(Review originally written at 30 August 2010)

In all fairness, I wouldn't call this movie Corman's best and it also isn't my favorite one, though it still probably is one of his better made movies. The directing and story-telling is quite good and it also knows to create a good atmosphere for its movie.

It's funny how Roger Corman is the king of bad B-movies but his Edgar Allen Poe movies are all still basically the best ones around. Guess he just has a real great sense for the material and knows how to handle and tell it in a movie.

I certainly love these genre movies from its given era. They are cheap looking with all of its sets and bright colorful costumes and often very simplistically made but it's are part of its charm and also truly adds to the movie its atmosphere. It's the sort of movie that feels and looks like an Hammer movie, which are not the most respected movies around but certainly have a great group of followers who love to watch them regardless of everything. It really says something about the charm and effect of these movies. "The Masque of the Red Death" is a movie that fits perfectly in this category and yes, it also is really one of the better ones.

The movie truly benefits from the fact that it simply had a great and fascinating story to work with. it's basically an horror, without having any classic horror in it. The 'enemy' and thing that all people fear in this movie isn't even shown really, at least not till the last couple of minutes. It's a movie that works and builds more on its atmosphere and slow developing build-up, that sets the right tone and pace for the movie. The movie is so effective and intriguing to watch due to its very fine build-up, that allows its characters to be set up and the mystery to slowly unravel. The way the entire movie is set up and told makes it seem more like a mystery-thriller but still with a very distinctive horror like atmosphere and feel to it.

And how great Vincent Price was in this. He was deliciously evil and delivers his lines perfect as always. He always gives this movie an Shakespearean like vibe and truly helps to uplift the movie. It actually might very well be one of his best evil roles. You basically can't imaging how this movie would had turned out without him in it.

Yet another successful Corman-Poe-Price movie.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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