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12
3.3 out of 5 stars
Madhouse [DVD]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 October 2014
A daft, illogical late runner in the British horror genre, 1974's Madhouse features Vincent Price playing a Hollywood horror movie actor who goes doolally after his former adult film star fiancée is butchered in the style favoured by the famous maniac he plays on screen, and he can't remember whether he did it or not. After a long recovery period he finds himself attempting a comeback on British TV, only for a new series of murders to start, chipping away at his sanity yet again...
Price's final film for American International Pictures, here co-producing with Amicus (and featuring arguably the star's last genuine leading role), on paper the movie sounds like it could be worthwhile, teaming him as it does with Peter Cushing (playing his shifty scriptwriter) in what is really their only genuine co-starring vehicle, and featuring several other UK horror stalwarts like Linda Hayden and Adrienne Corri in smaller parts. The movie, however, is not only howlingly stupid in the way that its plot progresses (it doesn't seem to matter how many members of the cast and crew of Price's new television show get killed, they just carry on making it anyway), it presents us with a mystery that is totally transparent in the way it will eventually play out. Robert Quarry, AIP's early 1970s answer to Hammer's Shane Briant, appears as a sleazy producer whose revelations about Price's betrothed set the plot in motion, and gives a singularly unattractive turn; and frankly, I could have done without the self-reflexive cameo from Michael Parkinson, of all people, as well.
A curiously anaemic film for the time (several of the killings are gore-free and occur devoid of any real suspense, so the current BBFC '18' certificate is laughable), and one that doesn't exactly stretch its legendary leading actors (considering he's second-billed, Cushing is wasted, and I always prefer Price when he's being commandingly villainous rather than paranoid and terrified, as he is here), the best one can say about Madhouse is that, unlike the previous year's Theatre of Blood (which also featured Price as an unhinged actor who may or may not be a killer), it doesn't outstay its welcome. It is also the only film in history to boast having Cushing, Price, Boris Karloff and Basil Rathbone all in its cast list, due to the cheeky use of clips from older AIP-released efforts featuring the (by 1974) deceased stars, here passed off as the Price character's previous movies.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 3 June 2013
This new DVD, by Spirit Entertainment, is non-anamorphic 1.85:1 in a 1.33:1 frame, meaning the image as seen on a 1.78:1 HDTV is both letterboxed (top and bottom) and pillarboxed (left and right). Yes, you can zoom the image to better fit the screen, but that leads to lower picture quality.

I'm guessing this must be a R2 conversion of the non-anamorphic R1 MGM DVD from 2004? I can't believe we're still getting non-anamorphic DVD releases in the year 2013! I wouldn't have bothered buying this disc if Amazon had included better - any! - product information.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 17 January 2014
This was the last of the four Vincent Price 'serial killer' films of the early 70s. With a pair of Phibes films and Theatre of Blood going before it, 'Madhouse' had a lot to live up to. It fails rather dismally I am afraid. The ponderous whodunnit of a plot combines with a really poor script to leave the impressive cast doing their level best, but cast adrift in a charmless gore fest. Where the previous films had some wry humour and were delivered with style and pace, this film looks a bit like a TV movie copy, simply designed to cash in. The use of an actor as the main protagonist is clearly lifted from Theatre of Blood, and thus suffers the more dearly by comparison with it. A pale, rather unpleasant spectacle to end a run of otherwise excellent films.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 29 May 2013
Vincent Price that is! Not an Amicus, or Brit Horror, classic by any means, but watching Price and to a lesser degree in this particular film the great Peter Cushing, hamming it up in fine style makes it watchable. Worth a punt for collectors - if you can get it cheap - it's a decent clean widescreen print, and is fun enough to watch, if a little untidy and disjointed at times. There's some pretty bad acting and sereval miscastings, but that kind of ads to the fun in many ways. According to the BBFC it's uncut, but it does look like someone has defintely cut some of the 'gory' scenes at some point - possibly the makers themselves in the editting room - and there is absolutely no way, if it were put forward for re-classification today it would be given a Cert 18. 12 at the very most and quite possibly even a PG. So if you're looking for the promised gore on the sleeve, you're probably better off looking elsewhere!
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on 1 May 2015
really good film from way back like vincent price horrors in general many thanks for custom.
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on 10 March 2015
Very good quality DVD. Arrived within 2 days.very pleased.
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10 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 25 May 2013
Finally the two greats on screen together- but all we get is a spoof like doc cum comedy of Vincent Price's career.
And its all played for laughs. Don't expect to see much of Cushing either, who looks uninterested in the project.

Also features a bizarre cameo by Michael Parkinson.
I love Cushing, I love Price- But I wish this had been straight up horror as oppose to nothing more than a bad joke.

A wasted opportunity, I'm afraid.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 12 July 2013
"madhouse" is one of those films where a good cast helps to make the film watchable. the plot is a rather silly one that doesn't always make a lot of sense, some of the dialogue is just routine and nothing exceptional but seeing two of the greatest actors in the horror genre helps a good deal.
vincent price and peter cushing are their usual dependable selves and like real troopers, they do their best with the feeble material they are given.
the plot is nothing new and seems rather tired and one-dimensional throughout. i did enjoy a few scenes along the way but the film doesn't gel as a whole.
the picture and sound on this dvd is of good quality and i am glad that "madhouse" has finally surfaced on region 2 dvd.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I think this is one of Price's better U/K films. He really is very dominating in a rather mundane silly script, that does however have some good moments and some surprising location work. Cushing is for once sadly miscast, but as usual, works hard. What Robert Quarry is doing in it I don't know. And how could they cast Adrienne Corri and then cover her in gruesome makeup for most of the film? Even tho the ending disapointed I enjoyed this SPIRIT release a lot. I had to use my Zoom button to bring the picture up and it was still good quality. Sound fine too. No extras, but recomended regardless of my mainly negative comments.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 22 August 2014
VERY PLEASED WITH MOVIE AND THE QUICK TIME IT WAS DELIVERED, HAPPY WITH MY PURCHASE.
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