Subscribe Now!
GannettUSA Today

Thursday, October 25, 2007


For tomorrow's PAGE X, I put together an easy-on-the-eyes, reads-like-silk (if I say so myself) package about the DVD boxed set "Vincent Price: MGM Scream Legends Collection."

Watching those Price movies back-to-back made me reflect on this guy who took over the horror-film mantle from Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre, Basil Rathbone, Lon Chaney Jr., et el. I mean, Price LITERALLY took it over. He made movie after movie with the aforementioned horror stars, so the passing-of-the-torch was a mutually agreeable process. The old-timers got one more day in the sun (in such films as "The Raven," "The Haunted Palace," "The Comedy of Terrors" and "Tales of Terror"), and Price headlined a most distinguished ensemble for much of the 1960s.

Nobody really took Price's place when he died. (Robert Englund? Please.)

Nephew recently asked me to name my favorite Vincent Price flick. I was at a loss. For Karloff, I could name 10 off the top of my head. But I realized that Price's contribution to film is cumulative. Not many of his movies are what you'd call "great." The best of the Roger Corman/Edgar Allan Poe movies is probably "Masque of the Red Death." But unlike the '30s and '40s Universal classics, I could not quote chapter and verse from that movie. (Although, since Nephew asked me that, I did finally pick a favorite: "Witchfinder General," which is on the boxed set.)

With Price, you think of moments. Drowning in wine in "Tower of London." The magic duel with Karloff in "The Raven." The wine-tasting duel with Lorre in "Tales of Terror." His sweet, touching farewell in "Edward Scissorhands."

I miss Vincent Price. He was erudite, witty and he never, ever denigrated the maligned genre we dearly love.


Post a Comment

<< Home