Lovely photographer Rebecca winds up in a Bavarian castle at a “Masque of the Red Death” party hosted by the wealthy Ludwig. Mayhem ensues as assorted Poe story devices start doing away with the guests.
User Reviews: I gave this film a try for a couple of reasons, first of which being that I’m a die-hard Poe fan. However, every film made that uses Poe’s name has made a mockery of his work – Haunting of Morella, House of Usher, Ulli Lommel’s The Raven – all horrible films. I’d have to put this beside Morella as the best of the Poe films but that isn’t saying much. The other reason I picked this flick up is because it stars Subspecies’ Michelle McBride – only one of three films she was ever in. She was fine as the lead but received little support from the co-stars and from a director too obsessed with making a flashy masque party than telling a decent story.
VIOLENCE: $$$$ (There is plenty of violence given that this is a murder mystery. Fans of inventive deaths will have something to cheer about. The death scenes were about the only thing the director excelled at. We have a decapitation, stabbings, stranglings and a sewing… that’s right, a woman is murdered by use of a sewing needle).
STORY: $ (Poe’s story isn’tdepicted well here – big surprise. We have a poor script that follows snoopy reporter (McBride) to a lavish masque held by a dying millionaire. She wants exclusive interviews and photographs but has to put her story second when a murderer begins bumping off the party guests).
ACTING: $$ (It is all rather wooden, albeit McBride and Herbert Lom as the millionaire. Lom does a solid job with weak dialogue but is out-shined but Michelle McBride in her only starring vehicle. This film just proves that Hollywood doesn’t know talent when it sees it. McBride makes a strong lead, bringing a never-give-up attitude and a tough, independent aura to her role. Frank Stallone isn’t as bad as others would lead you to believe but he doesn’t do that great of a job. The Inferior Acting Award goes to the blonde bombshell Elizabeth Lunde, who has a meaty, substantial role. Why she was given a major role is beyond me. Her darting eyes and grating, poor European accent add to the descent of this picture).