October has arrived. While the fall colors start to change the environment, parents are getting rushing their children to many school and after school events, and the stores start to already jam their shelves with Christmas items way before Thanksgiving.
I like October especially for the chance to catch up on my horror films, and one of my favorite horror actors was Vincent Price. Not only was he an icon in the horror film, he was also a comedic and Shakespearian actor, an art collector, and was a chef.
In honor of this time, I wanted to expose you to a few of my favorite horror movies he starred in, hopefully exposing you to a few films that may not be as known (but if you like these films, maybe they aren’t so rare).
Here are a few of my favorite:
Theatre Of Blood (1973)- Price plays a Shakespearian actor Edward Lionheart who feels he deserves the “Best Actor” award, but after a bunch of critics plot against him, he plans to kill each of them by the ways Shakespeare killed his characters in his plays. This film shows Price’s range as an actor, with his quotes from Shakespeare. The only bad thing about the film is it seems to rehash the plot of my next film.
The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)- Vincent plays Dr. Phibes, who assumes his wife is dead from a car crash, seeks out the doctors that tried to treat her. The disfigured Phibes kills them one by one by each of the 7 plagues in the Old Testament. When I first saw this film a few years ago, the film ‘s character scared me, along with captivated me by Price’s acting skills, since his character has no facial expressions. It is almost a Phantom of The Opera role. This film can also serve as a history lesson for those that are not sure of the Bible’s plagues.
The House of Wax (1953)- Skip the 2005 horrible version of this film and go straight to Price’s version. The story is a remake of a film called “Mystery of the Wax Museum” (which is not a bad film either), where Price plays a wax sculptor who makes statues of historical people. After a fight with his partner to get more business, the partner sets the museum on fire in hopes to get the insurance money, which is when revenge starts in the film. Two historical aspects to this film for historians is that this was the first 3D color film, and in one of his early film roles, Igor is played by future action star Charles Bronson.
House on Haunted Hill (1959)- This movie has been remade several times, but I think Price’s version is the best. Price plays a millionaire who invites several people to his mansion for an overnight-haunted house party where the winner will receive $10,000. Each guest is given a gun for protection. This movie is what great horror films of this era involved- mystery until the end, as opposed to today’s just gruesome actions on the screen. According to wikipedia, this film served as a basis for Alfred Hitchock’s “Pyscho.”
Even though there are many other great films Price was in (including his first horror film in Boris Karloff’s “Tower of London” or his work with Roger Corman in the Edgar Allen Poe movies), These are some of his finest work in my opinion. So if you are looking for a little scare this month, go check out these great films by one of the genre’s finest of all time.