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
LOOK INTO THIS FACE - 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 »
The last words spoken in this film (by the Red Death character) are "sic transit gloria mundi" which translates into English as "thus goes the glory of the world". See more »
Clear discontinuity between shots when Read Death asks Prospero why would he be afraid to die. See more »
But Satan rules the universe! I made a pact with him!
Man in red:
He does not rule alone... and your pact with him will not save you.
There is no other God! Satan killed him!
Man in red:
Each man creates his own God for himself, his own Heaven, his own Hell.
Let me see your face!
[He unmasks the Man in Red to reveal his own bloodstained face]
Man in red:
Your Hell, Prince Prospero... and the moment of your death.
See more »
Satanic cards are put by an animated hand on the red background during the closing credits, finishing with the death card "La mort". 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 »
Possibly the best of the Roger Corman-Vincent Price series of film adaptations of the stories of Edgar Allen Poe, 'The Masque of the Red Death' is a chilling and malevolent tale of decadent devil-worshippers holed up in a castle while the Red Death claims its victims in the village outside.
Vincent Price was a gloriously hammy actor who played horror roles with the utmost seriousness. His characterization of Prince Prospero in this movie is brilliant - a man without a soul or heart who is only conquered when a girl of equal faith enters his castle (the wooden Jane Asher as Francesca). In support Hazel Court as the would-be Bride of Satan Juliana, and Patrick Magee as the corrupt Alfredo are particularly worthy of note.
The dwarf's revenge on Alfredo during the masque is as chilling as anything which came before in films such as 1932's 'Freaks'; while the film shimmers with beautiful cinematography (especially the coloured rooms) and simmers with corruption. The combined effect is superb and makes the film a memorable experience.
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