Fun, fun, fun film. Masque of the Red Death is probably my favorite of Corman’s Poe cycle.
It was my understanding that Boris was pretty unwell by the time of this movie, which is why he fights his duels sitting down.
This needs to be a rap battle…
In his last films, he would sometimes climb directly from his wheelchair for a take and then collapse back into it once the shot was over. He had a few years left in him in 1963 though. He gave a fine physical performance in the same year’s Black Sabbath and even in 1968 he could walk around reasonably well in Targets.
I liked the part where the one guy cast a spell at the other.
Perhaps the rap battle could feature a surprise appearance of Boris Karloff from The Raven (1935).
The on-screen battle between Karloff and Price was great, but from what I’ve heard the off-screen battle between Karloff and Lorre was hilarious.
Fairly classic illusions, most of it. But one has me stumped - where the hell did the puppies go?
Forget crude, brute-force spell blasts. These guys were toying with the very fabric of reality, and making it look stylish.
This is totally one of my all time favorite films. One of the movies that made me love B cinema so much. The story is solid, the acting is good, the pacing is well done, the effects and sets while obviously not great hold up for the atmosphere of the film. If you have not seen this go out now and rent it!
My favorite part is probably young Jack Nicholson driving a stagecoach as fiercely as possible.
Boy, that hatchet was conveniently slow.
I have the book “The Films Of Roger Corman - Shooting My Way Out Of Trouble”
Corman basically tossed the idea of “The Raven” to Richard Mattheson (!), Karloff, Price, and Lorre and told them to come up with a script with some humor, and on the set he said he mostly just set up the shots and let the cast do whatever they wanted for just three weeks. Much of Lorre’s work was ad-libbed, which pissed off Karloff. Price was always good with humor, and he stuck to the script, especially in working with Karloff. Knowing this really adds a lot to the enjoyment of seeing this movie. And there was no way for Nicholson to keep up with the rest of the talent on set. Also he said “(The bird) just shit endlessly. My whole right shoulder was constantly covered in raven shit.”
Look at that Jack Nicholson, up on the balcony, learning all the tricks he’d maybe try to use later, say, in Eastwick, or… I dunno, the cuckoo’s nest!
I just saw The Oblong Box, recently, with Price and Christopher Lee together. I’m getting the impression it was pretty common, at the time, to “base” a movie on some work of Poe’s, and ultimately have little more than a title in common.
Another fun one to see with Karloff, Price, Lorre, and Basil Rathbone is The Comedy Of Terrors which is also penned by Richard Matheson and directed by Jacques Tourneur who also directed Out Of The Past and Cat People.
ETA All 3 of these moves are good stuff and very much worth seeing.
I need to read more Poe but the only one of the AIP movies that followed an actual story well was House of Usher. A lot of it being poems you can pretty much do what you want, and I can’t say how close to the material they were with Masque of The Red Death as I haven’t seen the movie in over 20 years and longer for the story.
ETA: Wikipedia has a good synopsis of the AIP/Corman Poe series of films.
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