The evil Prince Prospero is riding through the Catania village when he sees that the peasants are dying of Red Death plague. Prospero asks to burn down the village and he is offended by the villagers Gino and his father-in-law Ludovico. He decides to kill them, but Gino's wife, the young and beautiful Francesca, begs for the lives of her husband and her father and Prospero brings them alive to his castle expecting to corrupt Francesca. Propero worships Satan and invites his noble friends to stay in his castle that is a shelter of depravity against the plague. When Prospero invites his guests to attend a masked ball, he sees a red hooded stranger and he believes that Satan himself has attended his party. But soon he learns who his mysterious guest is.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
SHUDDER... at the blood-stained dance of the Red Death! TREMBLE... to the hideous tortures of the catacombs of Kali! GASP... at the sacrifice of the innocent virgin to the vengeance of Baal! See more »
Roger Corman and Daniel Haller were able to make this film look more opulent than earlier productions by using the sets left from Becket (1964). The two movies also share one actor: David Weston, who plays Gino here, played Brother John in "Becket". See more »
Despite Prospero warning the guests not to wear red to the masque, several people are wearing red: capes, hats etc. See more »
"And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all."- the final line of the original Poe story. See more »
The original UK cinema version was heavily cut by the BBFC to edit lines of implied sexual dialogue, the killing of Juliana by the falcon, and scenes of burning people (including Alfredo in the ape costume), and to completely remove the entire black mass dream sequence. Video and DVD releases fully restore the BBFC cuts though the print used is an edited U.S version which misses some dialogue as well as a shot of Francesca being slapped across the face by one of Prospero's soldiers. See more »
A reviewer linked to this site described "The Masque of the Red Death" as Bergmanesque. A Roger Corman film Bergmanesque? Since I've only seen one Ingmar Bergman film, and it bored me silly, this was not much of an endorsement.
When I was a kid and Corman's Edgar Alan Poe adaptations were new, they scared the be-jeebers out of me. So would have "The Masque of the Red Death". After watching the movie recently, I didn't gain any insight into Mr. Bergman's film style, but I was entertained. And happily, the movie is free of the campy acting that seeps into so many of the Corman opus. Especially good is Vincent Price as the Satan-worshipping Prince Prospero, in whose castle his debauched guests wait out the plague that is ravishing the countryside. Dark and grotesque, this is an excellent example of Corman's work. Actually, one of the best I've seen.
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