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Theater of Blood (Theatre of Blood) (Much Ado About Murder)

Theater of Blood (Theatre of Blood) (Much Ado About Murder) (1973)



Average Rating: 7.4/10
Reviews Counted: 24
Fresh: 23 | Rotten: 1

Deliciously campy and wonderfully funny, Theater of Blood features Vincent Price at his melodramatic best.

No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 3
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 0

Deliciously campy and wonderfully funny, Theater of Blood features Vincent Price at his melodramatic best.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 6,052

My Rating

Movie Info

The darkly comic and sometimes quite gory Theatre of Blood is a vehicle tailor-made for its star Vincent Price, brilliantly capitalizing on his reputation as a master of period horror drawn from "literary" sources. Price portrays Shakespearean actor Edward Lionheart, who becomes enraged after losing a prominent acting award and decides to seek revenge on the critics responsible. Fittingly, he using the works of the Bard as a guide, basing his killings on violent scenes from Shakespearean plays.


Horror, Classics, Comedy


Aug 28, 2001

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All Critics (24) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (23) | Rotten (1) | DVD (8)

Theatre of Blood is black comedy played for chills and mood and emerges a macabre piece of wild melodramatics.

July 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Gory, imaginative, wildly melodramatic -- good fun.

September 25, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Comedy horror that really does give Vincent Price a chance to do his stuff, with deliciously absurd results.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The magnum opus of Vincent Price's film career, this stylish, witty comedy horror boasts an irresistible premise, an inspired ensemble cast, fabulous music and first-rate production values.

October 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Ferocious gore-satire

January 27, 2010 Full Review Source: CinePassion

One of the highlight's of Vincent Price's later career, a film that fused his reputation as a horror star with his penchant for self-parody.

July 23, 2008 Full Review Source: ESplatter

Theater of Blood reprises the multiple-revenge theme of the Phibes films, but injects new life into the concept with a superior script and stellar cast.

July 1, 2008 Full Review Source: PopMatters

Now we don't normally take to the idea that someone should go around murdering critics, since more than one disc producer is after our own head, but the movie is always a treat when it shows up on late night television.

July 1, 2008

Most easily described as 'deliciously nasty,' though some moments are far from delicious.

October 6, 2007 Full Review Source:

Wholly entertaining and memorable, Theatre of Blood is ripe camp, an excellent film, and a lasting tribute to the career of one of the most important actors in the genre.

September 25, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Superbly Vincent Price!

September 25, 2007 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

You can't help but like a film with as much verve, wit and (of course) gore as this one. A bloody good show.

September 25, 2007 Full Review Source: Film4

For the poodle scene alone...

September 11, 2003
Blunt Review

Wasted cast in a misguided thriller.

August 13, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Price is a grand ham in this neat horror film.

February 6, 2003 | Comment (1)
Your Movies (

Come on Vincent, throw in some food coloring for us!

December 17, 2002 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

It has the distinction of being perhaps the most critic-proof film ever created.

March 5, 2002 Full Review Source:

the inherently gruesome comedy rises naturally from the over-the-top scenarios and Price's fantastically campy performance

August 21, 2001 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

Price's hammy zest is what makes this such a nasty sweet.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Nashville Scene
Nashville Scene

Audience Reviews for Theater of Blood (Theatre of Blood) (Much Ado About Murder)

Vincent Price's best in my opinion.
August 20, 2013
Curtis Lilly

Super Reviewer

Much like the Shakespearean plays that feature so heavily in the film, Theatre of Blood is packed with tragedy, melodrama, violence and oodles of black humour. Vincent Price plays Edward Lionheart, an actor with a grudge against a circle of critics he believes singled him out for scathing notices on his season of Shakespeare plays. Believed to be dead, having thrown himself from a high balcony into the Thames, the actually very alive Lionheart wreaks revenge with the help of a strange hippy and a bunch of meths drinking bums.

Director Douglas Hickox brilliantly blends comedy and horror to deliver one of the finest horror movies of the 70s and, as far as I am concerned, the best Vincent Price vehicle of all time. Price is fantastic as the crazed actor out to silence his critics forever and wastes no opportunity to camp up his performance to the max, and he is ably supported by an outstanding cast featuring many names and faces that will be familiar to fans of British cinema and TV: Ian Hendry, Arthur Lowe, Michael Hordern, Robert Morley, and Dennis Price appear as critics; Milo O'Shea and Eric Sykes are the coppers out to catch the murderous thespian; and Diana Rigg and Madeline Smith provide the eye candy (Diana Dors too, if you like your women with a fuller figure).

Despite being blessed with a witty script, brilliant direction and an unbelievably good cast, it is the inventive death scenes that will probably stick in most viewer's minds the most: each murder is inspired by a different Shakespeare play and this gives the makers of the film ample opportunity to splash a bit of blood across the screen. Arthur Lowe's decapitation is a particularly nasty moment (made easier to stomach by Price's wonderful tongue-in-cheek performance) whilst the poodle-pie sequence is gloriously sick and totally unforgettable.

And whilst it is true that there are a few moments which the truly pedantic might pick fault with, the film is so enjoyable that I have no hesitation in awarding Theatre of Blood full marks.
February 10, 2011

Super Reviewer

I loved this movie, it's one of my favourite Price flicks. His character is fantastic, the story is great, and it's even got a tinge of comedy. I love it, and I highly recommend it.
December 29, 2010

Super Reviewer

A Shakespearean actor kills off the critics who gave him bad notices by recreating death scenes from the Bard's plays. Slyly hilarious black comedy that gives star Vincent Price a chance to show off his full range; it's probably the most literate slasher movie ever made.
November 7, 2010
Greg S

Super Reviewer

    1. Edward Lionheart: Hark, villain! I shall grind your bones to dust and make two pasties from your shameful head...
    – Submitted by Slade U (19 months ago)
    1. Edward Lionheart: Alas... he didn't have the stomach for it.
    – Submitted by Slade U (19 months ago)
View all quotes (2)

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Foreign Titles

  • Theater des Grauens (DE)
  • Theatre Of Blood (UK)
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