This entry in Roger Corman’s Edgar Allan Poe series is considered the most extravagant-looking of those films.
In Europe, Satanist Prince Prospero (Vincent Price) terrorizes those who live in his country, while keeping himself safe in his castle against the Red Death plague.
Prospero soon abducts a young woman named Francesca (Jane Asher, who would later become known for her real-life relationship with Paul McCartney), intending to pass her off as his companion, to the chagrin of his lover Juliana (Hazel Court).
During a masquerade ball one night, Prospero sees a mysterious hooded figure which the prince later realizes represents the death that is coming for him.
Price is as wonderfully wicked as ever & he’s backed up by a great cast, especially Court and Patrick Magee as Prospero’s friend Alfredo. The musical score by David Lee is also quite chilling.
Many have stated that the story itself, which went through numerous drafts from many writers including Robert Towne (who would go on to win an Oscar for writing 1974’s Chinatown), is a reflection on how someone can potentially create their own misfortune (at one point, the cloaked figure tells Prospero: "Each man creates his own God for himself - His own Heaven, his own Hell”).