It's curtains for his critics!

Theater OF Blood
1973 | Color | 1 Hr 44 Min | Horror | R | MGM

Director: Douglas Hickox

Anthony Greville-Bell 
Stanley Mann

Vincent Price
Diana Rigg
Ian Hendry

Edward Lionheart stars as an actor overlooked for a critics' acting award, despite producing a season of Shakespeare plays. After confronting the Critics' Circle, an attempted suicidal dive into the Thames results in Lionheart being rescued by your typical paraffin/meths/turps swigging tramps. Lionheart then (presumed dead) exacts his grizzly and quite amusing revenge on the critics who denied him his finest hour.

Often at times, I catch myself saying "Why have I waited so long to watch this"? Well after being gifted this VHS tape I could not wait to pop it in. We all love Vincent Price and its hard to say if he has ever made a bad movie. Yet here it is Theater of Blood and it has to be one of his best movies I ever witnessed! Again why did I wait it's not like I have not heard about it or seen the cover before all I can say is I'm kicking myself for waiting this long. Stanley Mann (writer on Firestarter, Connan, and Damien: Omen 2) came up with this Shakspeare idea and with Anthony who wrote such an amazing story.  

Considered by its star Vincent Price to be his personal favorite of all his films you can just tell by looking at him. He looked to be having so much fun that it oozes off the screen and into your lap! The gitty twinkle in his eye really helps drive this movie. I could not wait to see how the next death was going to happen. I even gag when he was feeding one of the critics his own dogs in a pie! YUCK! All though it is said to have used 11 gallons of fake blood I'm not sure how. I do not remember the 11 kills to be all that bloody but more clever than anything else. 

And how did I not know about Coral Browne being an affair? Price fell in love with and married actress Browne following this film. His appearance as the subject of "This is Your Life", his last public appearance with second wife Mary, who knew nothing yet about his affair with Coral. Diana Rigg help set up the couple after she noticed the chemistry between the two.  Browne once said "I married Vincent Price very late in both our lives. It was chiefly because, even if Vincent can be a bit moody and frightening at times, loneliness is even more frightful. Without a husband, even an actress doesn't get invited out much". 

Diana Rigg regards this as her best film even after her Gloden Globe Nominee for The Hospital and fantastic work on The Avengers must kids today will know her as Lady Olenna Tyrell on Game of Thrones. It's great to see her working still at the age of 79 she just finished "A Christmas Carol Goes Wrong." last year. She is one beautiful woman as was really my second favorite part while watching Theater of Blood. 

And can I say the special effects and make-up are down right mind blowing! Of course, John Stears nailing the special effects should be no big surprise as he worked on some big movies like Star Wars A New Hope,  Many of the James Bond films, and of course 1986's F/X! And come on what other movie do you get to see fencing on trampolines? Outside of the ending, this was by far my favorite scene. Also worth a mention is Michael J. Lewis score that fills the movie in a wonderful way also helping drive the movie from beginning to end. 

Wow just wow shame on me for missing out on this for so long. I was moved in so many ways watching Theater of Blood from laughing to hiding my eyes Price's masterpiece just might make it to one of my all-time favorites. I will be looking to upgrade from VHS to Blu-Ray soon just to revisit this pure movie magic. 

Mr. Lionheart no need to come after this critic I give you...

5 Bloody Brains out of 5!


  1. Great film, fun to watch!

    When I was a kid, I adored Diana Rigg as Mrs Emma Peel in "The Avengers." And if I have a thing today for women in skin-tight black leather catsuits (and I do), it's all her fault.

  2. Definitely one of his most gleeful roles!

  3. This movie still haunts me from youth - that dog pie is the thing of night
    mares for a 7 year old.

    1. Heck it was nightmare fuel for this 40 year old lol


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