Vincent Price once said: "I sometimes feel that I'm impersonating the dark unconscious of the whole human race. I know this sounds sick, but I love it!"
Not everything he was in could be a called a great movie, but when he was in fine form, there are few actors who can touch him for pure talent. Here are some of my favorites starring the king of thriller-chillers.
THE HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL (1959)
Eccentric millionaire Frederick Loren and his fourth wife have offered ten thousand dollars to five people if any one of them can survive the night locked in a large, haunted house he owns. What the guests don’t realize is, they’re not only trapped in there with each other and Loren, but with the ghosts of all the poor souls who died in that house.
HOUSE OF WAX (1953)
This film was a big success for Warner Brothers. In it, Mr. Price plays a talented sculptor of historical wax figures whose business partner wants to bring in more money so sets the museum on fire. Years later, Price’s character has disfigured hands and can’t sculpt, so he uses a large deaf-mute man (Charles Bronson) to do be his hands for him. This movie has one of the best shock reveals ever put on film, and the inherent tragedy of Price’s character permeates the whole thing.
The HOUSE OF WAX set Vincent Price on the path to becoming a horror icon--at one time, he hoped to be a leading romance hero! I'm glad he stayed villainous!
THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER (1960)
Is Usher's house cursed?
This is the first of Price’s collaborations with director-producer Roger Corman based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe. In it, he shaved off his trademark mustache for this film and dyed his hair bright blonde to play Roderick Usher, the oldest male of the ill-fated family. He vehemently opposes his sister’s pending nuptials to a nice young man on the grounds that the Usher bloodline is cursed, and so they argue. While not an outright villain, we get that Usher would rather see his sister dead or demented than for her to leave the house. It’s a glorious version of Poe—and Price plays it for the drama and not for campy horror.
I can't sign off without one of my favorite music videos featuring Michael Jackson with Vincent Price as narrator.
What are some of your favorite horror films?
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