Friday, May 27, 2011

My Top 10 Favorite Vincent Price Movies

 Today In case you didn't know would be the great Vincent Prices 100th Birthday.The Vincentennial as many have called it. So in honor of the worlds greatest actor of all time, I have narrowed down my top 10 all time Favorite Vincent Price movie`s. When I made this list I must say it was very difficult because there are just so many good movie`s of his and then there are still a few of his movie`s I have yet to get my hands on such as Cry Of The Banshee and the 1962 version of Tower Of London. Well with that all aside here are my current top 10 favorite Vincent Price Movie`s starting at number ten:

10.THE RAVEN: This was another great Roger Corman Comedy/Horror movie. That not exaggerating one bit had me head over heels laughing my head off at all the wonderful, original, and witty humor that was thrown into this movie. Not only that but its a truly great unique adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe`s  The Raven. I mean who knew that Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Jack Nicholson, and Boris Karloff could be so funny together! 


9. THE FLY (1958): This movie really surprised me the first time I watched it, because unlike what I had expected Vincent Price does not actually play The Fly, instead he is the Fly`s brother. But trust me this does not make the movie any less awesome! Price still puts on a amazing performance, in a movie that is just a true piece of art in the whole Monster and Mad Scientist subgenre.

8.The Abominable Doctor Phibes (1971): When I saw this for the very first time I kid you not, it Scared the living crap out of me! Prices performance in this movie is stellar and by far his best movie from the 70s that I`ve seen. But also just the way he goes about killing all these people for revenge was just flat out frightening! I guarantee you this is a movie you will probably never forget. 

7. The Pit and The Pendulum (1961): I watched this  Phenomenal movie from beginning to end completely mesmerized at its pure greatest. Vincent Prices performance is just demented yet at the same time strangely sympathetic. Prices performance mixed with the amazing way it was directed makes this movie a complete masterpiece.

6. TALES OF TERROR (1962): Even though i`m not crazy about the whole "Anthology" subgenre, I really loved this one. Especially how it adapted one of my favourite Edgar Allan Poe story`s  The Cask Of Amontillado and combined its story line with another great Poe story The Black Cat which despite some scepticism turned out crazy good! Though most likely that's because both story`s have very similar themes. Anyways it adapted the story perfectly with Vincent Price and Peter Lorre playing the main roles. Then the other segments in this movie aren`t bad either like the Third segment was an adaptation of Poe`s story The Facts In The Case Of M.Valdemar which had Price star as Valdemar and then it had great Basil Rathbone costar in it.

5. THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH (1964): Without a doubt one of my favourite Edgar Allan Poe based movie`s of all time!  It not only perfectly adapts Masque Of The Red Death onto the screen but geniusly incorporates Poes demented story Hop-Frog into the movie, and it just really works well with the whole movie, in fact I would say it made the movie even better. Then Prices performance, the gloomy yet bright colours, and the whole satirical view of  human desperation make it a perfect Poe based movie, as well as one of Prices best films of all time.

4. THE LAST MAN ON EARTH (1960): I remember watched this movie for the first time on a rather big screen at my aunt and uncles house late at night and I was just truly blown away by it. This movie brings just an appropriate, perfect creepy atmosphere for a movie like this. Then Price puts so much sympathy and emotion into his role that it makes it something completely on its own.(this movie is also superior in ever way to that crappy 07 big budget remake "I Am Legend")

3. House Of Wax (1953): Now This movie is quite famous for a variety of reasons such as it officially established Price as one of the new Icons of Horror;a title previously worn by the likes of Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi. And then just the way the movie presents itself in such ways as its brilliant use of  Make Up, its one of a kind Art Direction, and then the way its written just make it a fabulous highly impacting movie.

2. WITCHFINDER GENERAL (1968): No matter how many times I watch this movie it never gets old or loses its touch. Also i`ll never forget the first time I watched this late one night when I was home alone and how I was just absolutely taken aback by the stunning performances, the terrifying story, and the pure horror atmosphere this movie had. Prices character in this movie is a bit different in this movie because in this he is just completely evil, without any sympathetic traits what so ever, just pure frightening evil. 
(then the movies title was changed to The Conqueror Worm just to cash off the popular Poe based movies, even though this movie has nothing to do with the poem by Edgar Allan Poe)

1. HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL (1959): Yes, this movie by far is my most favourite and beloved Vincent Price movie all time! For a variety of reasons though, first off it was my very first horror movie of Vincent Prices that i`d ever seen and trust me it left a HUGE impact and influence on me. Second the performance Price puts on is just classic, he truly just makes his character Fredrick Loren a all around sympathetic, sinister, and yet  frightening character like no one else could ever do.Finally the third reason toward my love foe this movie is because of the movies ending. It just had an awesome, unpredictable, and classic ending that could not have been better! Though overall this movie is just an one of a kind, unforgettable horror film.

 There you have it, my current top 10 all time favorite Vincent Price movie`s, which I made in honour of this amazing actors 100th Birthday.  

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Invisible Man Returns (1940)

 Genre: Horror, Revenge

 Source: Rental, Netflix

 Grade: A-

   I have to say I am absolutely a HUGE fan of the original novel The Invisible Man by H.G Wells, and the original movie made by James Whale and starring Claude Rains as The Invisible Man, as well as being one of my favourite charecters in Alan Moore`s comic book The League Of Extraordinary Gentleman. But as for this squeal, I must say I very much enjoyed it but it still just wasn`t as amazing as I had hoped for. Still a great squeal as far as Horror movie squeals go. 

   The story picks up fairly quickly and despite being kinda long for this particular type of movie it had a very quick engaging pace. A basic synopsis of this movie would be the brother of the original Invisible Man replicates his experiments in becoming invisible.But he tests it on a innocent Death Row inmate, in an effort to not only help the man escape an unfair death but test his experiment, which ended up being successful. The only problem is he can`t figure out how to keep him from going insane from the side effects of the being invisible(an example of this would be what happened to Claude Rains in the original one, he went psychotic!). So now not only does this new Invisible Man  have to stay one step ahead of the police but he has to fight time before he is driven completely insane AND find out who framed him for the murder of his brother.

  The film also had a great cast with such actors as my favourite actor of all time Vincent Price playing the Invisible Man and Cedric Hardwicke as the movie`s antagonist, who puts in one of his finest performances in this movie, if I don`t say so myself. Now about Vincent Price this is not his first horror movie role like many people on the Internet claim it is, NO he had a supporting role in the Horror movie Tower Of London a year earlier. This is just his first horror movie to have a staring role in. And in comparison to his portral of the Invisible Man to Claude Rains take on the charecter. I must say I felt Claude Rains was more memorable and better suited at the time for the role. BUT I still think Vincent Price is a better actor I just feel Claude Rains was a better Invisible Man.

  Then the effects were incredible! It was eve nominated for an Oscar in Special Effects, though unfortunately  I don`t think it won. Even some of the costume designs in this movie were freaky and awesomer then the usual horror movie of this decade. For example when the police lock the Invisible Man up in this one house and begin to gas the house in efforts to find him, it was the costumes these police men were wearing that were just awesome! It was like a helmet, a really creepy looking gas mask, and all black trench coats. All the while they had these huge gas packs on. To me this was just simply awesome.

   So my final thoughts on this movie are it was great squeal, with a awesome cast, and phenomenal special effects. But it just is not as good as the original one from 1933 directed by James Whale. Now please don`t let me discourage you from watching this movie! Overall it was a great movie, the script was obviously well thought out and the direction was almost as good as the first ones but nothing beats that one. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Old Dark House (1932)

Genre: Breakdown, Psychological

Source: Rental (Netflix)

Grade: A-

  This movie is truly all in the title, except it has nothing at all to do with Haunted Houses, Curses, or Ghosts as the poster and title might suggest at a first glance. No this movie is rather along the lines of a house full of weird unique characters living in an old dark house in Wales. Who unexpectedly end up hosting yet another group of unique but not scary characters  from a violent thunder storm.
        I liked the movie`s story for what it was worth, especially since i`m a big fan of "Old Dark House" style horror movie`s. Now one thing this movie is rich in was  its atmosphere, yep this movie was thick with that Dark Eerie Atmosphere that its director James Whale was so good at. The variety of odd, yet just wonderful characters in this movie  was also a huge plus, for example the 102 year old patriarch who was a man in the movie but played by a women, because apparently director James Whale couldn`t find anyone old enough lookig for the part who was a man. Then one of my favourite actors Charles Laughton  played on of the "guests" he had some delightful and hilarious one liners and just the way he performed in the movie, was perfect, Ernest Thesinger plays another quite memorable character who I don`t really know what to call I guess you could call him the man of the house. Anyway`s his character is very creepy at times, and Thesingers face  literally looks like a bare skull in a few scenes, and probably most notably of all you had the huge, bearded,and mute butler Morgan played perfectly by Boris Karloff. There are of course a few other rather colourful characters I havent mentioned already but I wouldn`t want to spoil anything for you, now would I?
         On top of all that good stuff in the movie such as an awesome cast, a phenomenal job in directing from James Whale, and a well written script. The movie has  top notch set designs, I mean this stuff is incredibly authentic looking, so mixed with its dark shadow direction this set had to be one of the best sets for a horror movie i`ve ever seen.
         To sum it all up all my thoughts on James Whales 1932 horror movie, I felt it was a well directed and performed movie. That I would truly recommend to any fans of the horror genre.