Vincent Price, definitely one of the best and most iconic actors of the horror genre made many films in his career, but this was regarded by him as one of his personal favourites, Theatre Of Blood.
Made in 1973 with one of the greatest ensemble casts ever assembled for a horror film including Diana Rigg, Harry Andrews, Jack Hawkins and Arthur Lowe, the film is a dementedly and blackly funny cult classic and great gory fun.
Vincent Price plays Edward Lionheart, a veteran Shakespearean actor who, when passed over for the coveted Critic’s Circle award for Best Actor takes deadly revenge on the critics who snubbed him.
Making a horror movie that is also comedic can be a tricky business, most fail, but this gets the mix just right, with a great cast of veteran British actors the story moves along at a breakneck pace with one gory death after another all based on Shakespeare’s plays.
The Blu ray released by Arrow has another solid 1080p transfer from the MGM archives. The picture is solid, with grain intact, a few white specs appear here and there but are not distracting and overall this is a good presentation that cannot be faulted. Audio has LPCM 2.0 which is clear with no pops or crackles and the fabulous music score by Michael J Lewis sounds great. A great list of special features are also on show including:
- Audio commentary with The League of Gentlemen, Jeremy Dyson, Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith. This is great fun as the cast of A League Of Gentleman TV series watch and discusses the film, sure they go off topic at times but this was such a refreshing change from the usual commentaries.
- A Priceless Potboiler: Victoria Price discusses Theatre of Blood. Interesting interview with the daughter of Vincent Price discussing his career and how he loved this film so much.
- A Fearful Thespian: an interview with David Del Valle.
- Staged Reaction: an interview with star Madeleine Smith who recalls her time on the set and the actors involved.
- A Harmony for Horror: an interview with composer Michael J. Lewis
- Original Trailer
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sam Smith
- Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by film critic Cleaver Patterson and a reproduction of original press book material, illustrated with original archive stills.
Yet another great release from Arrow who are definitely one of the best Blu ray labels in the UK at the moment. The disc is available in standard packaging or a gorgeous steelbook limited edition.
FILM: 8 PICTURE: 7.5 AUDIO: 8 EXTRAS: 8