Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Hudson’s Bay (1941) | When Vincent Price scored as a bewigged King Charles II

This 1941 wilderness epic from 20-Century Fox finds Paul Muni continuing his series of historical portraits (which he had begun with Louis Pasteur, Emile Zola and Benito Juarez), with a fictional, ‘cock-eyed’ account of real-life fur-trapper and explorer Pierre-Espirit Radisson, who envisions a great empire in the lands around Canada's Hudson's Bay.

Radisson’s odyssey takes him through the wild regions of the country’s north in the year 1667, where he befriends the local indigenous population, while clashing with the French. Then, returning to England, he convinces King Charles II in backing an expedition for the sum of 400,000 pelts…

Despite the lack of action and pedestrian direction (by Irving Pichel, who gave us such classic genre fare as 1932's The Most Dangerous Game and 1950's Destination Moon), it’s well shot by George Barnes (War of the Worlds) and J Peverell Marley (who also worked on House of Wax) on the Fox backlot (and on location in Idaho according to some sources), with a sterling ensemble cast holding it all together.

As King Charles II, a bewigged Vincent Price (who looks remarkably like Old Rowley - the nickname given to the restoration royal) brings a foppish air of refinement to the proceedings, whilst also having to deal with a dozen spaniels running about his feet. Interesting, Price originally tested for Muni's part at the behest of mogul Darryl F Zanuck –  and one wonders how he would have tackled the role (and handled that heavy French accent that Muni affects for the film)?

Laird Cregar, Nigel Bruce, Vincent Price and Virginia Field in Hudson's Bay
This was the first of four 1940s features that Price appeared in the same film as Gene Tierney: the others being the super 1944 film noir Laura, the 1945 Technicolor melodrama Leave Her To Heaven, and the 1946 gothic masterpiece Dragonwyck (one of Price's favourites); while John Sutton, who appeared in Vinnie's first three features, also starred in 1949’s Bagdad, as well as The Bat and Return of the Fly. Screenwriter Lamar Trotti also shares a Price connection in that he penned the 1967 South African Western, The Jackals (based on his 1948 Yellow Sky screenplay).


Here's a condensed version of the film, focusing on Vinnie's scenes.

In this episode of The Fantastic Films of Vincent Price, Dr Gangrene looks back at the historical dramas, Hudson's Bay and Brigham Young (1940).

Thursday, 16 April 2015

The Vincent Price UK Legacy Tour 2015 | Reserve Your VIP Ticket Now!

Did you know that Vincent Price was a self-confessed 'Anglophile'? Well, you can find out more this coming autumn as Victoria Price and myself host a series of events taking place in London to celebrate her dad's unique connection with the UK. Over Halloween and the first week of November, we will be hosting tours, dinners, expert talks, film screenings, location visits, parties, and much more, with the key highlights being:

• Victoria giving a special presentation on her father’s life and legacy staged at a suitably creepy location.

• Fully guided tour to the London locations of Theatre of Blood, lead by myself (Peter Fuller).

• Fully guided tour to the London location of Cry of the Banshee, including lunch.

• Fully guided tour to the historic town of Lavenham, Suffolk – the location of Witchfinder General, plus expert historic advice about Vincent's character, Matthew Hopkins, from medieval witchcraft expert Jon Kaneko-James.

• A unique musical performance of The Last Man on Earth by Sheffield duo Animat.

• Plus, pop-up dinners, exhibitions, and guided walking tours revisiting Vincent’s old London haunts and favorite museums.

If you purchase our limited VIP ticket, you will be guaranteed entry to all of these events, PLUS invitations to private tours hosted by Victoria on Thursday through Sunday– including a museum day with lunch, a private tour of Harrods Food Hall, and an afternoon exploring Portobello Road. As this year also marks the 50th anniversary of A Treasury of Great Recipes by Mary and Vincent Price, can you think of a better way to celebrate it’s reprinting than by dining at some of the restaurants that Vincent loved so much?

This VIP ticket includes all London events & coach tours from Thursday, November 5 - Sunday, November 8, and will cost US$825/€800/£600 per person or US$1500/€1450/£965 per couple. (This does not include lodging, airfare, or food except when provided for tour events.) In addition, you will receive a goodie bag, which will include a copy of the new release of Vincent Price’s 1958 autobiography, I Like What I Know, a choice of the exclusive UK tour T-shirt or poster, and some other exclusive surprises.

We will only be selling 25 VIP tickets, so be sure to reserve yours now!

To reserve your spot, a US$100 non-refundable deposit is required. (However, should you decide you cannot join us, in lieu of refunding your ticket, you will receive a signed copy of A Treasury of Great Recipes). This non-refundable deposit will hold your place on the VIP list and will be applied to the cost of your ticket.

Your non-refundable payment is due in full by June 30. (However, in case of emergency, we will assist you in reselling it to people on our waiting list.)

If you take up our VIP package, we have organised special room rates for overseas travellers staying in London, with the Holiday Inn in South Kensington (Single Occupancy US$222/€200/£150; Twin/Double Occupancy US$155/€140/£100) for reservations made up to July 1; and with the London Marriott Hotel Kensington (US$290/€270/£200).

Please feel free to email info@vincentprice.com with any questions you may have. Full details of the itinerary will be posted in late May. We are very excited about this tour, and hope you will be, too!

To reserve your space, please follow this link to purchase your US$100 non-refundable deposit:

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

ON THIS DAY IN…1973 | Madhouse starts filming in London

It was on Sunday 15 April in 1973 that Vincent Price started filming what would be his last film for AIP, Madhouse (aka The Revenge of Dr Death). Shooting took place in London over 13 weeks, finishing on Sunday 8 July.

During this period, Price also worked on the first five stories in his Price of Fear BBC Radio horror anthology series, and took time out to attend the London premiere of Theatre of Blood, which occurred on 24 May in Leicester Square.

Here's the campaign book of Madhouse for you to enjoy, and a video of Vinnie and Peter Cushing chatting during filming.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

The 13th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards | Vincent Price wants your vote!

Next Sunday (19 April), the 13th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards will take place, and we’re calling on all Vincent Price fans to vote for the efforts by fans around the world and his daughter Victoria in preserving his legacy, and also to have Vincent himself inducted into the Monster Kid Hall of Fame.

We've listed the nominations below for your consideration (the numbers represent the order they appear in the poll). Of course, you should check out the full list, as there are lots of worthy treats on offer. But your support for these would be greatly appreciated. 


The Vincent Price Collection: Volume 2 (Scream Factory).


Theatre of Blood (Arrow). 


Return of the Fly (Shout!). With David del Valle and actor Brett Halsey.

– Tomb of Ligeia (Shout!). With historian Constantine Nasr. 


Pit and the Pendulum: Behind the Swinging Blade (Arrow). Directed by Callum Waddell.)


The Vincent Price Journal: My real-time travel blog based on Vincent's 1928 hand-written journal.


– The Fantastic Films of Vincent Price by Dr Gangrene.


Victoria Price

Vincent Price

HOW TO VOTE: Simply send an e-mail with these picks to, David Colton, at taraco@aol.com by Sunday night at midnight (US time), April 19. Please do remember to include your name to be counted in ballot. And remember you can vote for one, a few, many or all. Let’s make RONDO XIII priceless!

Friday, 10 April 2015

El Diabolik's World of Psychotronic Soundtracks Vincent Price Special Now Online!

The Vincent Price Special of el diabolik’s world of psychotronic soundtracks is now online! Download it HERE Or subscribe via iTunes
El diabolik and special guest Peter Fuller take a musical journey through the soundtracks of Vincent Price’s best-known films: including The Fly (Paul Sawtell & Bert Shefter), The Comedy of Terrors (Les Baxter), Witchfinder General (Paul Ferris), The Abominable Dr Phibes (Basil Kirchin) and Theatre of Blood (Michael J Lewis); classic TV gems including The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (Robert Drasnin) and Batman (Dan & Dale); and some priceless rarities, while Peter offers up a history of the films and explores why these soundtracks are as iconic as their legendary star. Won’t you join us?

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Vincent Price Movie of the Week | The Invisible Man Returns (1940)

This week, Vincent joins Universal's Classic Monster Universe in the 1940 sci-fi sequel, The Invisible Man Returns. Here's a look back at Vinnie's first starring role, plus the full movie (watch it before Google goes gaga) and the trailer.

 A Potent Drug Made Him INVISIBLE but insane!
Condemned to hang for murdering his brother, Sir Geoffrey Radcliffe (Vincent Price) turns to Dr Frank Griffin (John Sutton), the brother of the original Invisible Man, who injects him with an invisibility serum to allow him to escape prison. Making his way to a remote cabin, Radcliffe joins fiancée Helen (Nan Grey) and tells her that time is at the essence for him to find the real killer because the drug will soon turn him violent and insane unless Frank can find an antidote.

At a coalmine owned by Geoffrey’s family, Radcliffe uses his invisibility to scare arrogant recently promoted employee Willie (Alan Napier) into revealing that his cousin Richard Cobb (Cedric Hardwicke) is the real killer. With his mental state rapidly deteriorating and Scotland Yard’s DI Sampson (Cecil Kellaway) hot on his tail, our invisible fugitive finally gets Cobb to confess before pushing him to his death down a coal car, before heading back to Frank’s lab, where he is giving a life-saving blood transfusion that also gives him back his visibility…

HG Wells’ Fantastic Out of This World Show!
1940’s The Invisible Man Returns was the first of four sequels to James Whales’ 1933 classic based on HG Wells’ original story, and features a 29-year-old Vincent Price in his first starring role.

Despite its modest $270,000 budget, Universal’s sequel is a classy affair, boasting some fine monochrome cinematography from Milton Krasner (who’d gone on to win an Oscar for 1954’s Three Coins in the Fountain), a lush romantic Salter and Skinner score, and John P Fulton’s inventive Oscar-nominated special effects that actually surpass the groundbreaking effects he created in the original. The highlights include eyes that see inside of a bandaged head, Price putting on the clothes of a scarecrow, and invisible guinea pigs scampering about their cage wearing leather harnesses.

The screenplay, however, is pretty predictable and a tad dull. It’s too bad really, as one of the film’s four writers was Curt Sidomak (here credited as Kurt), who is best known for the genre classics The Wolf Man (1941) and Donovan’s Brain (1953). Probably a case of too many cooks…

The best thing about the film, however, is Vincent Price – in his first ‘horror’ film role. He might get second billing, but he’s the real star of the show and, like Claude Rains in the original, uses his mellifluous, theatrically trained voice to the full.

Being invisible throughout, except in the film’s final sequence, Price relies solely on ‘that’ voice to maintain a sense of sympathy for his character while conveying the deterioration of his mental state which moves from being the humorous optimist: ‘I can always get a job haunting a house’ to excitable egomaniac: ‘Free, I am free! I’ve never been more free in all my life!’

It’s a fine balancing act that Price performs with aplomb, making this – the last of Universal’s truly great horror classics – a fine introduction to the future king of horror. ‘Drink to my invisible power… with me as its guiding genius!’


• This article, written by Peter Fuller, first appeared in The Spooky Isles, and is reproduced here with permission of the author.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

It's just not Easter without a screening of Cecil B DeMille's The Ten Commandments (1956)

If you are intending on spending Easter Sunday on the couch, you might like to consider Cecil B DeMille's epic blockbuster The Ten Commandments, which screens today from 12.30pm on Sky Select (Sky 312/340, Virgin 412/442); following by The Greatest Story Ever Told at 4.15pm.

Amongst Hollywood stars appearing in the 1956 classic is Vincent Price, who plays Baka, Sethi I's master builder who upsets stonecutter Joshua (John Derek) when he steals his girl (Debra Paget). When Joshua comes her rescue, Baka sets his whip upon Joshua, whereapon Moses (Charlton Heston) strangles him. 

It's a great scene from a great movie, with Price getting some super lines like: 'You've seen me drive my chariot. I can flick a fly from my horse's ear without breaking the rhythm of his stride. You've seen me use my whip. You make no outcry, Joshua, but you will. You will cry for the mercy of death'.

Here's a couple of video tribute to Price's cameo.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Hop into Easter with Vincent Price in Here Comes Peter Cottontail (1971)

Now here's an Easter treat for you all. It's the 1971 Rankin-Bass animated musical TV movie, Here Comes Peter Cottontail, featuring the voices of Danny Kaye, Casey Kasem, Paul Frees and Vincent Price.

When the Chief Easter Bunny retires and Peter Cottontail (Casey Kasem) is chosen as his successor, his jealous rival January Q Irontail (Vincent Price) plots to make Peter lose his job. With the help of a time machine, Peter then tries to set things right. But Irontail is right on his tail, thwarting him every step of the way…

Vincent Price supplied the voice of the villainous January Q Irontail

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Sold! Vincent Price's Erasmus Craven coat from The Raven (1963)

At Julien's Auctions Spring event on 15 March, lot 499 was the silver brocade long coat with floral motif and satin cuffs and collar, which was worn by Vincent Price in the 1963 film The Raven (Alta Vista Productions). It sold for $9375, with an estimate of just $1000-2000. There's no word as to who the lucky buyer was. If you know, let us know here. 

 There was also a few other items related to the legendary actor in the auction, including signed checks, photograph, a self portrait, and this 7.5in/5.5in watercolour and ink on paper composition which the actor painted in 1989, entitled A Point in the Right Direction (which I've seen come to auction before). It sold for US$1408.