Tuesday, July 12, 2011

#340. The Masque of the Red Death (1964)

Directed By: Roger Corman

Starring: Vincent Price, Hazel Court, Jane Asher

Tag line: "We defy you to stare into this face"

Trivia:  Many of the sets used in this film were left over from 1964's BECKET

The Masque of the Red Death is yet another entry in director Roger Corman's series of films based on the writings of Edgar Allan Poe, with Vincent Price once again returning to play the lead. Yet despite the familiar territory he was working in, the part of Prince Prospero was a departure of sorts for Price, who, in earlier Poe films such as The Pit and the Pendulum and The Fall of the House of Usher, portrayed the tortured soul, the pitiful man who saw gloom and doom hiding around every corner. In The Masque of the Red Death, Price's Prospero is entirely evil, affording the great actor a chance to prove to the world he was just as brilliant being bad as he was being depressed. 

Prince Prospero is the tyrannical ruler of a land being overrun by a deadly disease, one the locals refer to as the "Red Death". Offering a safe haven from the Red Death, Prospero invites every nobleman in the kingdom to stay with him in his castle, where they can wait out the illness while attending an extravagant masquerade ball. Along with the nobility, Prospero also invites a beautiful peasant girl named Francesca (Jane Asher), whose father (Nigel Green) and sweetheart (David Weston) are imprisoned in his dungeon. But things aren't necessarily as they seem, and Prospero, who also happens to be a disciple of Satan, may have ulterior motives for allowing so many into his home at one time. 

A devil worshiper with a sharp, sarcastic tongue, Prospero is a very, very bad man, and we learn just how bad in the film's opening scene, where he pays a visit to a local village. Shortly after arriving, Prospero is insulted by two peasants, and promptly orders his guards to put them both to death. Just then, Francesca, who lives in this village, runs forward and pleads for their lives, begging Prospero to show mercy. Prospero, sensing he might have a bit of fun at Francesca's expense, says he will spare only one, and that she must choose which of the two will live, and which one will die. As it turns out, one of the men is Francesca's father, the other her lover, making it a near-impossible decision.  To further complicate the matter, if she refuses to choose, then both will die. It's almost at this exact moment the Red Death is discovered in the village, causing Prospero to cut his stay short. Hoping to continue his little game later that evening, he orders his men to bring Francesca and the other two back to his castle, then instructs the soldiers to burn the village to the ground, leaving dozens of men, women and children to watch as their entire world goes up in flames. It's a fine introduction to a truly sinister character, one whose vicious nature has yet to be revealed in its entirety. 

You can always rely on the Corman-directed Poe films to have lush wardrobes, detailed set pieces, and an impressive atmosphere, and The Masque of the Red Death is no exception. These, combined with a deliciously menacing performance by the great Vincent Price, make The Masque of the Red Death an elaborate entry in an entertaining series.


Anonymous said...

Another hit Doctor outstounding debates!

DVD Infatuation said...

Thanks so much! We're glad you enjoyed it (and it did get a little lively during the PONTYPOOL debate, didn't it?).

Thanks for listening!

Anonymous said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE this episode-Ordering Insidious now I waited and now feel confident-K.L.

DVD Infatuation said...

@K.L.: That's a lot of love! Thanks so much (and you should enjoy INSIDIOUS. It isn't perfect, but it is DAMN creepy!).

Thanks for listening, and for the comment.

Anonymous said...

Dam you guys are incredible on Horror Jungle. 11 horror movie picks that is unbelievable and the show goes by so quick leaving me wanting more.

George Murphy
Cape Coral, FL

DVD Infatuation said...

@George: Thanks so much. This was one of the shows where we were able to hit the max # of recommendations, which is great (though, to be fair, not everyone was recommending 11!). Hopefully, it'll give people something to watch as they wait for the next show!

Thanks for the kind words, and for listening to Horror Jungle.

Anonymous said...

Hello DrShock I wanted to leave the Hunter a message on his new website but it is not taking it.

Oh well I just wanted to thank you hosts for the podcast it is excellent and comes out on a schedule which I value.

DVD Infatuation said...

Sorry you had an issue leaving comments on Hellhunter's blog. I did pass along to him that you had a problem, and I'm sure he'll look into it ASAP.

We're glad you enjoy the show, and have already gotten used to the Tuesday schedule! That's good to know. I'll be sure to pass your thoughts on to the other hosts as well.

Thanks for stopping by, and for listening to Horror Jungle.

DVD Infatuation said...

@theMUDthumper: No problem...I don't understand French, anyway :)

We're so glad you enjoyed the show, and we thank you for the high praise. It's the reaction of fans such as yourself and everyone else I've heard from this morning that really makes the show so much fun to do.

Thanks for stopping by, and for listening to Horror Jungle.

Anonymous said...

My dear Mister Doctor Shock,

You 'n Bill Chete play off of each other very well. Perfect chemistry and Bill Chete is a stunning host. On his own this episode and he doesn't waver, straight to the point style is captivating with a mesmerizing style that draws me into listening into every spoken work.

Your DVD this week with Vincent is without a doubt a movie I will surely enjoy. Never heard of it and will be buying it.


DVD Infatuation said...

@Sheila: Thanks so much for the compliment, and I couldn't agree with you more: Billchete is a tremendous host, and when it comes to expressing his opinion, he never worries about being "on his own"...he sticks by his guns! I'll be sure to pass your comment along to him as well.

As for MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH, I do hope you enjoy it. After you get a chance to see it, please be sure to stop back and let me know what you think!

Thanks again for the comment, and for listening to Horror Jungle.

Anonymous said...

The HorrorJungle pod is incredible. Remarkable how "8" people get there points across and guide us listeners on good horror movies in there chosen category. What an accomplishment.
Buddy "The Rack" Stark

DVD Infatuation said...

@Buddy: Thanks for the compliment. it is greatly appreciated (and I like your nickname, BTW).

I'll be sure to pass your kind words on to the other hosts as well, and we're glad you enjoy the show.

Thanks for stopping by, and for listening to Horror Jungle.

Anonymous said...

WTG on the jungle cast it's a super horror movie cast. Only one that young girl is CRAZILY out of place. She does NOT mix well with the strong opinionated views of the other hosts. Her analogies are ANNOYING.

DVD Infatuation said...

@Anonymous: Thanks for stopping by, and for expressing your honest opinion. We're glad you enjoyed the show!

Thanks also for listening to Horror Jungle.

Anonymous said...

its a real honor being a fan of horrorjungle.com on time exclent hosts detaled reviews that mummy dood is histerecal his synopsies are exclent 11-2-buy this wk wow-birdie

DVD Infatuation said...

@Birdie: Please know we're just as happy to have you as a fan, and we greatly appreciate your enthusiasm for the show. It really does mean a lot to us.

I'll be sure to pass your comment along to the other hosts (and yes, Joe Mummy does have a fine sense of humor, and a real knack for summarizing films).

Thanks for stopping by, and for listening to Horror Jungle

Anonymous said...

Hello Shock want to speak about the great group of hosts on Horror Jungle.

The show is fantastic. I am a casual viewer of horror and the enthusiasm shown makes me want to watch them all suggested.

I am going to start picking 4 per episode to watch whoever makes the strongest case on those segments wins my watching power. I figure 2 a week until next show will work for me.

Fun, exciting, and everyone of you sound like really nice people. Surely not the norm for horror podcasts. That is why you have me a horror fan for life now.

René (France)

DVD Infatuation said...

@René: Thanks so much for stopping by, and we're glad you enjoy the show!

Your idea of choosing 4 films each show sounds like an intriguing one, and I wish you all the best with it. Please feel free to stop back here and leave a comment as to what you thought of each film you chose. I'm sure everyone associated with the show would love to hear your feedback!

Thanks for the compliments (they are much appreiciated), and for listening to Horror Jungle.

HellHunter said...

Hey Guys,

Comments on my blog should be working fine now
*fingers crossed*

Thanks for listening

DVD Infatuation said...

Hellhunter: Way to get on top of that, my friend! Excellent news.

Everyone be sure to stop over at Hellhunter's blog (http://www.hellhunterhj.blogspot.com) and leave him a comment. I know he'd love to hear from you!

Anonymous said...

It doesn't get any better than the Horror Jungle Podcast for horror movies that is for sure.

A+ Entertainment.

I ☺ HJ


DVD Infatuation said...

@J.A.J.: Thanks so much for the love, and the compliment. It means a lot to all of us.

Thanks also for stopping by to comment, and for listening to Horror Jungle!

Anonymous said...

serisly impresiv pod:::

DVD Infatuation said...

Thanks so much for stopping by, and for the comment. We're glad you enjoyed the show!

Thanks also for listening to Horror Jungle!

Anonymous said...

taken' a line from ahost mr kc downright-lol exhilrating podcast impressive works gentlemen

DVD Infatuation said...

@Carmen: Thank you so very much for the compliment. We definitely appreciate it!

Glad you enjoyed the show, and thanks for listening!

Anonymous said...

super studded stuff podcasters!!!!!!!!!!!!! ep2 super!!!!!!!!

DVD Infatuation said...

Wow! We rank 2 "supers"! I like it!

Thanks so much for stopping by, we're glad you enjoyed the podcast.

Anonymous said...

Just arrived home from work (listened to both episodes) and I wanted to make sure I left the Horror Jungle hosts a little message in a public forum.

There is no specific order just typing what comes in my mind first + abbreviating to save time.

* Bill, excellent host keeps everything flowing, strong enthusiasm, poignant and never backs down, only loves horror and sticks by the genre.

* Joe, well rehearsed in what to watch for in the movies, picks things out, intelligent viewer, says funny lines, jumps in to make his point.

* Corey, what can I say, incredible voice tonal quality, fun and livens up the atmosphere, spews funny comments, zombies.

* Doc, opinionated with a flare, argues with Bill, you go Doc, deeply cares for the fans, just look at this blog.

* Liz, must be tough with 7 men, holds her own, sounds adorable and cuddly, odd horror taste is a good thing.

* Hunter, foreign flare with a touch of humor, looks outside the box on horror, real effects aficionado is a positive.

* Boss, vampire genre is strong, real asset bringing in a listener and looks at movies one off.

* KC, calming and soothing style, brings facts to the table, has interviews on his website.

I know I probably forgot many things I wanted to say but at least I got this out there to show you my support for Horror Jungle.

Cody Canizales

Anonymous said...

i think that bloodylizzy chick is your new gregamortis drshock. while she doesnt flipflop she is annoying with that minimouse voice what she talking on a disney mike. dead girl thriller? she off her rocker. blue velvet horror? 1 on prowler? outside her amazing horror podcast the best in the business my friend.

DVD Infatuation said...

Thanks for stopping by, and for the comments.

@Cody: Thanks so much for all the compliments! I know I'm personally humbled by your kind words, and I'm sure the other hosts will be as well. I'll be sure to pass this along to all of them! We certainly appreciate your support, and thanks very much for listening.

@bloomburg: I thank you for stopping by, and for your honest feedback. Thanks so very much for listening, and we're glad that, for the most part, you're enjoying the show!

Again, thanks to both of you for the comments. They are appreciated!

Anonymous said...

DR/engaging episode on hj/subscribed/wanting more/weekly soon please!/

DVD Infatuation said...

Thanks for stopping by, and we're glad you enjoyed the show!

As for weekly, I have to say it won't be happening anytime soon, but who knows what the future holds?

Thanks again for listening to Horror Jungle.

Anonymous said...

Mask of Red Death sounds intersting Doctor you pushed it well on the Podcast.

Detailed rreviews loved it on 2.

mits777 said...

Hello this is Jason lead host of Horrorphilia Podcast and editor of www.horrorphilia.com. Recently an enthusiastic listener of our podcasts emailed me a sample of some of the disparaging remarks made about us. Im not sure if it was done in some forum or on a post like i'm doing but I was deeply disturbed by what I read. We at Horrorphilia have been nothing but gracious and supportive of Billchete and yet he accuses of us leaving negative anonymous comments. I thought he was a geniune friend but im disappointed that he would stoop this low and spread these rumors about us. He was a guest on our episode #27 http://www.horrorphilia.com/2010/02/03/horrorphilia-podcast-episode-27/ and we made a special invitation to have him guest host with us on our 50th show reviewing the entire Friday the 13 th franchise http://www.horrorphilia.com/2010/10/22/horrorphilia-podcast-50-friday-the-13th/ (providing links for proof) Also when he disbanded The Horror Movie Show we graciously invited his cohost Zach aka Dr. Horror to join our ranks. It just saddens me that it has come to vicious rumors being spread in the horror podcasting community. Yall are doing your thing tapping into the family friendly market and we are doing our thing on the "seedy" side of podcasting. Theres enough room for all types of podcasting and I wish we could just all come together to celebrate this great genre known as horror, instead of coming to low blows. Since I wasnt part of the original thread I just wanted to defend us and throw in my two cents. Horror till the end my friend.

Anonymous said...

You men are simply the best horror podcast out there. You have 1-upped Planet Macabre with Horror Jungle. The revamped format and new faces (or should I say voices) are refreshing and I like the addition of Netflix. For those reasons you deserve high marks.

DVD Infatuation said...

Thanks to everyone for stopping by!

@Anonymous: Masque of the Red Death is definitely interesting, and I thank you for the compliment. If you get a chance to watch it, please be sure to stop back and let us know what you thought of it. I would be very interested to know!

@Jason: I thank you for stopping by. In truth, many of the initial negative comments were started by your fan (questioning Billchete's honesty with the number of listeners Planet Macabre received). Also, Billchete himself was never part of the conversation, and left no comments. All were left by myself or others. He was never once involved.

You are absolutely correct in that there is plenty of room in the Horror Podcasting community for many different viewpoints, as well as many different styles. We would also be very happy to move beyond this for the sake of promoting the horror genre. I thank you once again for stopping by, and wish you nothing but the best in the future.

@Anonymous: Thanks so much! We certainly appreciate the kind words, Glad you're liking the new hosts, and the netflix segment is definitely one of our most popular. Thanks for stopping by, and for listening to Horror Jungle.

@Bloomburg: While I truthfully cannot comment on the movie itself (because I have yet to see Deadgirl), I'm sorry this has gotten you so upset. I thank you for stopping by, and for listening to Horror Jungle.

Anonymous said...

Episode 2 was lively and fun Sir Dr.

You have another DVD Seg. movie I was unaware of. Off to the store. Sometimes I have trouble buying the oldies but this one hopefully wont be a problem.


DVD Infatuation said...

@C.C.R.: Hello, and thanks so much for stopping back to the blog!

I do hope you enjoy the film, and please be sure to let me know what you think of it (that is, if you can find it! Hopefully the store will have a copy for you).

Thanks again for stopping back, and for listening to Horror Jungle.

Anonymous said...


2 outstanding reviews. I don't know how you guys pull it off but with 8 hosts you would think it would get crasy and disceranable - not the case, quite the opposite in fact. Thrilling podcast and wife factor acceptable!

You have me hooked. Thanks guys. Delmer Sauerhage. E.Europe.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Shock, this horror film if I am not mistaken is the lowest rating by you yet. Do you think it is one of those "borderline" movies that is worth watching but not purchasing? Curious because you dropped the "Rent" choice from your ratings.

Thanks bunches and thank the team at Horror Jungle for me for providing us fantastic horror movie choices.

Edwin R. Cringely

DVD Infatuation said...

Thanks for the comments!

@Delmer: We appreciate the compliment! There are a few elements working to keep things from getting out of hand, and key among them is Billchete as host. He has a way of keeping control that's truly impressive. Glad you're hooked, and thanks for listening.

@Edwin: You're correct in that this week's pick was my lowest rating, though I still think it's worth picking up. Part of that may be because I was comparing it to other entries in the series (I used THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM as an example, a movie I absolutely love and one that would be an easy "9" for me), which perhaps wasn't entirely fair to MASQUE. Despite the lower-than-normal rating, I would recommend picking this film up, if for no other reason that to enjoy Price's deliciously evil turn.

And I'll be sure to pass your thanks along to the other hosts (and thanks to you for listening).

Anonymous said...

nise pod nise time horror never sound this guid a frend tell me bowt jungel it nise any hoep ech week~farhuid shimoga india

DVD Infatuation said...

@Farhuid Shimoga: We're glad you enjoyed the show! As for going weekly, I'm afraid that won't be happening for some time, if it ever happens at all.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and for listening to Horror Jungle.

Anonymous said...

Once again Doc Shock you didn't let me down. A phenomenal number two.

Anonymous said...

Great classic selection this episode Dr. Shock.

I watched it on Veoh. http://www.veoh.com/watch/v199571086tMbhgkd?h1=The+Masque+of+the+Red+Death+%281964%29

I would rate this puppy a 8.25.

You give us (listeners) the best horror classics and I appreciate that immensely.

These otherwise gone for good horror movies would never be seen if it wasn't for people like you.

On a sidenote Horror Jungle is excellent.

Dane O.

DVD Infatuation said...

Thanks for stopping by!

@Anonymous: We're glad you enjoyed the show, and thanks so much for listening!

@Dane: I certainly appreciate, and am humbled by, your kind words, and am very glad you enjoyed the movie (thanks for the link as well...it gives listeners who don't have access to the DVD a chance to see it). I enjoy covering the classics on Horror Jungle, and what makes it so worthwhile is knowing there are listeners like yourself out there who still get a kick out of watching these oft-forgotten films.

Thanks also for the compliment regarding Horror Jungle, and for listening.

Crash Palace said...

Dave, you're so right about Corman's approach to Poe - from luscious sets to Vincent Price. I still think his PIT AND THE PENDULUM is his best, followed by HOUSE OF USHER. A wonderful review as always!