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Tue, Oct 31

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Epsilon Spires

MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH: HALLOWEEN MASQUERADE!

Join us for MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH the Cult-Classic based on the terrifying tale by Edger Allen Poe starring master-of-horror Vincent Price, directed by Roger Corman and newly-restored in 4k, this prismatically potent, spine-chilling cinematic experience will be followed by a costume dance party!

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MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH: HALLOWEEN MASQUERADE!
MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH: HALLOWEEN MASQUERADE!

Time & Location

Oct 31, 2023, 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Epsilon Spires, 190 Main St, Brattleboro, VT 05301, USA

About the event

MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH (Dir. Roger Corman, 1964, 89 mins). Followed by a costume dance party for the wicked and the brave. Thematic Tricks & Treats will be provided! 

Known as "The King of Cult", master-of-exploitation filmmaking Roger Corman made a string of films in the 1960's based from unusual source material: the decidedly antiquarian (and public domain!) short stories of 19th-century writer Edgar Allan Poe. The seventh of these films is a medieval tale of evil aristocratics attempting to outwit and outwait the mysterious “red death” which ravages the countryside around them. They pass the time with sado-masochistic masquerade balls and satanic rituals (“let me speak to you about the anatomy of terror” is a party pick-up line for the ages), but even deals with the devil may not be enough when the plague without becomes the plague within. Master-of-horror Vincent Price stars as Prince Prospero, a genteel monster who enjoys commanding his party guests to bark like dogs and mansplaining Satanism to Francesca, an innocent God-fearing girl he’s kidnapped from the village, played by a wide-eyed 19-year-old Jane Asher. 

Scripted by Twilight Zone stalwart Charles Beaumont and with stunning cinematography by Nicolas Roeg highlighting the rich hues throughout. Masque of the Red Death is visually spellbinding, comically wicked, and unabashedly indulgent — a groovy, mod-meets-medieval spectacle with comically large candles, ludicrous hats, and dreary dungeons for days. In Poe’s story, the pride of Prince Prospero’s palace is seven rooms. Each is decorated and illuminated in a specific color: blue, purple, green, orange, white, and violet. The last room is black and bathed in light which shines a deep color of blood. All of the furniture is black, including a clock, which chimes each hour. At the chime of the clock, the revelers at the masquerade freeze. The musicians stop playing. The dancers strike a pose, and all conversations stop. Revelry resumes when the chiming stops. The rooms represent the human mind, the blood and time infuses corporeality. The resulting tone is both mischievous and chilling.  Due to the United States’ primness toward sex and religion, and British prudishness toward violence, the film was censored in both countries. Newly restored in 4k from the 35mm original picture negative and a 35mm Technicolor print, this cult-classic has now lovingly been restored to director Roger Corman’s original, full-length vision.

There were delirious fancies such as the madman fashions. There were much of the beautiful, much of the wanton, much of the bizarre, something of the terrible, and not a little of what might have excited disgust. To and fro in the seven chambers there stalked, in fact, a multitude of dreams. – Edgar Allan Poe, The Masque of the Red Death

CRITICAL ACCLAIM

"The distinction between “high” and “low” types of cinema – between those films that were made for festivals and art houses, which can be considered Art, and those made for drive-ins and late-night cable, which are Trash – is at once artificial and absurd. Yet it’s central, at the same time, to the way we understand movies. The visuals of Masque of the Red Death evoke Kenneth Anger's Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954) and  Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal (1957) because Corman was, in essence, a Bergman of the drive-in and grind-house – an artist who revelled in trashy splendour and lurid excess, and had no qualms about selling popcorn to the kids. As the tyrant Prince Prospero (Vincent Price) summons his acolytes to a demonic masked ball, dancers in prismatic garb twirl and caper amid the multi-coloured candelabra. The décor and the camerawork evoke not so much a colour scheme as a rainbow – shattered into fragments and festooned, in patterns we had not yet dreamt. The Masque of the Red Death is a film that expands our visual vocabulary as we watch it. It creates (where most films simply reflect) a fresh way of seeing." 

-Senses of Cinema 

"The Masque of the Red Death moves with a sinuous, unselfconscious elegance. Taken from Edgar Allan Poe’s eerie tale about a plague closing in on the castle of a cruel and wealthy sensualist, in this expressionist horror-ballet, disease is the implacable god. It’s a horribly appropriate moment for this film’s reappearance."  -Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Tickets

  • HALLOWEEN MASQUARADE!

    Admission for one to MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH HALLOWEEN MASQUARADE! Dress in costume to enter the contest! Come for the film, stay for the dance party... If You Dare! Thematic Tricks & Treats will be provided! Bring cash for the bar. Please choose your seating with respect for others and let us know if you require special arrangements. Thank you for your support! Enjoy the program!

    $15.00
    Sale ended
  • Sliding-Scale Ticket

    Admission for one to MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH HALLOWEEN MASQUARADE! Dress in costume to enter the contest! Come for the film, stay for the dance party... If You Dare! Thematic Tricks & Treats will be provided! Bring cash for the bar. Please choose your seating with respect for others and let us know if you require special arrangements. Thank you for your support! Enjoy the program!

    Pay what you want
    Sale ended
  • SUPPORT FUTURE EVENTS!

    I would like to add a donation to my ticket to express my support and appreciation of the adventurous and intellectually-engaging programs at Epsilon Spires. Thank you & keep up the good work! Admission for one to MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH HALLOWEEN MASQUARADE! Dress in costume to enter the contest! Come for the film, stay for the dance party... If You Dare! Thematic Tricks & Treats will be provided! Bring cash for the bar. Please let us know if you require special arrangements.

    Pay what you want
    Sale ended

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