Andrew and I started Vincent Price’s Laugh with the intention to learn more about the master himself, Vincent Price. Of course we were already fans, but we hadn’t really explored many of his films, and felt they deserved more time devoted to them. We decided to do the podcast to celebrate Price’s work, and to encourage more people to seek out his films in hopes they would appreciate them as much as we do.
It is true that we do not review Price’s work exclusively, but we stay true to the genres he is most known for — horror and science fiction. And those genres wouldn’t be at all what they are today without him.
Today would be Price’s 105th birthday. To help you celebrate, I’ve compiled this short list of some of his best and most renowned roles.
THE TINGER (1959)
I don’t want to give away too much about this film, as you’ll be hearing an episode of VPL discussing it very soon! This cult classic was directed by the infamous William Castle, and features Price as a scientist trying to find the secret behind the human reaction to fright.
WITCHFINDER GENERAL (1968)
You may have heard of this film by its American name, The Conqueror Worm. At the time of release, the title was changed to associate it in American minds with Price’s work with Roger Corman, notably all the Edgar Allan Poe adaptations. However, the film has nothing to do with Poe and everything to do with Price’s ferocious portrayal of a 17th century witchhunter, viciously torturing confessions out of suspected witches.
DR. GOLDFOOT AND THE BIKINI MACHINE (1965) & DR. GOLDFOOT AND THE GIRL BOMBS (1966)
These two cherished comedy films play heavily on the 1960s spy film trend, combining elements of James Bond with Beach Blanket Bingo. Price plays a scientist (of course) building an arsenal of female robots in bikinis, hoping to seduce and rob the world’s wealthiest men. Other notable stars in these two films are pop idol favorites Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello, and Fabian.
HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL (1959)This is it, folks. This is the one that did it for me. I watched House on Haunted Hill as a child, and was completely awestruck with it. From little coffin-shaped gun holders to terrifying acid baths, this masterpiece of macabre does not disappoint. Price plays it so cool and suave in this film that I think it was more than my young mind could handle. Ever since, I have been absolutely enamored with the man.
These are just a few of my favorites, but they’re only the tip of the iceberg on Price’s career. There are so many more titles to check out: The Abominable Dr. Phibes, The Fly, House of Wax, Theater of Blood, Vault of Horror, The Raven, it goes on and on. Look for these and many more on future episodes of Vincent Price’s Laugh!