushing is wasted, but Quarry and Corri are fine. Some plot points are rather loosely handled, but there are some nice visual touches, and, though most critics don't care for this movie, I found it almost as fun as PHIBES and BLOOD. [DVD]

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