Theatre of Blood (1973)
"Theater of Blood" (original title)

R  |   |  Comedy, Horror  |  5 April 1973 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 6,309 users  
Reviews: 112 user | 85 critic

A Shakespearean actor takes poetic revenge on the critics who denied him recognition.



(screenplay), (idea), 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Peregrine Devlin
Trevor Dickman
Coral Browne ...
Miss Chloe Moon
Robert Coote ...
Oliver Larding
Solomon Psaltery
George William Maxwell
Horace Sprout
Meredith Merridew
Hector Snipe
Inspector Boot
Sergeant Dogge
Madeline Smith ...
Maisie Psaltery


Edward Lionheart (Vincent Price) stars as an actor overlooked for a critics' acting award, despite producing a season of Shakespeare plays. After confronting the Critics' Circle, an attempted suicidal dive into the Thames results in Lionheart being rescued by your typical paraffin/meths/turps swigging tramps. Lionheart then (presumed dead) exacts his grizzly, and quite amusing revenge on the critics who denied him his finest hour. Written by Paul Batey

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Vincent Price has reserved a seat for you in the "theatre of blood." See more »


Comedy | Horror


R | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

5 April 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Theatre of Blood  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


(title sequence)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


The picture of the handsome Elizabethan young man in black cape and white tights shown during the opening credits, and later used as the model for the film's Critic's Circle Award is a painting entitled Young Man Among Roses by Nicholas Hilliard (1547-1619), and is in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. See more »


When Edward Lionheart carries his dead daughter's body over the rooftops of London, you can see her hand clutching his neck to keep from falling. See more »


Peregrine Devlin: Lionheart!
Edward Lionheart: Alive and triumphant. And you thought me slain? Lionheart is immortal! He can never be destroyed, never!
See more »


Features Othello (1922) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The Memory Cheats
2 May 2004 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

The late John Nathan Turner , the most controversial producer of DOCTOR WHO came up with the expression " The memory cheats " . What he meant by that is memory can play tricks on you , a fondly remembered DOCTOR WHO story with the production values of LORD OF THE RINGS ( Or so it seemed at the time ) can be severely disappointing when you re-watch after a gap of 20 years . A battle scene of The Brigadier leading his men against an alien invasion might have seemed like the 1973 eqivulent of BLACK HAWK DOWN but less so when watched 30 years later . I do disagree with what JNT said about the memory cheating but not totally

Unfortunately when watching THEATRE OF BLOOD after a gap of many , many years my memory has cheated more than slightly . I remember enjoying this movie one helluva lot but couldn`t remember why and after seeing it again tonight I was slightly puzzled why I had so many loving memories about it . Okay it`s not a bad movie but it`s not a great one either . Check out this sample of dialogue :

" Are you saying someone in the theatre is trying to kill us ? "

" I would say that`s a distinct possiblity "

What is it about the above ? Is the dialogue written in a flat manner or are the actors giving a flat performance ? It should also be pointed out that the fatal punishments inflicted upon the critics were someting I once remembered as being grotesque and funny but now seem rather silly especially when you stop to consider the plot holes involved such as how did Lionheart and his posse manage to hire a hair salon and TV van ? I also find it difficult to believe that no one guessed the identity of the hippy geezer with the moustache . Even if I had never seen this movie before I would have known who was Lionheart`s right hand man , it`s so obvious it`s laughable

To be fair this isn`t a movie that takes itself seriously and is all the better for being devoid of the post modernist humour of SCREAM and JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK ( Did you know the most popular plot for a Hollywood horror movie nowadays involves internet film critics getting murdered ? It`s true you know ) and Vincent Price is very well cast as the mincing thespian luvvie who is hell bent on revenge and the camp hairdresser called " Butch " did make me smile . Oh and I did love the way policeman are portrayed as being both useless and stupid . I actually thought those bits were taken from a documentary

Not as good as I remembered , but I thought it was a masterpiece when I saw it as a child and nothing is that good in the cold light of adulthood so I give THEATRE OF BLOOD six out of ten in 2004

15 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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