Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Madhouse (1974)

...aka: Deathday
...aka: Madhouse of Dr. Fear, The
...aka: Revenge of Dr. Death, The

Directed by:
Jim Clark

Veteran horror star Paul Toombes (Vincent Price) thinks his career is going to be revived when he's asked to reprise his "Dr. Death" character for an upcoming British television production. A jealous, skull-masked killer thinks otherwise and sets out to frame him for a series of nasty murders. Not-bad British horror has some effective scenes, some imaginative murder scenes and a very knowing, self-referential performance by Price, but goes uncomfortably over-the-top toward the end. Clips from many earlier Price films, such as PIT AND THE PENDULUM (1961), TALES OF TERROR (1962) and THE RAVEN (1963), are used and Boris Karloff, Basil Rathbone and others can be seen in that footage. Excellent supporting cast - Peter Cushing as a screenwriter, Adrienne Corri as a former actress disfigured in a fire, Robert Quarry as a sleazy movie producer, Linda Hayden as an early victim - helps. Adapted from Angus Hall's novel "Devilday."


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