October 31, 2018

Madhouse (1974)

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Happy Halloween, you guys! And welcome to the final episode in the much talked about (here in Derek's living room) Vincent Price is Right Movie Marathon!

To finish it out, the guys sat down to watch 1974's Madhouse, which not only starred Vincent Price, but also included Peter Cushing at no extra charge!

What a bargain!
Paul Toombes (Price) has everything going for him. He's a famous actor, known for his role as Dr. Death in a series of successful movies. He is engaged to his beautiful costar, Ellen (Julie Crosthwaite). Top of the world, ma!

But then it all comes crashing down when, shortly after publicly arguing with Paul, Ellen turns up dead, and Paul is the one who finds her. Needless to say, Paul does not handle it well, and spends the next twelve years in an asylum. When he is finally released, he travels to London, where his writing partner, Herbert Flay (Cushing), lives. On the cruise to England, a young lady (Linda Hayden) recognizes Toombes and immediately starts badgering him, all the way up to the point where he gets off the ship and into a car to go to Herbert's house.

A girl? In my bedroom? Ooh! How scandalous!
Once there, Paul and Herbert start planning a Dr. Death television show, and to prepare Paul to return to his part, Herbert makes him sit down and watch one of his old movies, which sends Paul into a twitchy freak-out.

While roaming through the house, Paul goes to the basement, where he finds his former costar and Herbert's wife, Faye (Adrienne Corri), hanging out with the spiders down there and badly disfigured from an assault years ago.

But she has a great personality.
At the same time, the young lady from the cruise has found Herbert's house, and she makes her way onto the property to try getting to Paul again. Unfortunately, a dark and vaguely familiar skull-faced person stabs her through the throat with what looks like a grilling fork, then dumps her body in a boat and sends it out into the middle of a lake, only to be fished out by a group of boys not long after.

The police, of course, are naturally suspicious of the guy who was just let out of a nuthouse and played a murderous doctor in a number of orders. However, they cannot tie him to it, so he goes on his way and starts making the TV show he came here for in the first place, although that does not go well, either.

But at least his wormy producer (Robert Quarry) is there!
Unhappy with his new costar (Jenny Lee Wright), Paul tears into her. And, once again, the mysterious guy who dresses very similar to Paul as Dr. Death makes an appearance and makes her all dead, hanging her with her own hair.

On his way back to Herbert's after a day at work that could have gone better, Paul is confronted by the parents of the girl from the cruise (Ellis Dale and Catherine Willmer). It seems they found his pocket watch on their daughter's dead body, and they are now going to blackmail him, demanding he pay them to not turn the watch over to the police. That doesn't last long, however, as the mystery guy comes and turns them into a kabob.

And Paul had not one more fuck to give.
All is still not well, however, and Paul's assistant turns up dead, causing Paul to begin questioning whether it actually is himself that is doing all this killing. With no reasonable options available, Paul decides to end it all in fire.

Or does he...? And if it's not Paul being all murdery, who is? Also, what's up with that wormy producer? You'll have to tune in to find out!

Derek really enjoyed this one, and was especially pleased to see Peter Cushing working with Price. He also had a vaguely unhealthy interest in Linda Hayden's character. She's...she's really something. And he digs it.

Jake also loved the movie, and is particularly impressed with how Price's simple Dr. Death makeup works so effectively. It really is impressive, and reminds both of them of Heath Ledger's makeup in The Dark Knight. Very cool.

So get your medical bag, put on your spookiest cloak, and check out the latest episode!

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