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
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 »
When Francesca, Gino and Ludovico escape the dungeon, they encounter Prospero waiting for them outside. Prospero immediately states that Gino and Ludovico will have to answer for killing three of his guards while escaping the dungeon below, but as he was outside, there is no way for Prospero to know if the guards were killed. The guards could have been merely injured and not killed, or bribed, or they could have let them pass without a fight. 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 »
UK BBC transmissions include the dialogue and face-slapping missing from all DVD releases as well as a scene, running around 50 secs, in which Hop Toad tells the female dwarf that no one will ever hit her again. 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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