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The Masque of the Red Death

Screening on Film
Directed by Roger Corman.
With Vincent Price, Jane Asher, Hazel Court.
US, 1964, 35mm, color, 86 min.

In this celebrated adaptation of the classic Edgar Allan Poe tale, Vincent Price stars as Prince Prospero, a sleek Satanist with a penchant for burning down feudal villages, capturing fair maidens, and debasing his servants. To protect against the oncoming plague of the Red Death, Prospero arranges for the local noblemen to hide out in his castle, where they attend a masked ball filled with debauchery. But soon a mysterious figure arrives to disrupt the decadent affair. Corman’s first attempt at an "art film" exhibits influences as diverse as Bergman and Buñuel, and he succeeds in large part thanks to Nicolas Roeg’s crisp cinematography.

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