THEATRE OF BLOOD (1973) (BLU-RAY)
Company: Twilight Time
Starring: Harry Andrews, Jack Hawkins, Robert Morley, Diana Rigg, Ian Hendry, Coral Browne, Robert Coote, Vincent Price
My Review and Thoughts:
My Rating: 4 out of 5
I was so happy to see this come to Blu-ray from Twilight Time. To me this is one of Prices best performances. Twilight Time gave this older horror film a new outlet to express the old glory days of Drive-in Late-night horror cinema.
Starring one of the true masters of Horror, Vincent Price. Price, really needs no introduction to anyone calling themselves a movie lover. He was the very definition of performance in no matter what role he played. From drama, to horror, he was the guru of cinema. Most fans flock to and collect his horror films for they were a true trademark, of Price. Price was so much more than just a horror actor. Prince was a skilled thespian. Price was an actor that could hold the audience, and give them a sense of personal dread and also personal drama in the belief of his character. He plays the part of Edward Lionheart in Theatre of Blood no differently. To me this is one of Vincent’s grand films.
Also starring Harry Andrews who was truly a unique performer that had a memorable look about him, he was massively squared jawed which made you remember his face. He was one of the unique character actors that stood out. Andrews would always tend to play tough guy military style roles. His looks and personality gave him a forceful ability to make you believe that the character he was playing was real. 107 performing credits to his name, he gave his all to the cinema world. From classic’s like Battle of Britain (1969) to Moby Dick (1956) to winning awards for The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965) and 1965’s The Hill. He was a true performer that always stood out and maintained the viewer in every part he played.
Also starring the beautiful and amazing Coral Browne. Who like Vincent Price really needs no introduction to the cinema world. Not only a movie performer but a true goddess of the stage. She started acting in movie in 1933 and did so until 1987. No matter how big or small her part, she was able to bring a high quality reality to each character. Her stance, posture and emotional drive spread the beauty of performance. She was a true genius when it came to performing. I had forgotten she was in this film and it was great seeing her all over again. One of my favorite roles she played was in the unique and brilliant 1985’s Dreamchild playing the part of Alice Hargreaves. No matter what she was acting in, she owned it and gave it her personal touch.
I cannot, not mention the wonderful Dame Diana Rigg who plays the part of Edwina the daughter to Vincent Price’s character. Rigg is also one who really needs no introduction to the cinema world. Film buffs should know her beauty of performance in many stand out films both small and great, from TV to cinema she is a defining performer. I first fell in love with her watching her play James Bond’s wife in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. I think some of her greatest work is from Television. If one has not seen the BBC Miniseries Mother Love, you should. Now most recently she has played the amazing part of Olenna Tyrell in the Cult following and very popular TV series Game of Thornes. Which might I add she has garnered many award nominations for.
There are many wonderful actors and actresses in this horror film. All of them come together to create a memorable piece of entertainment. Directed by Douglas Hickox. Hickox is a different style of director. He has directed so many memorable films. He also worked in the Television of directing. Directing one of my favorite made for TV films 1985’s powerful and forgotten about suspense thriller Blackout. Blackout is a brilliant film that deserves a Blu-ray treatment. Hickox also co-directed the sci-fi creature feature hoot 1959’s The Giant Behemoth. Also directed Mr. John Wayne himself in the action comedy 1975’s Brannigan. Sadly, he died way to soon. 59 years old was tragic. Now I have to throw this out there, interesting to note, he is the father of two directors. Two directors that have left the world of B-Movie horror with many prime examples of cheesy Drive-in wonderment. Son Anthony Hickox directed some of the classic 80’s and 90’s B-movie horrors such as, Waxwork (1988), Waxwork 2 (1992), Hellraiser 3 (1992), Warlock: The Armageddon (1993) he is still directing strong today in the lower budget style of cinema. Next son James D.R. Hickox also directed a slew of lower budget cinema such as 1995’s Children of the Corn 3: Urban Harvest, The Gardener (1998), Blood Surf (2000) and many others and is directing still today. I guess like father like son.
The plot plays out like most horror films, one is scorned. This time it is Vincent Prices character Edward Lionheart. Lionheart is a Shakespearean actor. Now Lionheart ends up getting made fun of at an awards ceremony. There he decides to kill himself by driving his car into the river. But like all good horror revenge films, he survives, but everyone else thinks he is dead. So begins Lionheart’s ultimate vengeance and revenge against all those critics that did him so wrong.
Twilight Time did another wonderful job in picking this title to bring out on a lovely new outlet. This is a fun, wild, classic horror film that needed a new outlet and Twilight Time has done it again.
My Rating: 4 out of 5
Another beautiful example of treating an older film and bringing it out on a wonderful High Definition reality. The audio is fantastic. Sounds amazing. The video is vibrant and colorful. Both audio and video are crisp to sight and sound.
VIDEO: 1080p High Definition / 1.66:1
AUDIO: English 1.0 DTS-HD MA
SUBTITLES: English SDH
1973 / Color
My Rating: 2 out of 5
Isolated Score Track: Composed by: Michael J. Lewis. I have often been a huge fan of Lewis’s work. I have often felt he has never gotten the lime light or push that he so rightly deserves. He has a unique talent in capturing emotions and actions in music and sounds. He only has a little over 30 composing jobs under his belt, but each one stands out in their own powerful ways. The music for Theatre of Blood is one of those prime examples of his skill. I think some of his best work is for the 1979 war film The Passage. The music in The Passage is a brilliant reality that sticks with you. He has also done music for some other horror films that express themselves through his music, such as 1978’s The Legacy and 1980’s The Unseen. No matter if it’s horror or drama, his musical skills shine. I am a huge fan of his talent. Thankfully Twilight Time has honored the music man with this Special Edition Blu-ray of an Isolated track, which is always important for me, being a music lover to listen to.
Audio Commentary with Film Historians David Del Valle and Nick Redman. This is a great informative listen. Wonderful history on the film. Always a total treat to here film historians speak about the film, you learn so much. Del Valle and Redman are perfect film historians that know their stuff, and enjoy what they do, which is always a plus for any movie buff listening.
Original Theatrical Trailer
Yet again Twilight Time has chosen another perfect film to bring to Blu-ray. I feel this is one of Vincent Prices shinning roles. He stands out above and beyond in his films and it just makes the viewer fall in love with Price all over again seeing this turned into a High Definition piece. This is a brilliant reality for any lover of film or Price. Twilight Time aces it yet again.
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