Old school horror star Vincent Price has done it again with yet another classic, Theater of Blood. In this feature, Vincent Price stars as Edward Lionheart, a Shakespearean actor that was humiliated at an awards ceremony after being passed over for an award to an actor whom he felt didn’t deserve to win.
Lionheart decides to take revenge on a group of critics by murdering them one by one, based on the murder scenes of various Shakespeare plays, like getting stabbed to death from Julius Caesar, or drowning in wine from Richard the Third, etc. It’s very creative since Lionheart also dresses in different disguises and recites passages from the Shakespeare plays as he kills each of the critics.
Of course, such a task cannot be done alone. Lionheart ends up finding beggars and drug addicts in the streets that help him out. Why they agreed to help is anyone’s guess.
Inspector Boot (Milo O’Shea) leads the investigation behind the murders. Even with head critic Devlin (Ian Hendry) knowing the pattern and who is responsible, Boot finds it hard to believe since Lionheart committed suicide long ago, or did he.
Inspector Boot’s main suspect is Lionheart’s daughter Edwina (Diana Rigg). However, she doesn’t believe her father is still alive either. You’d think Edwina would be off the hook, but Boot refuses to think that she wasn’t somehow involved. This only adds to the mystery.
This was a good horror film, especially with the level of horror being campy, which made it more interesting. However, some of the murders were a bit too gruesome to watch. Most particularly the one where pie is stuffed down a critic’s throat from Titus Andronicus. Aside from that, I’ve got to hand it to Theater of Blood for providing a great amount of knowledge about Shakespeare, which makes for a helpful source for those unfamiliar with his many plays.