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Masque of Red Death & Premature Burial [DVD] [1962] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000068TPE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 97,799 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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Format: DVD
This double-sided DVD brings together two of the seven Edgar Allen Poe adaptations that Roger Corman made in the early 1960s for American International (1963's "The Haunted Palace" uses the title of a poem by Poe for the title but is really based on a H.P. Lovecraft story, so it does not count as one of the series as far as I am concerned). The result is a decent enough double-bill of only American movies that were giving the Hammer gothic revival any real competition.
For "The Masque of the Red Death," Corman had the advantage of Charles Beaumont, one of the scripters from "The Twilight Zone" who also wrote "The Seven Faces of Dr. Lao," and science fiction author R. Wright Campbell, doing the adaptation for this 1964 film. What you have to keep in mind is that Poe's originally tale is barely long enough to be considered a short story in the first place, but it is a neat title and it did have a pretty good twist. Beaumont and Campbell come up with an elaborate story to set up how it is that the Red Death attends Prospero's masque. One of the things they did was incorporate "Hop-Frog," another Poe story, but another is to turn Prospero and his sister in worshippers of Satan (reformed, apparently, compared to what we would see from other Hollywood films such as "Rosemary's Baby" in the next decade).
When young Francesca (Jane Asher, Paul McCartney's muse in the early 1960s when he was writing songs for her older brother Peter of Peter & Gordon) begs for the lives of her father (Nigel Green) and Gino (David Weston), the young man she loves, Count Prospero (Vincent Price) tells her she can choose who will live and who must die. However, that is just a prelude to the main part of the film where Prospero and his court and holed up in his castle.
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Format: DVD
This is MGM at their best. A double-feature DVD with two Roger Corman classics, both in glorius widescreen, both in luscious technicolor. The first gem, "Masque of the Red Death", has never looked better. A tale of decadence set during the black plague, here represented as the "red plague", thus Edgar Allen Poe. But where Poes wonderful poem ends, is, so-to-speak, at the end of this film. Corman took Poes frightening vignette on the black death and spun a tale of Satanism versus Christain belief, all set in a richly atmospheric castle in the middle of a hellish landscape -- For those of you squemish about anything to do with Christianity, think of it as a morality play of Good against Evil; afterall, Corman is rather ambiguous as to who the hooded "death characters" really are -- And our host to the party to end all parties, none other than Vincent Price himself.
The second film, Premature Burial, I'd never seen until this DVD. It is not as hypnotic at "Masque", but it is a fun, macabre journey into madness with a superb actor, Ray Milland, at the helm. Also starring the very sexy, very voluptious Hazel Court, which some Hammer Horror fans may remember from the up and coming dvd "Curse of Frankenstein", due out in October. The film is presented in widescreen. Both films, one on each side of the DVD, include very nicely produced extras with Roger Corman, giving some nice information on the creation and production of both films. If your a fan of Vincent Price, buy it for "Masque". If your a fan of Roger Corman, you will not be disapointed in either film.
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Format: DVD
This was a great double feature disc by MGM, both films are Edgar Allen Poe tales directed by Roger Corman. The first film Masque of the Red Death (1964) takes place in a countryside ravaged by the Red Death. A sadistic, Satan-worshipping Prince Prospero (brilliant played by Vincent Price) holds court over a massive gathering of his "friends" -- fellow nobles who have renounced God for the protection of Prospero and Satan from the plague. Among the people is a religious peasant girl, Francesca (Jane Asher), who Prospero kidnapped from a poor village nearby along with her fiance and father, he keeps her locked up because of her purity in order to corrupt her soul. As the plague decimates Francesca's village, Prospero and his friends engage in acts of debauchery, secure in the knowledge that they are safe behind his walls thanks to his pact with the Devil. Yet, the Red Death moves ever closer... Are the Satanists really protected from the inevitability of death?. Corman has certainly matured over the years. His filmmaking techniques are no longer shoestring or cheap. Here, it is obvious that he has developed a taste for color, atmosphere, tone, and lighting. MASQUE features probably his best work as a director and is only rivaled, in my opinion, by TALES OF TERROR, another Poe film. Vincent Price proves once again why he has won the hearts of genre fans everywhere. I can only compare his performance here to that in House on Haunted Hill, only better. Jane Asher does a splendid job as well, but Hazel Court, Hammer's resident scream queen, has little to do here as Juliana. The final images of the film set during the masque are breathtaking and will stun those expecting cheap gothic thrills. It was very atmospheric and had the best sets I've seen so far.Read more ›
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