Thursday, February 18, 2016
VINCENT PRICE: THE ART OF FEAR
This is a very thorough, well illustrated look at the highly interesting career of Vincent Price, focusing primarily on the horror and suspense pictures that made him famous. There are looks at both versions of Tower of London, earlier films such as The Invisible Man Returns and Dragonwyck, his career-altering stardom in House of Wax, his collaboration with Roger Corman in several Poe adaptations such as Pit and the Pendulum, and the mixed bag of terror films that he made in his later years, including the near-classic Theater of Blood and the Dr. Phibes movies. Author Meikle takes a critical look at both the films and the performances -- he's not in love with every movie nor every performance by Price -- and there's much background information about the pictures as well. Meikle is on less firm ground when he writes somewhat awkwardly about Price's sexuality, but the book is attractively packaged, well-written, and noteworthy.
Verdict: You may not agree with every assessment, but this is a real treat for Price enthusiasts. ***1/2.