Throughout my years of horror watching, I have marveled at the fact that there are 1960s movies that can disturb and even scare me. You would think that movies way older than me wouldn’t have that effect, yet the decade gave us many a good chiller picture. Well The Masque of the Red Death is easily one that left me uneasy very much, and made my skin crawl. This is a film depicting evil of all kinds, and it almost seems to revel in the cruelty of mankind. I’m glad my dad didn’t let me watch this on AMC when I was a kid-it would have given me nightmares.
It doesn’t help that we are currently in a pandemic that has swept the land. Just like the red death that has taken over the land ruled over by devil worshiper Prince Prospero, played with evil relish by Vincent Price. This might be his best role, or at least his most unforgiving one. Price takes the part and dials it up to 100, resulting a role that is both memorizing and very creepy. Jane Asher is also great as Francesca, the ginger peasant girl he forces to be a part of his court.
This film also has Hazel Court, Nigel Green, and Patrick Magee, all playing different roles of good and evil. The cinematography is marvelous yet it is the film’s gorgeous set design that really caught my eye. The film uses colors like any good or great horror film, and this is easily going into my Top 100 Horror films list when I’m done with October. I don’t know if I have the stomach to view it again though, and I thank Shudder for gathering a nice batch of Vincent Price films to watch in time for Halloween.