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Theatre of Blood (1973) - Blu-ray Review

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Theatre of Blood (1973) - Blu-ray Review

4 beersWhen Vincent Price takes to the stage, fans of the Horror genre had best take notice.  His delivery is both campy and intoxicatingly brilliant.  There is no doubt in my mind that his classicisms of stage acting would have won over any hard-hearted critic.  His presence is commanding and, as made clear by the bloody pulp in Theatre of Blood, his Shakespearean verse is just as twisted as his filmography.  Some might even describe it as deadly.

And that’s how we Horror Hounds like our Price; smiling and covered in blood.  The froed out wig helps, too.

Released on blu-ray courtesy of those depraved souls over at Twilight Time, Theatre of Blood, co-starring the marvelous Diana Rigg, tells the story of how Edward Kendal Sheridan Lionheart (Price) gets his revenge on all the theatre critics who tried to shame him off the stage with his Shakespearean dedication.  His genius will not be denied.  While it is rumored that Lionheart killed himself after the London critics’ circle had their way with his last production of a Shakespeare play, the truth of the matter is far more disturbing.

Edward Kendal Sheridan Lionheart is plotting revenge so foul and twisted that it will blow your mind.  He will kill the nasty members of the local critics circle by recreating all of significant deaths in Shakespeare’s plays with them as the leading role.  In this fashion, one critic gets his head cut off.  Another kills his wife thinking she has had an affair.  She hasn’t, but Lionheart made it seem that way with a very active (and hysterical) bedroom massage.

His daughter, Edwina (Rigg), is just as insane as he is and assists her father and his underground theatre group through disguises, manipulation, and secret rendezvous with the unsuspecting critics.  One by one, Lionheart gets his revenge.  And the more extravagant the design, the more enjoyable they are to watch.  Plus being electrocuted by a huge hair dryer in a salon is pretty damn hilarious as a recreation of Henry VI, Part 1 ritual burning of Joan of Arc.  And being forced to eat two freshly baked poodles brings a whole new interpretation to the brutal wit of Titus Andronicus

From Richard III to Merchant of Venice, all of Shakespeare’s plays get modernized to capitalize on crushing to death the critics Lionheart has had to endure.  Actors Dennis Snipe, Harry Andrews, Robert Coote, Coral Browne, Jack Hawkins, and Robert Morley play the critics and their death scenes are played to the hilt.  Hell, even Diana Dors gets in on the action.  Theatre of Blood might be too bleak for some, but – as it all unfolds – it unveils itself to be something far more richer: the blackest of comedies.

Directed by Douglas Hickox (Zulu Dawn, Sky Riders), Theatre of Blood is first and foremost a biting commentary on critics and the wars they wage with their words.  It just might also be a special message to each and every one of Price’s many critics.  If that is the case (and it very well may be) then, truly, the last laugh is indeed on them.  Price is ridiculously good as the shamed Edward Kendal Sheridan Lionheart.

With Twilight Time’s release of Theatre of Blood, the late, great Vincent Price would like to welcome you to his horror show.  He’s got a front row seat reserved especially for YOU.  You bring the popcorn.  He’ll supply the blood.

Theatre of Blood (1973) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
104 mins
Director
: Douglas Hickox
Writer:
Anthony Greville-Bell
Cast:
Vincent Price, Diana Rigg, Ian Hendry
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
It's curtains for his critics!
Memorable Movie Quote: "Look, Devlin, when two people have the same motive to murder and one of them is still alive, who would you arrest?"
Theatrical Distributor:
United Artists
Official Site:
Release Date:
April 5, 1973
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
August 16, 2016
Synopsis: A Shakespearean actor takes poetic revenge on the critics who denied him recognition.

Theatre of Blood (1973) - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Twilight Time
Available on Blu-ray
- August 16, 2016
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Region A

Twilight Time presents Theatre of Blood on 1080p High-Definition with a limited release.  The transfer hasn’t been scrubbed, but the film grain is not problematic.  Colors are bold with the upgrade and shadow levels are thick.  Lines are good throughout and the occasional dirt or debris, while noticeable, is not that big of an issue.  The aspect ratio is 1.66:1 in a region free disc. The sound is presented here in an English 1.0 DTS-HD MA track.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • There is a marvelously rich commentary track recorded by Film Historians David Del Valle and Nick Redman.

Special Features:

Loaded to the gills and spread across two discs, the Collector’s Edition of Carrie is a thing to celebrate.  All the interviews on the second disc are new and provide a lot of i

Outside of the commentary, there is an isolated score track that highlights Michael J. Lewis’ compositions and the original theatrical trailer.

  • Isolated Score Track
  • Original Theatrical Trailer

 

 

Theatre of Blood (1973) - Blu-ray Review

 

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