Today is the Master of Horror’s Birthday. Yes, May 27th 1911 was the day Horror was born. No matter your age, you have seen or heard Vincent Prince in some shape or form...MJ's Thriller anybody? Hell, he was on Scooby-Doo! This year sit down, crack open a beer and watch the master at work in these five iconic roles. I’ll also list where you can watch them & their remakes at the bottom...I mean if you’re into that kind of thing.
House on Haunted Hill 1959:
Rich oddball Frederick Loren (Vincent Price) has a proposal for five guests at a possibly haunted mansion: Show up, survive a night filled with scares and receive $10,000 each. The guest of honor is Loren's estranged wife, Annabelle (Carol Ohmart), who, with her secret lover, Dr. Trent (Alan Marshal), has concocted her own scheme to scare Loren's associate, Nora Manning (Carolyn Craig), into shooting the potentially crazy millionaire. But more spooks and shocks throw a wrench into the plan.
My Thoughts: While the rundown of this sounds like a scooby-doo episode it’s a nice classic to throw on. The “Ghost” gets me every time, I just can’t see that face and not laugh. I watched the remake before I ever saw this one sooo it’s not fair to compare scare-wise. I do think the story in the remake was more put together but Both had good endings in my book.
You can find this classic on:
Last Man on Earth 1964:
The survivor (Vincent Price) of a global epidemic battles a race of zombie vampires in an adaptation of Richard Matheson's "I Am Legend."
My Thoughts: Last Man on Earth, I Am Legend, Omega Man, no matter what title or era you toss this concept into, it will still be amazing. The idea of feeling like you’re the last living person and all you can do is Battle off the monsters that the world has turned into. It seems the monsters change from story to story but I’m pretty sure the main concept was vampires. Vincent did an amazing job in this one just like Will Smith did In I Am Legend. They had to carry the whole movie on their backs, with no real supporting cast for a good hour. It speaks to their talent and I would sit and watch either of them any day.
“What are you doing Fred!”
You can find this masterpiece on:
House of Wax 1953:
Wax sculptor Henry (Vincent Price) is horrified to learn that his business partner, Matthew (Roy Roberts), plans on torching their wax museum to collect on the insurance policy. Henry miraculously survives a fiery confrontation with Matthew and re-emerges some years hence with a museum of his own. But when the appearance of Henry's new wax sculptures occurs at the same time that a number of corpses vanish from the city morgue, art student Sue Allen (Phyllis Kirk) begins suspecting wrongdoing.
My Thoughts: Okay, let’s get this out of the way. I liked the remake of House of Wax...I know most people think the only good thing about it was Paris Hilton's death scene but I thought the cast was strong and the story was pretty sound. I don't know how a whole town can go missing without anyone noticing but I guess that’s what happens when you live out in the backwoods.
The original has a more believable concept when it comes to getting bodies for the Wax Museum...but I think Henry should have just waited till they were buried, dug them up and no one would have missed them or asked if he could have some bodies, haha the museum in Atlanta has some real bodies on display. Sadly he went another route. I enjoyed the twist at the end of the remake and I also like that they haven’t gone and made 15 straight to DVD squeals...sometimes a movie is just best-left one and done...I’m talking about you "A Haunting In Connecticut 2: A Haunting In Georgia" who the hell was at that meeting when that movie was greenlit? I bet it was the same guy that said Last Exorcism 2 was a good title.
Moving on! I couldn’t find this free anywhere but you can watch it on these streaming services:
YouTube: $2. 99
The 13 Ghost Of Scooby-Doo 1985:
Shaggy and Scooby and friends must return 13 ghosts to a magic chest which they inadvertently released.
My Thoughts: I won’t lie this creeped me out as a kid. Scooby-Doo shows, in general, creeped me out, the only one I loved watching was a "Pup Named Scooby-Doo", that was my shit! Anyway, I don’t remember much from this aside from knowing:
- Vincent was in it
- Fred and Velma seemed to be M.I.A
- They had a new Scrappy like annoying character, who was some random little kid.
- While looking for pics, I found out Scrappy was in this. Clearly, I blocked him out.
It’s worth a watch if you’re a Scooby-Doo fan and the ghost were real in this one, which is what creeped me out. Oh young Sylvester, what a little bitch you were.
You can find this on:
Boomerang Streaming Channel
Edward Scissor Hands 1990:
A scientist (Vincent Price) builds an animated human being -- the gentle Edward (Johnny Depp). The scientist dies before he can finish assembling Edward, though, leaving the young man with a freakish appearance accentuated by the scissor blades he has instead of hands. Loving suburban saleswoman Peg (Dianne Wiest) discovers Edward and takes him home, where he falls for Peg's teen daughter (Winona Ryder). However, despite his kindness and artistic talent, Edward's hands make him an outcast.
My Thoughts: Okay Vincent didn’t have a big roll in this but it was still cool to see the master at work once again. I’ve always been at odds with this movie, a lot of people love it but I just didn’t get it. What was the doctor’s endgame? Why make a guy with scissor hands? Why not removable scissor hands? It just all seemed random like The Human Centipede...okay you did it but why? And now what the hell are you gonna do with it? This really just felt like a modern-day twist on Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein. I guess I’m not a big fan of movies that have someone create something just because they can...Jurassic Park!
You can find this on:
Well, that’s it. I hope you guys find something awesome to watch on the master of horror’s birthday. sit down with your friends and enjoy the holiday weekend.
For a closer look at Vincent Price’s life, see what his daughter had to say about him:
And as always don’t forget to check out Planet Dead and my other books on Amazon or at: