Watch: The Masque of the Red Death 1964 123movies, Full Movie Online – The evil Prince Prospero is riding through the Catania village when he sees that the peasants are dying of Red Death plague. Prospero asks to burn down the village and he is offended by the villagers Gino and his father-in-law Ludovico. He decides to kill them, but Gino’s wife, the young and beautiful Francesca, begs for the lives of her husband and her father and Prospero brings them alive to his castle expecting to corrupt Francesca. Propero worships Satan and invites his noble friends to stay in his castle that is a shelter of depravity against the plague. When Prospero invites his guests to attend a masked ball, he sees a red hooded stranger and he believes that Satan himself has attended his party. But soon he learns who his mysterious guest is..
Plot: A European prince terrorizes the local peasantry while using his castle as a refuge against the “Red Death” plague that stalks the land.
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|6.9/10 Votes: 14,660
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***Castles, peasants, diabolical princes, plague, death and Vincent Price***
During what appears to be the late Medieval era in (presumably) Britain, pompous Prince Prospero tyrannically reigns, terrorizing the serfs, while holding up in his castle with other “royals” during the plague of the Red Death. Hazel Court plays his seasoned nefarious babe in the castle whereas Jane Asher appears as his new interest, a virginal, God-fearing peasant girl.
Produced & directed by Roger Corman for American International, “The Masque of the Red Death” (1964) is Gothic horror with a huge rep based on the Poe yarn from 1842. It has a good Gothic mood (similar to Hammer horror of the period) and a heavy subtext, but I found the story relatively dull. I prefer Corman’s “The Terror,” which came out the year before and was considerably cheaper. The sets & costumes are colorful and the cast is noteworthy, but the sets sometimes look artificial. “Conqueror Worm,” aka “Witchfinder General” (1968), has a more authentic feel while “Cry of the Banshee” (1970), also from American International, rehashes similar territory and is pretty much on par.
The overt satanism might be surprising for a film shot in 1963, but this can be observed in comparable contemporary movies, like “Devils of Darkness,” shot in 1964. Neither film paints satanism in a positive light, but Anton LaVey capitalized on this new interest and sprung his “church” of satan in 1966.
The alluring young redhead, Jane Asher, was Paul McCartney’s girlfriend in the 60s. During production in December, 1963, she brought Paul to the set for lunch wherein he met Corman. This was the latter’s first film in England and he didn’t know who McCartney was. The Beatles’ first significant gig in nearby London was that night and Roger wished Paul well. The next day Corman read the gushing (and deserved) praise for the Beatles & their performance in the newspaper; it was the beginning of Beatlemania.
The movie seems to be set in the Middle Ages, perhaps the mid-late 1300s when the Black Death reigned. But there is no actual indication in Poe’s tale that the story has to happen before 1500 or even 1600, 1700 or 1800. The “Red Death” is an imaginary plague and therefore the story does not HAVE to occur in the 1300s when the Bubonic Plague swept Europe. The events could even take place in the future.
The film runs 1 hour, 29 minutes, and was shot on sets left over from Becket (1964) at Associated British Elstree Studios, Shenley Road, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England, just northwest of London.
Bold, Daring, Lurid.
Visually appealing and trippy in its telling, The Masque of the Red Death is a very acquired taste. Directed by Roger Corman, the film stars Vincent Price as the diabolical Prince Prospero who holds fear over a plague infested peasantry while jollying it up in his castle. The screenplay by Charles Beaumont and R. Wright Campbell is based upon a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe, while part of the film contains a story arc based on another Poe tale titled Hop-Frog. It’s the 7th of 8 Corman film adaptations of Poe’s works.
Sinister yet beautiful (Nicolas Roeg genius like on photography), “Red Death” has proved to be the most divisive of all the Corman/Poe adaptations. Choosing to forgo blood in favour of black magic dalliance and general diabolism, the film is arguably the most ambitious of all Corman’s love affairs with Poe’s literary works. With Price gleefully putting gravitas of meanness into Prospero, the film also greatly benefits from the intelligent input to the script from Beaumont (many Twilight Zone credits). This is, strangely, an intellectual type of horror film, offering up observations on the indiscrimination of death and proclaiming that cruelty is but merely a way of life.
God, Satan and a battle of faith, are all luridly dealt with as the story reaches its intriguing and memorable closure. It’s a very tough film to recommend with confidence, and certainly it’s not a film one wishes to revisit too often (myself having viewed it only twice in 30 years!). However, the one thing that is a cast iron certainty is that it’s unlike most horror film’s from the 60s. It’s also one of Price’s best performances. Gone is the camp and pomposity that lingered on many of his other horror characterisations, in its place is pure menace of being. A devil dealer shuffling his pack for all his sadistic worth.
You may feel afterwards that you must have eaten some weird mushrooms, or that the last glass of wine was one too many? You are however unlikely to forget “The Masque of the Red Death” in a hurry. 7/10
I can’t believe Roger Corman directed this masterpiece!
For those of you who are fans of director Roger Corman’s classic 50s sci-fi films like ATTACK OF THE CRAB MONSTERS, IT CONQUERED THE WORLD, or THE WASP WOMAN, you are going to be surprised that this is the same man who directed MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH. Superbly directed and beautifully composed, MASQUE is the first and best of Corman’s Poe films of the 1960’s.
Prince Prospero (played with just enough venom by Vincent Price) is an evil tyrant who hates his citizens and thinks nothing of burning their village to the ground. Holding a weekend get-together for his noble acquaintances, he discovers that the Red Death has manifested itself in the village around his castle. He kidnaps the beautiful Francesca (the wonderful Jane Asher), her lover Gino, and her father and keeps them in the castle with him. Prospero is a Satan worshipper as well and forces the princess, Juliana, to brand herself with an upside-down cross and sics his falcon on her when he feels like it. All the while, the Red Death decimates the land outside the castle and eventually makes its grand entrance during a masque.
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 his best work as a director and is only rivalled, in my opinion, by TALES OF TERROR, a later Poe anthology. 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 here, 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 a la THE UNDEAD, an earlier Corman work.
MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH is very deserving of a new VHS/DVD release. Fans of Price or Corman should definitely seek this out, as it is probably both mens’ greatest work. Highly recommended.
Death has no Master
Death himself, cloaked in red, delivers a plague to a village under the rule of the cruel, corrupt Prince Prospero(Vincent Price, in one of his finest roles). Prospero is offended by two villagers who ridicule the way he treats their people and decides to imprison them keeping them in a dungeon alive temporarily thanks to the pleading of the father’s red-headed daughter, Francesca(Jane Asher). Prospero fancies Francesca, who is quite homely at first, and wishes to corrupt her innocence and purity. Gino(David Weston)is Francesca’s beloved and Ludovico(Nigel Green)is her father and both are to partake in a devious game plotted by Prospero where one will die among the two in a “poisoned dagger” deal where each will choose from a group of blades cutting themselves until one receives that bad one that will end their life within five seconds.
Ultimately, the film is about Prospero’s devilish reign over everyone as he seems to hold the power over who lives and dies. Or, does he? What Prospero doesn’t know is that Red Death has his own plans and everything that has occurred from the plague that kills almost all the villagers to the capture of Francesca..it’s a plan devised by Death to show Prospero his fate.
A universal theme of “good versus evil” is employed skillfully by director Roger Corman in arguably his finest film using Satanism as the source of the evil and love as the source of good. Prospero and the woman of his castle, Juliana(Hazel Court), are “duelling” for Satan’s affections and Corman often uses dream-like surrealism to show their desire for the vile one’s favor. Juliana even takes the mark of the upside-down cross, burnt to her chest, to hopefully become Beelzebub’s bride.
We watch as Prospero shows no pity on villagers who wish to lodge in his castle and even certain aristocrats who just wish to barrier themselves from the red plague ravaging the countryside. We also see the wealthy denizens as they scrap for their host’s truffles and humiliate themselves often for Prospero’s sheer amusement(one sequence shows them mimicking animals at Prospero’s command). Prospero relishes misery, specifically from God-fearing Christians, and he often uses people he deems of lower value as entertainment for his visitors. An excellent example is two miniature people, Hop Toad(Skip Martin)and Esmeralda(Verina Breenlaw whose voice is dubbed by an older woman)who perform recitals for them. When Esmeralda accidentally tips over a glass of wine on slimy aristocrat, Alfredo(Patrick Magee who portrays him as a devious toad), she is slapped by him rashly.
In a moment of pure vengeful delight, Corman shows good triumph over evil when midget Hop Toad gets the better of Alfredo tricking him into a gorilla suit during a masquerade ball Prospero was putting together.
But, the film is about fate and death. We all shall meet that point and time and Prospero’s about to meet Death face-to-face. The ending where Prospero can not control the horror that will come to him is quite satisfying.
Corman used sets from the film “Becket” while making this film in England and provides us with a lavish look, magnificent color, really wonderful surreal nightmarish sequences..that’s just inside the castle. Death is photographed inside an eerie fog and the film’s final sequence where we hear a collection of “deliverers” talk in jest and sadness of their unfortunate duties of taking souls as they wander is a fine artist rendering of a great story adapted from Poe’s magnificent macabre tale. Price as the evil prince and the way Corman films the depravity really provides a template for that finale where everyone who inflicts their cruelty must meet their own cruel fate.
Original Language en
Runtime 1 hr 29 min (89 min), 1 hr 24 min (84 min) (UK)
Rated Not Rated
Genre Drama, Horror
Director Roger Corman
Writer Charles Beaumont, R. Wright Campbell, Edgar Allan Poe
Actors Vincent Price, Hazel Court, Jane Asher
Country United States, United Kingdom
Production Company N/A
Sound Mix Mono (RCA Sound Recording)
Aspect Ratio 2.35 : 1
Film Length 2,219 m, 2,308 m (Italy)
Negative Format 35 mm
Cinematographic Process Colorscope
Printed Film Format 35 mm, 8 mm