Movies (#SFWApro)

THEATRE OF BLOOD (1973) is a black comedy of a horror tale in which disgruntled Thespian Vincent Price employs Shakespearian death scenes to murder the critics (including Michael Horden, Jack Hawkins, Robert Morlen, Coral Browne—who subsequently married Price—and Ian Hendry) who denied him the year’s best actor award; Milo O’Shea is the cop on the case and Diana Rigg is Price’s dutiful daughter. A great deal of fun, though fairly gory (not really by current standards I guess). “And you will recall that the Duke of Clarence—and I would like you to try out for that part—was drowned in a butt of wine.”
Wrapping up my Vincent Price DVD set, MADHOUSE (1974) has Price playing more-or-less himself, a horror actor traumatized by the possibility that years ago he acted out a film role and murdered his fiancee; now he’s recreating the role for TV and the bodies are piling up again (it strikes me as close to a precursor of the slasher films of a few years later)… For a film co-starring Price with Peter Cushing and seventies horror star Robert Quarry, this is pretty weak. Complete Films of Vincent Price (which is excellent) says it may reflect scripting problems (Quarry says an earlier version was more of an All About Eve riff) or the producer butchering it (violence stays, conversations got cut as “boring”). It would double-bill well with Boris Karloff’s much-superior Targets, also from AIP, as that has Karloff more-or-less playing himself. “I don’t think he’s doing it consciously—he’s psychologically disturbed.”
Los Angelino Henry Jaglom returns to New York early for NEW YEAR’S DAY (1989) (which I Netflixed thinking it was the rom-com New Year’s Eve) only to discover his subtenants are still living in his old apartment, forcing him to spend the Eve rapping about love and death, dreams and realities and of course sex. The result, which Jaglom directed, reminds me a lot of My Dinner With Andre as the center of the film is talk, talk, talk. Unfortunately Andre (of which I’m not a huge fan) had more insight, less banality and a lot more plausibility—some of the soul-cleansing dialog here feels more like a therapy session. David Duchovny plays a womanizer. “Underneath my bullshit is a reality that can emerge when I’m engaging another human being.”

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  1. Pingback: Farewell, Dame Diana | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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