An elderly peasant woman meets a strange red-robed figure
who tells her that her village's salvation from tyranny is
at hand. When the cruel Prince Prospero arrives at the village
to gloat about an extravagant masque ball for local dignitaries
he finds the elderly woman suffering from the Red Death, a
virulent plague. Taking an innocent young woman and, to ensure
her co-operation, her father and betrothed too, he orders
the village torched. The nobles can not leave the castle for
fear of the Red Death, so Prospero is free to have a little
fun at their expense. When the mysterious red-robed figure
is seen at the masque, Prospero believes it to be his master,
Satan. But not even Prospero is safe from the hands of the
Red Death and the macabre dance of death that follows...
from Witchfinder General, this is probably one of the
best suited outlets for Vincent Price's talents. He seemed
to revel in this sort of character and was well-suited to
the gentlemanly human monster.
Masque of the Red Death,
from 1964, is based on the Edgar Allen Poe classic tale, and
also incorporates elements of several other stories from the
maestro's impressive cannon. There is also a homage to The
It is one of the better examples of director Roger Corman's
film work, with camera work and sets being particularly impressive.
The epilogue scene wherein the red-robed figure meets-up with
his brethren (each in a different colour robe and representing
individual diseases) is a nice touch - especially with the
untouched little girl playing nearby.
It's great to see minor accidents or mistakes in films, and
I couldn't help noticing the young peasant woman's dress strap
coming unfastened as she is sent to the battlements. Moments
like this add a little something to certain films.
will be of interest to Price fans and followers of horror
from an earlier (perhaps more innocent) age, although there
are a handful of nasty moments. It is worth seeing individually,
but will prove much more appealing when packaged in a set.