Tower of London (1962)

ROGER CORMAN

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.  USA, 1962.  .  Story by , , Screenplay by Leo Gordon, F. Amos Powell, Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .

Vincent Price has no end of fun camping it up in this horror film inspired by the legendary (probably mythical) treachery of Richard III.  Edward IV languishes on his deathbed, naming his preferred brother Clarence as protector to the elder of his two small boys, setting Richard’s ambition for the throne in motion.  The dark prince kills Clarence to get the job for himself, then performs one murder after another on his path to his coronation, each death bringing with it the spectre of the deceased to haunt him in his private chambers and drive him mad (but not deter him from his actions).  The film’s idea of a fifteenth-century castle is something out of an amusement park’s haunted house, and the costumes are a storybook version of historical pageantry, but the commitment with which the whole thing is directed and played makes it a great time.  Everyone here knows exactly what they’re doing, no one more so than Price, who played Clarence in the 1939 version from which this one has been remade (and famously efficient director Roger Corman even includes battle footage from the earlier version that has been skillfully edited in here).

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