Friday, May 27th was Vincent Price’s 100th birthday, and while it seems somewhat odd to celebrate a birthday for someone who has already passed, in this case it may truly be fitting. Price was, of course, forever entwined with the horror genre, its own Master of Ceremonies. But it was his macabre wit and light comedic touch that he lent to many of his roles, that gave him unusual longevity as an actor; every few years reinventing himself, conjuring another trick, another sleight of hand. House of Wax (1953), House on Haunted Hill (1958), The Pit and the Pendulum (1961), The Masque of the Red Death (1964), The Last Man on Earth (1964). The list of notable films is endless, and endlessly watchable.
It’s truly hard to pick a favorite among his dozens of films. So I won’t. I’ll just say they are all my favorites: funny, eccentric, unsettling, addictive films that will always will remain, above all, classics.
So long live that voice.
Long live that laugh.
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“So here we are. Out.”
“Don’t make fun.”
“You know. That tone. That look.”
“I’m simply commenting. I mean, this is what everyone is talking about. The food prepared in picturesque portions, like the photos of meals in Gourmet magazine; the lights craftily placed about the room, as to create an atmosphere of cinematic reality. People laughing, drinking, conspiring…”
“Don’t be a jerk.”
“So this is out. I’m unimpressed.”
“Do we always have to be in? We’re always in. Work and home. That’s it. People are living in random and wonderful ways. Spontaneous ideas that disgorge them from their daily routines. People not afraid to revel in the unknown, in the benifits of unplanned travel. Backpacks carried. Shoes worn. Ideas mapped. We have no ideas.”
Somewhere, a plate falls to the floor.
“What’s so awful about being in, anyway? I think being out is overrated. When you’re in there are no variables only constants. You can relax. Take off your pants if you want. You can dribble on your shirt and read obscure 18th century books on botany without ridicule. You can imagine a young woman, a Victorian train passenger, crossing her legs from left to right, traveling across the English countryside while humming the lines from the St. Swithen’s Day nursery rhyme to herself; softly, sweetly. Eat a salad without utensils. You can sit and smolder. You don’t have to form complete and articulate sentences…”
“This is you being articulate? You’re rambling if you ask me.”
A few seconds pass.
“You weren’t always so anti-social? You weren’t always like this, were you?”
A few more seconds pass.
“So here we are.”
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