Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. United Kingdom, 1973. Harbour Productions Limited, Cineman Productions. Idea by Stanley Mann, John Kohn, Screenplay by Anthony Greville-Bell. Cinematography by Wolfgang Suschitzky. Produced by John Kohn, Stanley Mann. Music by Michael J. Lewis. Production Design by Michael Seymour. Costume Design by Michael Baldwin. Film Editing by Malcolm Cooke.
For anyone who thinks that Shakespeare is meant to be a quiet and lofty experience, this delicious horror movie that celebrates the violence in his plays is a must-see. Vincent Price is glorious as an actor who, despite having publicly committed suicide two years earlier, is actually still alive and out to get revenge on the critics who panned his performances and denied him the Critics Circle award he coveted for his season of multiple productions of plays by The Bard. One by one he murders or destroys the life of a theatre writer, each action directly related to a method of violence employed in the particular play that he performed before his supposed demise. The pound of flesh from The Merchant Of Venice is one thing, but just try not to get super squeamish when he takes revenge in the style of Titus. Diana Rigg has a wonderful supporting turn as Price’s devoted daughter who appears in a number of looney disguises. The whole thing is nasty, funny and moves at a great clip, benefiting greatly from the rich production design and a truly grand performance by Price, who later said that this was his personal favourite of all his films.