Theatre Of Blood – Blu-Ray Review

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC Theatre Of Blood - Blu-Ray Review

Encompassing both the chills and wit that made him an international star, Theatre of Blood is one of Vincent Price’s finest films in both content and performance, coming in second only to Witchfinder General.

When snubbed and shamed Shakespearian actor Edward Lionhart returns from his supposed grave, his new life is focused on one thing; taking revenge on the Critic’s Circle who denied him the Best Actor award with his own particular Shakespearian flare.

While certainly owing a debt to Prince’s Phibes roles, to think that this is a rip-off or in some way not it’s own film would be foolish. The balance of the humour and horror is spot on, Douglas Hickox direction is superb and Michael J Lewis’ score is essential to it all, but the era plays as essential a part of any of the cast or crew. It’s a film that encompasses a particular brand of grittiness and sleaze that can only be found in films from the 1970’s. There is just something about the cinematography, the production methods and general brown-ness of the 70’s that has so much more impact than if they were made now.

While it features a cast of great British character actors like Ian Hendry, Arthur Lowe and Michael Hordern to name but 3, Price is the real attraction. He sends up his hammy persona to utter perfection while also pulling off one of his finest screen performances, portraying the pathos and humour of Lionheart with ease and charisma. Even during his more unpleasant critic dispatches, you find yourself rooting for him.

This is an impressive and entertaining gem that has stood the test of time. One of the best British films of the 70’s and one of my personal favourites. For those with the MGM DVD release wondering whether it is worth paying out for this Blu-Ray release, it most certainly is. It looks and sounds like never before and will hopefully bring a whole new audience to this classic while giving it’s loyal followers another reason to tread the bloodied boards.

Bonus Features

Everything you get here is essential viewing for fans of the film and Price. The League of Gentlemen commentary is an entertaining and informative companion. A Priceless Potboiler with Victoria Price is an intriguing look at Price personally, while A Fearful Thespian with David De Latte takes a more professional stance. Staged Reaction with Madeline Smith is an insightful conversation about the film from one of it’s actors and A Harmony of Horror with Micheal J Lewis is a charismatic look at the score’s inception and Lewis’ larger career. As well as this, we still have the original theatrical trailer.

The accompanying booklet was unavailable for this review.

Available now

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