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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Theater Of Blood (1973)

A group of London theater critics find themselves slowly being killed off one by one in the manner of Shakespeare's plays. It would seem the person with the biggest motive would be the renowned Shakespearean actor Edward Lionheart (Vincent Price) except that he's dead ..... or is he? Directed by Douglas Hickox, this is a devilishly clever horror comedy. Price clearly relishes hamming it up as Lionheart and the film balances wit, horror and even poignance equally well. The film is a macabre lark and it shouldn't be looked at too closely as there things that just don't make sense. For example, how did the decapitated head get from the murdered man's bedroom to Ian Hendry's door? Or why though supposedly under police protection, Hendry is allowed unaccompanied to attend a fencing class which turns deadly. But a movie like this isn't supposed to be put under a cinematic microscope lest it unravel. The critics themselves are played by a who's who of British character actors including Jack Hawkins, Robert Morley, Coral Browne (who would later marry Price), Harry Andrews, Michael Hordern, Robert Coote and Arthur Lowe. With Diana Rigg as Price's daughter, Milo O'Shea, Diana Dors and Joan Hickson.

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