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Archive for the ‘Vincent Price’ Category

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VincentHouse

Funny, absurd, schlocky, at times horribly acted, and often downright creepy, William Castle’s 1959 horror opus, The House on Haunted Hill is all these things and more. Certainly my favorite of Castle’s filmography, House is also one of my favorite Vincent Price roles. Price seems to relish playing the ghoulishly smug Frederick Loren, and really, Price is the best thing about the film. His canny knack for pulling off even the most terribly written dialogue is something he brings to every role, and in House on Haunted Hill we see him at his smarmy best, delivering lines with that famous raised eyebrow and  slight smirk.

Above is my own take on a movie poster for the film, using the tag line of “the 13 Greatest Shocks of All Time” that can be seen in many of the newspaper ads for the film.

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Vincent Price on the set of Mario Bava’s Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs (1966).

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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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Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre en Vincent Price (photo by: Allan Grant).

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