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Satan-worshiper Prince Prospero invites several dozen of the local nobility to his castle for protection against an oncoming plague, the Red Death. Prospero orders his guests to attend a masked ball and, amidst a general atmosphere of debauchery and depravity, notices the entry of a mysterious hooded stranger dressed all in red. Believing the figure to be his master, Satan, Prospero is horrified at the revelation of his true identity. Written by
Doug Sederberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Jane Asher asked Roger Corman if a friend could visit the set and join them for lunch. She explained that her friend was a musician who was about to about to do his first gig in London that night. At the end of lunch, Corman wished him good luck with his concert. Roger Corman had never heard of Paul McCartney until he read of the concert's success in the next day's newspapers. See more »
Towards the end of the movie before Prospero sees the man in red, you see a blond woman dancing from left to right, the frame then jumps and the blond woman is once again on the left without having walked by. See more »
[to Francesca, who is emotionlessly watching Alfredo burn to death]
I see you no longer turn away from the cruelties of life.
I no longer care. My life is done.
[she lookls at Prospero]
What's left I give to you tonight.
See more »
"And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all."- the final line of the original Poe poem. See more »
I can't believe Roger Corman directed this masterpiece!
For those of you who are fans of director Roger Corman's classic 50s sci-fi films like ATTACK OF THE CRAB MONSTERS, IT CONQUERED THE WORLD, or THE WASP WOMAN, you are going to be surprised that this is the same man who directed MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH. Superbly directed and beautifully composed, MASQUE is the first and best of Corman's Poe films of the 1960's.
Prince Prospero (played with just enough venom by Vincent Price) is an evil tyrant who hates his citizens and thinks nothing of burning their village to the ground. Holding a weekend get-together for his noble acquaintances, he discovers that the Red Death has manifested itself in the village around his castle. He kidnaps the beautiful Francesca (the wonderful Jane Asher), her lover Gino, and her father and keeps them in the castle with him. Prospero is a Satan worshipper as well and forces the princess, Juliana, to brand herself with an upside-down cross and sics his falcon on her when he feels like it. All the while, the Red Death decimates the land outside the castle and eventually makes its grand entrance during a masque.
Corman has certainly matured over the years. His filmmaking techniques are no longer shoestring or cheap. Here, it is obvious that he has developed a taste for color, atmosphere, tone, and lighting. MASQUE features his best work as a director and is only rivalled, in my opinion, by TALES OF TERROR, a later Poe anthology. Vincent Price proves once again why he has won the hearts of genre fans everywhere. I can only compare his performance here to that in HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, only better. Jane Asher does a splendid job here, but Hazel Court, Hammer's resident scream queen, has little to do here as Juliana. The final images of the film set during the masque are breathtaking and will stun those expecting cheap gothic thrills a la THE UNDEAD, an earlier Corman work.
MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH is very deserving of a new VHS/DVD release. Fans of Price or Corman should definitely seek this out, as it is probably both mens' greatest work. Highly recommended.
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