Friday, 19 October 2012

Diary of a Madman opens the 47th season of the Gothique Film Society

The Gothique Film Society in London has been hosting screenings for connoisseur's of the macabre since 1966 and its new season kicks off tonight with 1963's Diary of a Madman and the late-Universal low-budget horror whodunit Night Monster starring Bela Lugosi.

Diary of a Madman was directed by the workman-like Reginald Le Borg, best known for helming The Black Sleep and Voodoo Woman, and loosely based on the The Horla by Guy De Maupassant.  Price plays a French magistrate and part-time sculptor who comes under the influence of an invisible evil which tries to turn Price into the thing he fears most - a killer.

The indie feature was not well received on its release, with Variety observing 'Price, that master of the wickedly arched eyebrow, handles his role with the ease acquired through a career of myriad villainous personifications, although there are times when he seems like a man more in need of an aspirin than a psychiatrist'. The Monthly Film Bulletin, however, praised the actor by noting that 'Vincent Price does nobly by intractable material'.

For me, it's a period piece that has stood the test of time and belongs in the same company as Price's Corman films.

The Diary of a Madman and Night Monster screen from 6.50pm (19 October 2012) at The Gothique Film Society, Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, WC1

No comments: