Monstervision Host Segments for
Theatre Of BloodIt's as much fun to scare as to be scared. Vincent Price
Many people envy the life of a professional actor but consider the down side. You're always a moving target. Not every critic is going to love each and every one of your performances. And sometimes the reviews can get downright malicious. The worst part is that the rude insults and snide remarks are there in print for the entire world to read and chuckle over! Why it's enough to drive some actors to suicide. That's what happens to Edward Lionheart (Vincent Price), the aging Shakespearean actor who gets overlooked for the prestigious Critic's Circle award. He jumps into the Thames and drowns. Or did he stage his own death? Because someone is killing off all the critics who overlooked Lionheart for the award.
That's the premise of Theatre of Blood (1973), a vintage Grand Guignol directed by Douglas Hickox. Clearly inspired by The Abominable Dr. Phibes, a 1971 Vincent Price horror-comedy, it is even more ghoulish and witty than its predecessor and features a first-rate supporting cast that reads like a who's who of British cinema: Diana Rigg plays Lionheart's devoted daughter, Edwina, Milo O'Shea is Inspector Boot, and the critics who are targeted for death include Harry Andrews, Jack Hawkins, Arthur Lowe, Robert Morley, Michael Hordern, Dennis Price, Ian Hendry, and Coral Browne (who became Vincent Price's wife shortly after completing this picture)
Shakespearean scholars, in particular, will get a kick of Theatre of Blood, because all of the gruesome murders are based on death scenes from the Bard's most famous plays. The scene where gourmand Robert Morley is fed his own twin poodles is a homage to Titus Andronicus; Jack Hawkins is driven into a jealous frenzy and murders his wife (Diana Dors) in a sequence inspired by Othello; a pound of flesh (as in heart) is extracted from Harry Andrews (echoes of The Merchant of Venice) and there are references to MacBeth, Richard III, and other classics.
On 1-17-97, Vincent Price gets revenge on all the critics. That's when MonsterVision brings you the horror classic Theatre of Blood, in which the man with the evil laugh plays a Shakespearean actor who murders his critics, one by one, recreating famous death scenes from his plays, each more gory than the last. And stay with Joe Bob to the best ending since James Cagney rode an exploding petroleum tank to the next world in White Heat.
Along for the thrill ride with our friend Vincent are Diana Rigg, Robert Morley (we'll let Joe Bob tell you in a moment what Vincent does to Robert's poodles), Ian Hendry, Harry Andrews, Coral Browne, Robert Coote, Micheal Hordern, Jack Hawkins, Diana Dors, Dennis Price, Milo O'Shea. 104 minutes.
For some strange reason, many critics didn't like this one.
Not to be confused with the Christopher Lee movie "Theatre of Death" (1967, vampire-like murders revolve around a Paris theater).
Now here's Joe Bob Briggs:
OK, stick around after Carrie, cause our second feature will be "Theatre Of Blood" with Vincent Price. "Theatre Of Blood" is the one he made in 1973, when he'd been established for years and years as the leading man in horror flicks...the story is kinda predictable, but you don't really mind due to the element of not being able to wait to see what Vince will do next! So anyhow, let's look at those Drive-In Totals. We have:
9 dead bodies
2 baked poodles
Critic ripped to pieces
Spear thru the heart
Critic dragged thru the streets
Head on a milk bottle
Heart in a box
Wine barrel drowning
Beauty parlor electricution
1 motor vehicle chase, with crash
Throat stuffing with plunger
1 train wreck
4 stars, check it out
A lotta death tonight. Great body count tonight for the combined double feature, not that we encourage anything in bad taste. Each and every death in the movie is necessary to the plot, I wanna make that clear right now. Some people misunderstand what we're trying to do. I am opposed to death. I won't have death in my own home. Thankyou.
"Theatre Of Blood" (1973)
Parental discretion advised, originally rated R for violence.
Last seen on MonsterVision 1-17-97
Theatre of Blood is available on a great DVD, and on video
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Joe Bob's description from broadcast
© 1997 Turner Network Television. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved
Original "tnt.com/monstervision" website has been erased. Blame any mispellings in the above on Bill Laidlaw. Email me if you would like to see the rest of host segments for Theatre Of Blood: firstname.lastname@example.org