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Theatre Of Death
cast: Christopher Lee, Julian Glover, Lelia Goldoni, Evelyn Laye, and Ivor Dean

director: Samuel Gallu

91 minutes (15) 1967 widescreen 2.35:1
Momentum Vintage Collection
DVD Region 2 retail
Also available in unrated US edition from Anchor Bay DVD Region 1 retail

RATING: 8/10
reviewed by Christopher Teague
Theatre Of Death is your typical Hammer-esque production, made in 1967 by Pennea Productions and distributed by London Independent Producers. It even stars Christopher Lee. You cannot get more Hammer-esque than that.
   Lee plays Philipe Darvas, a Grand Guignol director in Paris, who dominates each and every frame (and whose taste in woollen jumpers is frightening all by itself!). Surrounded by a cast of actors who specialise in gore drenched torture plays, the director and theatre becomes the centre of attention for the police, when a spate of murders occurs in the city.
   Despite the film's age, Gallu shows some impressive skill with the camera, and there's superbly cinematography by Gilbert Taylor, a facet that is heightened with this glorious transfer onto DVD: Lee's jumpers, and the atmospheric lighting have never been better, I would say. Being a Hammer-esque production, it features the usual traits of buxom women, but the script by Ellis Kadison and Roger Marshall is of an above average standard, and the music score by Elisabeth Lutyens is truly stunning.
   It is, though, Lee's film, and he knows it: his presence if forceful and right from his entrance you just know he's playing a slightly unhinged character. Overall, for anyone who is a fan of classic UK horror or Lee, then I'd recommend this film. If you're new to the genre, it's worth a gamble.
   As previously stated, this Region 1 DVD transfer is in glorious anamorphic 2.35:1 widescreen, and even though the soundtrack is mono it is crystal clear. On the disc, you also get a trailer, radio (!) spots and a pretty extensive Lee biography and interview.

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