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

Critics Consensus

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



Total Count: 28


Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,239
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Movie Info

A Shakespearean actor becomes enraged after losing a prominent acting award and decides to seek revenge on the critics responsible, and he does so using the works of the Bard as a guide, basing his killings on violent scenes from Shakespearean plays.


Vincent Price
as Edward Kendal Sheridan Lionheart
Diana Rigg
as Edwina Lionheart
Ian Hendry
as Peregrine Devlin
Milo O'Shea
as Inspector Boot
Harry Andrews
as Trevor Dickman
Coral Browne
as Miss Chloe Moon
Robert Coote
as Oliver Larding
Jack Hawkins
as Solomon Psaltery
Michael Hordern
as George Maxwell
Arthur Lowe
as Horace Sprout
Robert Morley
as Meredith Merridew
Dennis Price
as Hector Snipe
Diana Dors
as Mrs. Psaltery
Joan Hickson
as Mrs. Sprout
Renée Asherson
as Mrs. Maxwell
Eric Sykes
as Sgt. Dogge
Tony Calvin
as Police Photographer
Bunny Reed
as Policeman
Peter Thornton
as Policeman
Tutte Lemkow
as Meths Drinker
Jack Maguire
as Meths Drinker
Joyce Graeme
as Meths Drinker
John Gilpin
as Meths Drinker
Eric Francis
as Meths Drinker
Sally Gilmore
as Meths Drinker
Stanley Bates
as Meths Drinker
Declan Mulholland
as Meths Drinker
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Critic Reviews for Theater of Blood (Theatre of Blood) (Much Ado About Murder)

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (26) | Rotten (2)

  • For anyone who's ever wished ill on a pundit (we know you're out there), Price's merciless antics should strike a gleeful chord.

    Oct 13, 2014 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Keith Uhlich

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Theatre of Blood is black comedy played for chills and mood and emerges a macabre piece of wild melodramatics.

    Jul 1, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • Gory, imaginative, wildly melodramatic -- good fun.

    Sep 25, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Comedy horror that really does give Vincent Price a chance to do his stuff, with deliciously absurd results.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    David Pirie

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Many actors would kill for the opportunity to perform Shakespeare on screen -- here, Vincent Price gets to have his soliloquy and devour it, too.

    Sep 17, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Memorable for its lurid set-pieces (notably Robert Morley being forced to eat his own poodles), it also remains a favourite among critics; suggesting, perhaps, a certain guilty conscience. Punish us!

    Oct 13, 2014 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

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

  • Feb 06, 2014
    Silly, absurd, witty, literate. Full of itself. Great fun.
    Morris N Super Reviewer
  • Jan 30, 2012
    Vincent Price is fantastic, and the movie has it's fair share of creative murders. A fun horror movie that can entertain despite a bit of cheesiness.
    Joey S Super Reviewer
  • Feb 10, 2011
    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.
    Cassandra M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 07, 2010
    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.
    Greg S Super Reviewer

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