For horror fans, Shout Factory has become sort of our keepers of the Holy Grail. They take the movies we love and preserve them and give them the attention and treatment they deserve. And for some titles, they even go beyond that. Case in point is one of the most beloved names in horror, Vincent Price. To date Shout have release two box sets consisting of 13 films starring Price including some of his most famous and iconic roles. And just when you think they might have covered it all, out comes The Vincent Price Collection III.
Now that the big Price classics are out of the way, Shout has dug even deeper into the man’s catalog. The Vincent Price Collection III features 4 films and one spoken word program.
First is Master of the World, which features Price as Robur, a maniac in holding a scientist and his team hostage in an airship who plans on bombing targets all over the world in order to ensure world peace!
Master of the World is essentially an aerial version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and is just as entertaining an adventure. The brand new transfer looks spectacular, the sound is remastered and you get a kick ass feature length documentary on Richard Matheson. Killer. And it co-stars Charles Bronson. Can’t get cooler than that.
Next up is Tower of London. In this Roger Corman classic Price plays Richard III who is conspiring to take over the Throne for himself after his brother dies. But in trying to ensure his two nephews do not rise to power instead of him, he goes on a mad killing spree of anyone who gets in his way. But the ghosts of past deeds will find no rest, as Richard must face more than a struggle for power.
Tower of London is a great classic Corman picture. Price is wonderfully over the top here and the entire Shakespearian setting and gothic atmosphere make for a really fun retro horror movie night. Tower of London also has a great new transfer as well as two episodes of Science Fiction Theatre from 1956 featuring Price. So cool.
Diary of a Madman features Price as Magistrate Simon Cordier, who seems to become possessed by an evil spirit that inhabited a convict recently sentenced to hang. Cordier finds strange happenings all around his house and even an eventual and insatiable desire to be driven to murder.
Diary of a Madman is a simple but fun tale with another great performance by Price and an almost Hammer Studios feel to it. It is heavy on atmosphere, has great pacing and great tension and is a welcome addition to this set. Diary also sports a new transfer as well as a new commentary track.
The last movie in this set is Cry of the Banshee. Price plays a Witchfinder General (again) who dispatched a rumored coven of witches in his small town. But the leader of the coven survives and summons a Banshee to go after the Lord’s entire family.
Cry of the Banshee is a great addition to this set. The film is directed by Gordon Hessler who also directed Price in Scream and Scream Again the same year and is perhaps best known for his 80s ninja movies with Sho Kosugi, Pray for Death and Rage of Honor. Hessler does a great job here with pacing and atmosphere and Price is deliciously evil in his role. A solid supernatural thriller. Once again we have a brand new transfer that looks fantastic but we actually have two restorations, one of the original director’s cut and one of the theatrical cut. You also get a great little interview with Hessler and more.
Lastly in this set is a television program called An Evening of Edgar Allen Poe featuring Price reading four classic Poe stories: The Tell-Tale Heart, The Sphinx, The Cask of Amontillado and The Pit and the Pendulum. There is nothing fancy here but the sheer power of Price’s voice and ability to chill you to the bones just reading a story make this a wonderful addition to the set. He has the innate ability to instantly capture your attention and keep you interested throughout just from the power of his storytelling. Just brilliant.
This entry includes a brand new master in standard definition, a new audio commentary and a new interview with the director.
All in all this is another spectacular Vincent Price set from Shout Factory and another essential addition to every horror fan’s collection. Beautiful transfer quality, wonderful and extensive special features and sleek packaging make The Vincent Price Collection III one of the best horror releases in quite a while. Highly recommended.