Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, February 18, 2016


VINCENT PRICE: THE ART OF FEAR. Denis Meikle. Foreword by Richard Matheson. Afterword by Roger Corman. Reynolds and Hearn; 2003.

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.


angelman66 said...

This looks like it's definitely worth a read. I love Vincent Price...I recently saw Edward Scissorhands again for the first time since its release in 1990, and forgot about Price's frail cameo, the swan song of his career. He was married to one of my favorite actresses, Coral Browne, but he always gave off a kind of gay vibe for me...but then again, so did she.
Price had one of the greatest and most unmistakable voices, too...remember Michael Jackson used him to narrate the long version of Thriller?

Thanks for another thought-provoking slate of blog posts, Bill, I always look forward to them!

William said...

Thank you so much! Price's daughter pretty much "outed" Price in her biography of him -- he and Browne were both at least bisexual. Apparently he also fell in love with some unknown man.
Who knows what choices people would make for companionship if they weren't concerned with "image."

angelman66 said...

Watching him right this minute in Edgar Allen Poe's War Gods of the Deep with Tab Hunter!