Five More of Vincent Price’s Best Movies

I’m a total sucker for Vincent Price. He just had a unique charm that no other genre performer has ever been able to match, so in my opinion, he’s the greatest horror actor of all time. Sure, not all his movies are good, but he’s always great in them, so I’ll never say no to a Vincent Price film.

In fact, I love Vincent Price so much I just can’t stop writing about him. I’ve already written one article highlighting five of his best movies, and now, I’m back with another one. Here are five more of my favorite Vincent Price films, so sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride as we delve even deeper into this master of the macabre’s fantastic filmography.

Twice-Told Tales

Vincent Price smiling

First up, we have the anthology classic Twice-Told Tales. This film contains three segments based loosely on the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Vincent Price stars in every one of them. As in most good anthologies, the stories in this one are all very different, but they share a couple of similarities that make the movie feel more cohesive than you might expect.

For starters, they all have really beautiful sets, so no matter what’s happening on screen, Twice-Told Tales is almost always a joy to look at. Secondly, these stories also have some very similar themes. They’re all about love, family (or at least close friendship), and doomed relationships, and unsurprisingly, that combination makes for some really dark twists and turns.

Last but definitely not least, these segments all feature great performances from Vincent Price. He plays a different character in each story, and he imbues every one of them with the same irresistible charm he brings to all his roles. He’s the heart and soul of this film as well as the glue that holds it together, and as usual, he’s just about flawless.

The Last Man on Earth

Vincent Price looking concerned

Richard Matheson’s seminal sci-fi/horror novel I Am Legend has been adapted for the big screen multiple times. These days, the 2007 version with Will Smith is probably the most well known, but there were actually two other adaptations before it. There was the 1971 version Omega Man starring Charleton Heston, and before that, there was the 1964 Vincent Price classic The Last Man on Earth.

If you know anything about the book or the other two cinematic iterations of this story, you know what this movie is about. The entire world has succumbed to a bacterial infection that turns its victims into vampires, and the sole survivor of this plague is a man named Robert Morgan. As the titular last man on earth, his days now consist of eating, gathering supplies, and killing vampires, and every night, the bloodsuckers lay siege to his house and try to turn him into one of their own.

On paper, that might sound a bit boring, but don’t worry. The Last Man on Earth isn’t nearly as monotonous as Robert Morgan’s daily routine. The film keeps things interesting by giving us some flashbacks that tell us a bit about how the world became so desolate, and the story takes a few twists and turns you might not see coming.

It’s actually quite engaging, and as always, it’s grounded by a fantastic turn from the one and only Vincent Price. This is a much more serious and down-to-earth performance than his typical villainous fare, but it’s still just as good. Price is eminently believable in the role, so you can almost feel his loneliness as the only human being left on the planet. He makes you sympathize with his character right from the get-go, so when the story goes in some unexpected directions, your eyes will be glued to the screen as you anxiously wait to find out what happens next.

The Masque of the Red Death

Vincent Price laughing

The Masque of the Red Death was the second to last movie in Roger Corman’s Edgar Allan Poe Cycle, and it’s based on Poe’s short story of the same name (but with a subplot taken from another Poe story, “Hop-Frog”). It takes place during a deadly plague called the Red Death, and it’s about an evil prince named Prospero who holes himself up in his castle while the peasants are ravaged by the disease. However, he soon learns that no matter how rich and powerful he may be, death comes for us all.

This film is a bit of a weird blend of supernatural and human horrors. On the one hand, it personifies the Red Death as a Grim Reaper-esque figure clothed in red, so there’s clearly a supernatural bent to it. But on the other hand, that figure isn’t the movie’s primary antagonist. Instead, it’s mainly concerned with Prospero and the despicable way he treats the people around him, including his fellow nobles, so it feels more akin to a purely human story like Witchfinder General.

And you know what? That mix totally works. Vincent Price is incredible as Prospero, so you’ll hate him from the moment he arrives on screen. This guy is an absolute garbage human being, and Price plays him with a palpable air of smug satisfaction that’ll make you want to punch him in the face. The character makes for some great human horror, and when you add in the supernatural touch, it’s the icing on the cake. It adds up to a satisfying and layered story that will keep your attention the whole way through, so The Masque of the Red Death is hands down one of the best movies in Vincent Price’s legendary filmography.

The Tomb of Ligeia

A woman touching a man's face

Released the same year as The Masque of the Red Death, The Tomb of Ligeia was the last film in Corman’s Edgar Allan Poe Cycle. It’s based on Poe’s short story “Ligeia,” and it follows a widower named Verden Fell who’s haunted by the memory (or is it the ghost?) of his dead wife Ligeia even after he falls in love again and remarries. 

Like most of Corman and Price’s Poe adaptations, this one is also soaked in a Gothic atmosphere of dread and uncertainty, and it has a great mystery that may or may not be supernatural. It’s a really intriguing story, and as you can probably guess, it works so well in large part because of Vincent Price’s fantastic turn as Verden.

He gives a mysterious performance that’s pretty hard to read, so you’re never entirely sure what to make of his character. Is he a good guy who’s just haunted by his past, or is he more nefarious than he lets on? You simply don’t know, and that’s part of the fun. You’ll want to keep watching so you can find out, and as the story progresses, you’ll get pulled deeper and deeper into the mystery.

The Tomb of Ligeia will keep you wondering until the hair-raising third act, and when the film finally pulls back the curtain and lets you in on its secrets, it does not disappoint. Granted, it’s not going to shock you with any completely out-of-left-field plot twists, but the answers and the execution in the third act are good enough that you’ll walk away more than satisfied.

Theatre of Blood

A man with makeup on his face

Theatre of Blood is a horror comedy about a jaded theater actor named Edward Lionheart who doesn’t get the critical recognition he feels he deserves, so he gets back at the critics by murdering them one by one. It’s an absolutely ludicrous story, and it might even be the most quintessentially Vincent Price movie on this list.

Price is just as over-the-top as he’s ever been, but he ups the ante even more by reciting Shakespeare before he kills his victims. His performance is the perfect mix of high-class and high-camp, so you can’t help but get a kick out of it.

But with a film like this, you need more than just a great lead performance. You also need great kills, and thankfully, Theatre of Blood totally delivers on that front as well. Lionheart disposes of his victims in ridiculous, bloody, and often hilarious ways, so much like with Price’s earlier movie The Abominable Dr. Phibes, you’ll have just as much fun watching these murders as Lionheart has carrying them out.

Simply put, Theatre of Blood is hands down the most fun film on this list. In fact, it might even be the most fun movie of Vincent Price’s career, so if you want something a bit more lighthearted, you can’t go wrong with this classic proto-slasher.

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Written by JP Nunez

JP Nunez is a lifelong horror fan. From a very early age, he learned to love monsters, ghosts, and all things spooky, and it's still his favorite genre today.

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