Thursday, October 24, 2013

Vincent Price horror is finally here!

For those who like the schlocky old Vincent Price horror movies, you're in luck: the last two weeks of Price as TCM' sStar of the Month brings some of those silly 1950s and 60s horror movies that he did.

The night kicks off at 8:00 PM with House of Wax, which is the 1953 remake of Mystery of the Wax Museum. Personally, I love the 1933 movie, while the 1953 Vincent Price remake is one that I find OK but not nearly as good as the original. There's more of a focus on the sculptor character (Lionel Atwill in the original; Price here) in the remake, but probably the biggest issue I have with the remake is that it was shot in 3D. There are a couple of scenes where it's obvious shots were selected not for artistic reasons, but because the filmmakers wanted something that would show up well in 3D to wow the viewers in theaters who got the 3D print. Seeing a 2D print, which is all TCM can really show, highlights this problem. On the bright side, the character of the sculptor's mute assistant is played by Charles Buchinsky, befor he changed his last name to Bronson. House of Wax is available on one of those four-movie "Greatest Classic Films" collections that TCM often hawks in between movies.

And then there's The Tingler, coming up at 2:15 AM. I've recommended it before, as part of a night of William Castle movies. It is available on DVD, but I think the DVD has gone out of print since it's not available at the DVD shop and Amazon claims only a limited number of copies is available.

And then there are the movies based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe, of which Price made several. This week sees House of Usher at 11:00 PM, with The Raven tomorrow morning at 8:15 AM. I'm pretty certain I've never seen The Raven, and think I haven't seen House of Usher. But then, I may be confusing the latter with The Pit and the Pendulum. There's something about these and especially the Hammer horror films that makes all of them flow together after a while. I don't know if it's the set design or the color, but every time I see one of them there's something that seems just a bit "off". Not so much wrong or bad, but just distinctive.

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