Nominated for four Oscars and winning one, this is the ultimate classic noir mystery.
Dana Andrews plays the detective who delves into the murder of Gene Tierney’s enigmatic Laura, with whom everyone is in love with. But it is Clifton Webb who steals the show as the titular ingenue’s creepily elegant social mentor, Waldo Lydecker.
Vincent Price, in a role he regarded as one of his all-time favourites, plays the polished Southern playboy Shelby Carpenter who loves the ladies and plays a mean piano. It’s just a shame that the scene of him serenading a party of lovelies is now all but lost…
Laura was released on 11 October 1944 in the US, while the UK had to wait until 15 January 1945 before the film could cast its spell on audiences on the other side of the pond.
As the sun set on Camp Vincent 2016 and a supermoon rose over the Malibu coast on Sunday (13 November), I feel so blessed to have spent the past 10 days celebrating the life and legacy of Vincent Price with a wonderful group of friends – and it ended so beautifully.
But first, on a surprisingly hot Saturday morning, Victoria Price escorted us, plus a handful of new recruits, on a tour of her dad’s old haunts and former homes.
First up was Hollywood Forever Cemetery where both Vincent and Coral Browne (Mrs Price No3), had their funeral services, and where Coral’s were scattered amongst the white rose bushes by the entrance gates.
After catching up with old friends like Cecil B De Mille and Peter Lorre (whose funeral Vincent gave the eulogy), we headed out to Pinks, an LA institution for hotdogs (Vincent’s fast food of choice) and Koontz Hardware in West Hollywood (where he hung out daily).
Then it was up to the Hills where we drove past Vincent’s former homes as Victoria gave us an insight of what it was like growing up in the glare of the Hollywood sign, before decamping at the legendary Beverly Hills Hotel for cocktails and cake.
In the evening, we were Carson bound to the Phantom Carriage Brewery, where a special dinner was held to celebrate the launch of the reprint of Vincent and Mary Price’s Come Into The Kitchen cookbook.
This took the form of a four-course meal paired with the brewery’s craft beers, accompanied by screenings of The Tingler and Comedy of Terrors, which were introduced by Victoria and myself, and some horror movie-inspired music. It was a super evening, where we all made new friends with some LA-based Vincent Price fans.
And so we come to Sunday. Following lunch at Paradise Cove in Malibu – the setting for hundred of films and TV shows, including the Beach Party films – and where the Price family enjoyed coming to to eat and fish, we headed out to Nicholas Canyon Beach.
It was here where Vincent Price once owned several acres and had a beach house where his children, Barrett and Victoria, spent many a summer before the land was repossessed under the Reagan regime.
At the bottom of some ruined stairs (the only reminder of where the house once stood) our group created an altar of flowers, shells, rocks, kelp, and a drawing done by the ever talented Gregg Buxbaum of a baby seal wearing Vincent’s favourite straw hat.
As incense and a sage smudge stick – bought during our Southwest travels were set alight – were set alight, we held hands and vowed to go out into the world with love and hope. Then, just as we finished, a flock of pelicans soared above us – very slowly – in a V formation. Now, was that a sign or what?
This year’s tour was an opportunity for fans to ‘Explore. Savor. Celebrate‘ life just like Vincent – something both Victoria Price and myself plan to continue for the foreseeable future, beginning with organising Camp Vincent 2017, which will take place in Madrid, Barcelona and Sitges in Spain in September, as well as some pop-up events in the UK and the US.
We are also working on some cool online swag. So, if you’re interested in hearing and seeing any of Victoria’s presentation, Vincent Price: Master of Menace, Lover of Life — then you can sign up right here to receive more information. There are lots of personal family photos and behind-the-scenes pictures and stories. But mostly, this gives you a glimpse of the glorious life philosophy of Vincent Price. We will also have a live virtual Q&A, which we plan to roll out in the new year.
After a flying visit of Arizona’s Painted Desert; visiting iconic hotels on Route 66 much favoured by Hollywood stars of the Golden age; an inspiring immersive tour of the sacred Hopi lands; and going off-road to view ancient petroglyphs and the famed red rocks of Sedona, Camp Vincent flew out of Phoenix bound for Los Angeles, where we have a series of legacy events set up.
The first one literally brought me to tears. Not tears of sadness, although the sight of seeing hundreds of homeless people living in tents on the sidewalks of Downtown LA was quite startling. These were tears of pure joy and excitement.
As guests of the Vincent Price Art Museum at East Los Angeles College, we were treated to a private tour of the archives where some 2000 items of historic and artistic value donated by Vincent Price and his second wife Mary (Victoria’s mother) between 1957 and 1993 are carefully stored in a new state of the art facility.
Over a decade ago, I visited the collection when it was housed in a bungalow on the college grounds under the curatorship of the late Thomas Siliman. But seeing them in their new home was breathtaking and inspiring…
Victoria Price gave an impassionate speech about the VPAM and her parent’s legacy, which you see in full here. https://www.facebook.com/imvictoriaprice/videos/830503863718613/
The event also marked the opening of the gallery’s latest exhibition, Rise of the Fly II in which artist Peter Wu has been inspired by the 1958 and 1986 Fly films to create a dynamic installation fusing painting, video projection and sculpture. Its on until March 18 2017.
Of course, this begged a screening of the 1958 classic itself which, of course, went down a treat with all the invited guests.
The evening also saw some delicious treats created by the talented college kitchen staff, who took recipes from Vincent and Mary’s Treasury and put their own modern spin. I’ll be doing a post on this real soon, so watch this space.
Today, Camp Vincent sets off on the legendary Route 66 following two days of art, food, film, ghosts, comedy and movie memories.
Our guide, Victoria Price, led us through her beloved Santa Fe, visiting its many galleries, including the inspiring Georgia O’Keefe, which are the heartbeat of this artistically inclined city.
We also marvelled at the unique abode design of the city’s buildings, visited the oldest home in the US circa 1600s, and heard tales of restless spirits that haunt old hotels like La Fonda and La Posada from one of Santa Fe’s leading ghost walk tour guides.
Check out the apparition alledgedly on camera at La Fonda in the pic we were shown. This wasn’t taken by us, but we did have our own weird encounter – a swaying chandelier at La Posada. But the jury is out on whether it really was a spectral message or just a prank.
The folks over at the George RR Martin-owned Jean Cocteau cinema held a screening of Sam Fuller’s 1950 drama The Baron of Arizona, which was fitting as its real life tale of 19th century swindler James Addison Reavis (Vincent Price) was partially set in Santa Fe.
I was on hand to provide some trivia on the film’s production during the Q&A with Victoria, who spoke about her dad’s connection with the city and also got to sign copies of the new anniversary reprint of her parent’s Come Into the Kitchen cookbook.
A big highlight was a lecture given at the Institute of American Indian Arts where Vincent Price served as a very active board member from 1956 to 1972, and where he oversaw the Vincent Price Poetry Contest,which was created by in 1963.
Personally, it has been Vincent’s lifelong love for indigenous art, and its preservation and development, that is cornerstone to my own journey in celebrating his legacy. So listening to his recordings from the IAIA archives while looking at photos of Price in situ was a very moving experience for me personally.
Another hugely memorable highlight was the opportunity to meet and dine with retired British actor David Frankham (b 1926) a longtime Sante Fe resident who shared some terrific memories about working with Vincent on The Master of the World, Tales of Terror and Return of the Fly – as well as his many TV appearances on cult shows like Star Trek and memories of working with some of the greats of Hollywood’s golden age. What a wonderfully warm and entertaining human being, and so fit and alert, it must be something to do with the climate…
Sadly, our Santa Fe adventure has come to an end, but I do hope to return one day and continue my conversation with Mr Frankham and those spirits of yesterday. Now, its time to hit the road.
Camp Vincent 2016 officially got underway yesterday with an awe inspiring road trip out to the Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument visiting the the ruins of Quarai and Abo, two abandoned 17th century sites some two hour drive from Albuquerque, where the separate worlds of Spanish colonials and indigenous Pueblo Indians collided.
We were also blessed to have join us for the day members of the Price family – Vincent Price’s son Barrett, the Albuquerque poet, environmentalist and teacher who acted as our guide, his talented artist wife Rini, and Barrett’s son Jody and his wife Amy.
Special thanks goes out to Victoria, who gracefully piloted our 12-seater Sprinter through rain, fog and rainbows to the remote locale.
Dinner at the Range Cafe back in Albuquerque and a lovely gift of a book of poetry from Barrett and Rini capped off a most memorable day for all of us. Roll on day two.
Join us for a Vincent Price Beer Dinner at Phantom Carriage in Carson, California
Saturday November 12th, 2016
Time: 6pm to 8pm (Meet ‘n Greet: 5pm)
Presenting… “Mary and Vincent Price’s Come into the Kitchen Cook Book”. Join us for an intimate 4-course beer pairing dinner hosted in the privacy of our “barrel cellar” with Vincent Price’s daughter, Victoria Price & inspired by iconic recipes from Mary and Vincent Price’s Come into the Kitchen Cook Book recreated by our very own Chef Adam Schmalz. Limited seating available!
Classic Vincent Price films in the Phantom Theatre. Stay tuned for additional information on the full menu breakdown.
Aperitif Cocktail: 5:45pm
1st Course: 6:00pm paired with “Chinook/Centennial” Muis
2nd Course: 6:30pm paired with Cranberry BA Fruited Broadacres
3rd Course: 7:00pm paired with Cushing (barrel-aged strong golden sour)
4th Course: 7:30pm paired with Highwest BA Dolores
CLICK ON THE PHOTOS ABOVE TO LINK TO THE TICKETING WEBSITE:
Tomorrow I head to the US to meet up with Victoria Price and a group of dedicated VP fans for the start of the Vincent Price: The Art of His Life tour (which we’ve affectionatey called Camp Vincent II) in New Mexico, Arizona and Hollywood, California.
The full tour package has long been sold out, but in honour of the 23rd anniversary of Vincent’s passing on October 25, 1993, we’ve decided to open up four more spots for the last day of Camp Vincent. This will be a whole day in Santa Monica and Malibu, dedicated to remembering Vincent Price – concluding with a memorial service led by Victoria on the beach where the Price family lived.
To find out more about this exclusive and memorable event in Southern California on Sunday, November 13, please click here: VINCENT PRICE MEMORIAL SERVICE.
There are also a few other awesome Vincent Price Legacy events whose ticketing has just gone live this week.
* On Sunday, November 6, George RR Martin’s Jean Cocteau Theatre in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is hosting a screening of Baron of Arizona, along with a Q&A. Tickets can be found at this link. BARON OF ARIZONA
* On Friday, November 11, the Vincent Price Art Museum in East Los Angeles is hosting an evening celebrating a new exhibit inspired by The Fly. To participate in a really fun art and film evening, please click here: THE FLY AT THE VINCENT PRICE ART MUSEUM
* On Saturday, November 12, there will be a festive event celebrating the West Coast launch of Mary and Vincent Price’s Come into the Kitchen cookbook at the Phantom Carriage Brewery in Carson, California. Courses inspired by the cookbook will be paired with beers. Tickets will go on sale early this week. For more information, check out Phantom Carriage’s website: PHANTOM CARRIAGE.
Now, if you are interested in hearing and seeing Victoria’s presentation, Vincent Price: Master of Menace, Lover of Life, then you can sign up now to receive more information. There are lots of personal family photos and behind-the-scenes pictures and stories. But mostly, this gives you a glimpse of the glorious life philosophy of Vincent Price. We will also have a live virtual Q&A. To find out more about this exclusive online opportunity, click on this link: VICTORIA & VINCENT ONLINE!
Well, that’s all for now – expect lots of pics from Camp Vincent 2016 over on the Facebook page over the next two weeks.
Check out these fun snaps of Hammer legends Martine Beswick, Caroline Munro and Madeline Smith happily posing with bottles of Black Cat, the first officially licensed Vincent Price Ale, at the recent film fair in Camden, London.
Munro and Smith had the honour of appearing in the Vincent Price classics The Abominable Dr Phibes and Theatre of Blood, while two-time Bond girl Beswick appeared in the 1980s anthology From a Whisper to a Scream – Vincent’s last horror film.
These scream queens were all good friends with Price and loved the concept of a British ale made in honour of the horror icon and self-confessed Anglophile who called UK his second home for over 20 years, beginning in 1964 when he came to London to film the Roger Corman Poe film, Masque of the Red Death.
For the purr-fect Halloween tipple order Black Cat VPA now online at ALES BY MAIL
Illustrator Graham Humphreys, who designed the Black Cat label, is also working on a series of fab retro-looking limited edition Tees dedicated to some of Hammer’s leading ladies, beginning with this homage to Dracula AD72. You can order it online here.
The Curzon Canterbury is proud to bring you a Vincent Price evening, screening Theatre of Blood, with a special Q&A with poster artist extraordinaire Graham Humphreys (who designed the original UK quads for pretty much every iconic horror film of the 80s and also created the fab label on the Vincent Price Ale, Black Cat), and Peter Fuller, curator of the Vincent Price Legacy UK!
Join us for a classic horror, unique competition prizes, a great panel discussion and an unforgettable evening – and let’s not forget some Vincent Price Ale.
Victoria Price was in London, UK this week giving an inspirational talk on her legendary dad and his legacy. The event, at the BFI Southbank, which followed a screening of the rarely-seen 1960s western The Jackals, also gave her the opportunity to give her seal of approval to the first-ever British-made Vincent Price Ale, which has been especially created by Kent brewers Hopdaemon in honour of the Horror King, and whose label has been designed by the equally legendary Graham Humphreys (aka The Quadfather).
Black Cat, so named because of Vincent’s brush with meddlesome moggies in the film classics Tales of Terror and Tomb of Ligeia, is now available to order online. So if you fancy stocking up the perfect Halloween tipple, then check it out now: www.alesbymail.co.uk