The Masque Of The Red Death : The Film - The Book
I know what the townspeople think of me. They think I'm a cold blooded murderer because I ordered my men to burn down their houses, plagued by the incorruptible 'Red Death'.
But I'm not cold blooded, my friend. For I am the Satanist called Prince Prospero (Vincent Price). A very devilish Satanist who's currently in the process of perverting a peasant girl's Christian ways -- named Francesca (Jane Asher) -- by forcing her to choose who should live and who should die out of her father, Ludovico (Nigel Green), and her lover, Gino (David Weston).
Admittedly, I don't allow Francesca to make her decision straight away. No. Of course not. First I get my hand-maidens to bathe her. Then I hold a masquerade ball in honor of my mistress, Juliana (
Court). And that's when I... errr... how can I put
Oh! I know. I allow time to gestate. Time to show Francesca that nothing is as it seems. Not multi-colored rooms tinged with emotion. Not biblical slanted nonsense stained in blood. And never, never, never, hallucination or dreams guided by an unseen hand wafting within the breeze during the night.
Still. That's most probably why what next transpires all turns red when a dwarf and a mistress hatches some plans of their own. As a decision is finally made - a monkey is ultimately flayed - townspeople are shown the door - and at the end of the day a lonely robed figure wanders about, along a bloodstained banqueted floor.
To be absolutely honest with you, folks, I'm not entirely sure if I liked 'The Masquerade of the Red Death' or not. On the one hand a part of me really did warm up to its timely charms. As it had that way about it that just screamed class in a can for me. Whilst, on the other hand, there was another part of me that is slightly uncertain if the narrative structure held the film together as a whole. As there were a couple of moments scattered throughout this piece, which never appeared to go anywhere in retrospect.
Yes. That's correct. I'm talking about the concept of perverting one person's will within a baroque and medieval landscape. Personally speaking, I thought this topic of note was a great one to explore in cinema. Due to the fact that it's something we see nigh on every day in our own current semi-political climate.
Well, let's face it; forcing people to behave in a way that is not akin to the norm is very commonplace nowadays. Just look at the telly, the media, or the newspapers. And tell me that some of what you see is wholesome or pure on a visceral or emotional level.
Now the last thing I'd like to mention about 'The Masquerade of the Red Death', would be how all of the actors in it are just great to watch. Especially my pal, Vincent Price. My God! He really does play a right b*stard in this film. Exhibiting all of his mannered glory, in spite of Jane Asher's and
Court's cleavage being on show whenever the moment
Also, something else I want to say about this flick, is how the color pallet utilized, complemented the baroque nature of this yarn. Cosmetically the sets were bright and vivid, and the character costumes dull and muted. Or in contrast the opposite was sometimes additionally true. With the character costumes bright and vivid, and the sets dull and muted.
Not that this is a bad thing of course. It was just worth mentioning is all. Just like how it's worth mentioning that this is a pretty decent movie . With great actors. A so-so story-line. Plus a way about it that's pure class in a can.
THE RATING: B-