The "Red Death" had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. Blood was its Avatar and its seal --the redness and the horror of blood.
Roger Corman's The Masque of the Red Death is an exciting movie, to be sure - all Satanism and orgies and plagues and daggers - and this trailer completely captures the sensuous, hallucinogenic nature of the film, a movie that manages to take the rather polite gothicism of Edgar Allan Poe and turn it into something just a little dirty, and extra, extra weird.
The short story is one of Poe's finest, only 2500 words telling a story of such vivid horror that no more are needed, and it feels especially haunting in these days of ceaseless Ebola reporting. This sounds a bit like Ebola, doesn't it?
There were sharp pains, and sudden dizziness, and then profuse bleeding at the pores, with dissolution. The scarlet stains upon the body and especially upon the face of the victim, were the pest ban which shut him out from the aid and from the sympathy of his fellow-men. And the whole seizure, progress and termination of the disease, were the incidents of half an hour.
But Prince Prospero (Vincent Price) cares not for Ebola! He wants to throw a party, and a party he shall throw. Not just a party - a wine-soaked, prodigious celebration of debauchery despite (or because of) the plague that rages outside his doors. Only outside, though?
I love this trailer. What a great way to end it:
THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH
WORN BY VINCENT PRICE
LEAVES ITS IMPRINT OF HORROR
ON A WORLD TYRANNIZED BY TERROR!
How thrilling! So this Halloween, while all of your friends get dressed up to cram into small spaces and share drinks and spread maybe Ebola, who knows, right?, you be smart. Stay home and watch The Masque of the Red Death and feel infinitely superior to the "plague-ridden peasantry" instead.
And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.