After a bit of a slow start the movie actually becomes quite a delightful little horror film. It’s not scary at all, the appeal is more in Vincent Price hamming it up while committing elaborate and macabre Shakespeare themed murders, assisted by the ever marvelous Diana Rigg who plays Price’s daughter and spends about half of her screen time crossdressing as a groovy 70s dude with an afro and mustache, and a ragtag group of tramps and hobos who for whatever reason just do Price’s bidding. And Price’s entire motivation for going on lengthy killing spree is that he got snubbed in an award show by not winning the best performer award and he’s out for revenge. How can you not love it? Apparently this was Price’s personal favorite from his own movies due to getting to perform scenes from Shakespeare, and you can very clearly see the passion and fun he’s having in his eyes when he’s delivering his monologues during the murder scenes. It’s that same endless energy and fun feeling that envelops the entire film and makes it so damn enjoyable to watch.
The movie is just fantastic, and what makes it even better is the very cheery tone it has despite featuring many brutal murders. The movie has everything, captivating drama when they’re recreating scenes from Shakespeare’s plays, dashing sword fighting on trampolines, dastardly plots, wonderfully campy death traps, the works. It’s also rather cheeky at times with its humor, such as the final line of the movie where they refer to Price’s climactic death scene as him really knowing how to make an exit, and features Price using really funny looking disguises while committing the murders. I can’t decide which disguise in the movie is the best, there’s so many to choose from. You have police uniform where Price basically just wears a fake mustache over his normal one, the gay hairdresser where he wears an enormous afro that looks both amazing as well as completely ridiculous and then there’s the chef costume where he just has a fake goatee and speaks with a French accent. There really is no real faults in this movie, it’s just so damn charming.