Movie review: Theatre of Blood

June 2nd, 2006

Time for another Barry Norman moment…

Theatre of Blood (1973) dir. Hickox
Starring Vincent Price, Diana Rigg, plus Arthur Lowe (from Dad’s Army)

Rating: 4/5
Yes jam Yes jam Yes jam Yes jam No jam

It’s a British movie from the seventies with credibility! Yes, it’s a Vincent Price movie and yes, by this time he was already a bit of a parody of himself. But it’s widely regarded as one of his best. As a horror film it’s not particularly scary, it’s just good fun with enjoyable gory bits and some mystery.

Mr Price plays Edward Lionheart, a gifted West End actor who only ever played Shakespeare roles, for which he was panned by the critics. He was denied the critics’ award – something that would have marked the peak of his career – for not being innovative enough. Now everyone presumes him dead, but he has taken up residence in an abandoned theatre and – with the help of his daughter and the band of tramps who saved his life – he kills off the critics who denied him the award one by one.

The plot is a little sparse, but the film is saved by the way the killings take place: he murders each in the manner of a Shakespeare play, working through the plays he appeared in from the first to the last. It makes for some particularly inventive and gory killings. There’s also a swordfight on trampolines.
The plot still sounds pretty sparse, but it really needs nothing more. This is seventies horror, not Pride and Prejudice. Seven bloody killings in 90 minutes makes sure the film moves along at a brisk pace and the whole thing is executed with a witty sense of humour.

Good quality horror and gore that doesn’t take itself too seriously – and it has Vincent Price performing his face off. Brilliant fun from start to end. Watch it – an easy 4/5 jams!

This film on IMDB

Entry Filed under: Chris,Movie review

3 Comments

  • 1. Ian Mac Mac Mac McIver  |  June 3rd, 2006 at 01:13

    By the way I’m humming the Film 2006 theme tune to help with your review. Is it showing?

  • 2. Chris  |  June 3rd, 2006 at 09:55

    YES! I feel empowered.

    And a little bit like Jonathan Ross.

  • 3. Ian Mac Mac Mac McIver  |  June 3rd, 2006 at 12:28

    I did the humming in brackets but even website didn’t put it up because it’s a mother macker.

    Don’t feel like Jonathan Ross. They have medication for that.


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