Watch Theater of Blood
- 1 hr 44 min
The 1973 movie Theater of Blood is a horror-comedy film starring Vincent Price, Diana Rigg, and Ian Hendry. The film is directed by Douglas Hickox and written by Anthony Greville-Bell and John Kohn. The plot follows an obsessed Shakespearean actor, Edward Lionheart, who seeks revenge on a group of critics who have refused to award him the coveted critics' circle award.
The movie opens with Edward Lionheart being publicly humiliated when he is denied the critics' circle award for the seventh year in a row. After this final defeat, Lionheart is presumed dead, but in reality, he has survived and disappeared for over a year. Lionheart's body is found and brought to a morgue, where he is identified by his daughter, Edwina. However, it turns out that Lionheart faked his own death and has been living in the abandoned theater in which he once performed. In this theater, Lionheart begins to plan and execute his revenge on the critics who denied him the award, using the plays of Shakespeare as his inspiration.
The victims are killed off one by one, each death stylized to resemble a death from one of Shakespeare's plays. Lionheart seems to lose himself in his roles, becoming consumed by the characters he portrays. He uses his thespian talents to put on a performance that would shock and amaze the audience, as well as the critics. Each death brings Inspector Boot, played by Ian Hendry, closer to unmasking the killer. However, with each twist and turn, it appears Lionheart is always one step ahead.
Diana Rigg plays Edwina Lionheart, Edward's daughter who initially believes her father is truly dead. However, as the bodies pile up, Edwina becomes more and more concerned with her father's whereabouts. Moreover, Edwina's interactions with the critics and the police make her a target for her father's vicious treachery.
Theatrical in its horror, the movie is a dark satire on the pretensions of critics and their impact on artists. Vincent Price is magnificent as Edward Lionheart, using his theatrical range to bring Shakespeare's characters to life. The restraint with which Price portrays the character, especially in the opening scenes, is nothing short of remarkable. Nevertheless, there is an underlying madness that lurks beneath the surface, steadily intensifying with each murder. The plethora of British actors in the movie, from Robert Morley to Harry Andrews, are all outstanding in their respective roles, giving gravitas to the film's dialogue-laden scenes.
The film's score by Michael J. Lewis is another of its standout features. The music adds an eerie tension to the scenes, as if the audience is a part of the play happening on screen. It is subtle, yet highly effective in setting the right mood for the film's macabre theme.
Theater of Blood is a memorable horror-comedy that does not take itself too seriously. While the film is gruesome and violent, it is also injected with a dark sense of humor. The movie shows that Vincent Price was a master of his craft, well beyond the film's genre. The mastery of his performance has become iconic within the genre of horror movies.
In conclusion, the 1973 movie Theater of Blood is a captivating horror-comedy film filled with great performances by legendary actors, deathly hilarious dark humor, and a gripping storyline. It is a movie that horror fans are sure to enjoy, even more than four decades after its initial release.
Theater of Blood is a 1973 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 44 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.1 and a MetaScore of 81.