Vincent Price was a confessed Anglophile. In this three-part series exclusively written for Spooky Isles to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Vincent’s passing, PETER FULLER delves into the Master of the Macabre’s UK-made classics and why London was his spiritual home.
Did you know Vincent Price made 15 features between 1963 and 1983 in the UK?
To commemorate the 30th anniversary of the iconic actor’s passing (on 25 October 1993), your curator explores each one of those films and why London was Vincent’s spiritual home in this Spooky Isles podcast.
So, UK fans have finally been treated with the UK Blu-ray debut of Scream and Scream Again, featuring both the US and UK versions, courtesy of the newly-formed Radiance Films (September 2023).
The film had its first Blu-ray release by Twilight Time in October 2015 (region-free), featuring just the US cut. Both cuts were later included on the Blu-ray release by Kino Lorber in April 2019 (region A) in the US (and the UK, but also Region A) and by Wicked Vision in Germany in April 2021 (region free), where it made its European premiere.
So, is the Radiance Films Blu-ray HD release of the cult 1970s Frankenscience-thriller worth a region-free ‘triple-distilled dip’? Below is how it stacks up against the previous releases.
But in a nutshell… Given that the same Kino print is used in all of the releases (with some extra restoration work carried out on the digital file for the Radiance release), it’s really down to the extras. For me, the Wicked Vision release comes up trumps against the US releases, and even if you can’t read German, it includes a fabulous 24-page booklet.
But I’m really happy to include the new Radiance Films UK release to my Vincent Price collection, if only for the inclusion of the interviews, both new and archive (the Julian Holloway and Clifford Earl ones are the most interesting), Ramsey Campbell’s contribution, and Anne Bilson’s essay (I so chuckled at her calling the film ‘a prime example of Surrey-ealism’). Plus, Jonathan Rigby is always a pleasure to listen to (and comes up with some real trivia gems about some of the film’s major and minor players while also comparing the film with the source novel) – while Kevin Lyons makes a suitable sidekick (offering up some local info on the filming location.
However, as to me gleaning any new info myself from those interviews and commentary… well, a couple of things have been added to my 20 Things You Must Know About… however, the location of the Crossways house used at the end of the film remains a mystery to us all.
HERE’S WHAT YOU GET…
High-definition digital transfer of both the US and UK cuts. The British cut was supplied by Kino and is the same one used on the Wicked Vision release.
UNIQUE Audio commentary with Jonathan Rigby and Kevin Lyons. Twilight features a commentary by David Del Valle and Tim Sullivan, KIno has Tim Lucas, and Wicked Vision has David Del Valle and writer/producer Phoef Sutton.
UNIQUE Interviews with… – Actor Christopher Matthews (October 2020, 7 min) – Actor Julian Holloway (May 2023, 8min) – Editor Peter Elliott (July 2019) and Props-person Arthur Wicks (January 2023, 4 min)
Archive Interviews with… – Actor Clifford Earl (2015, 18 min): UNIQUE: This was filmed by Derek Pykett, but I don’t think it has been included in any previous DVD releases. – Uta Screams Again: actress Uta Levka (2000, 8.43) Available on both the Twilight and Wicked Vision releases)
UNIQUE Ramsey Campbell on Christopher Wicking and ‘Peter Saxon’ (2023, 11min)
Gentleman Gothic: Gordon Hessler at American International Pictures (2015, 23min) Ported over from Twilight release and also included on the Wicked Vision release.
Super 8 Version The Radiance release is a re-creation of the German version, with Scream and Scream Again title in English. The Twilight release has the title: The Living Corpses of Dr. Mabuse, while the Wicked Vision release is: Die lebenden Leichen des Dr. Mabuse.
Deleted scenes (included in the UK version) – Slyvia and Keith are Watched – Bellaver throws rocks – Extended Discussion and End as Vincent says: ‘But the dream?’. And Lee replies: ‘ There is only time for nightmare’, before ending with a shot of the empty operating theatre. These are also available on the Wicked Vision release.
Mick Garris: Trailers from Hell (2013, 2.33min) Also on Kino and Wicked Vision releases.
Trailer A blue-tinted German dubbed version is on the Wicked Vision release, while the Twilight Time and Radiance Films releases have the US trailer with the classic Cushing credit error.
UNIQUE Reversible sleeve featuring designs based on original posters
UNIQUE Limited edition booklet featuring two essays, An Exquisite Corpse of Incongruous Surrey-ealism by Anne Bilson (2023) and A Termite in a Crazy Circus: Chris Wicking (1998/2023) by Julian Petley, cast and crew info and transfer notes
UNIQUE Three postcards
UNIQUE Scanavo packaging with removable OBI strip
NOT INCLUDED: Radio Spot US language version available on Twilight and Kino releases, and a German version available on Wicked Vision.
NOT INCLUDED: Isolated score track Included on the Twilight release.
Will this cold spell never end? Thankfully, Karie Bible, the host of Hollywood Kitchen, has featured Vincent’s recipe for Minestrone in her latest podcast, as it’s the winter warmer that we all desperately need.
Vincent’s recipe originates from Cooking Price-Wise, the 1971 TV Times/Corgi paperback tie-in for his British TV cooking show. It’s so easy to make and delicious it’s become a real go-to in my household.
I’ve also started making recipe cards based on dishes from the kitchens of both Vincent Price and some of his legendary co*stars, which you can save and collect. You will find them on the Supper with the Stars Instagram page. Here’s the link to follow: https://www.instagram.com/supperwiththestars/
The 1975 political thriller Journey into Fear was an all-star contemporary adaptation of Eric Ambler’s seminal 1940 novel of the same name. A flop at the box office, it had a scant theatrical release on 8 August 1975 and was aired on HBO on 9 January 1976. It then virtually disappeared for many years (appearing briefly on VHS) until a recent Blu-ray release.
When I was compiling SUPPER WITH THE STARS with my co-author Jenny, we included this long-forgotten film as it featured Donald Pleasence and Shelley Winters – two of Vincent’s many legendary co*stars who, like Vincent, were also big foodies.
Asked to participate in the Devilishly Delightful Donald Pleasence Blogathon, I thought I’d share the recipes from both Donald and Shelley that we included in the cookbook (catch them at the end of this post), along with our review of Journey Into Fear. So, was the Canadian-made thriller a recipe for disaster?
Possessing valuable information about Turkey’s untapped natural resources, American oil exploration engineer Mr Graham (Sam Waterson) becomes the target of an assassination plot. In a bid to protect him, the head of Turkish security, Colonel Haki (Joseph Wiseman), fakes Graham’s death and sneaks him out of the country on a boat bound for Genoa. But also on board is Banat, a professional killer (Ian McShane) and the mastermind behind the plot, Dervos (Vincent Price).
Journey into Fear had all the ingredients to be a terrific film: a spy story that’s an influential classic of the genre, an award-winning director, and a superb international cast. Shot for $3.5m over seven weeks in July and August 1974, it was touted as the biggest film to come out of Canada at the time.
But while the film was ultimately let down by its weak script and rushed production, this second film adaptation of Eric Ambler’s seminal novel does have its moments. Director Daniel Mann and cinematographer Harry Waxman make effective use of the Turkish, Greek and Italian locations while also providing some well-staged action set pieces, and there’s an exciting score from composer Alex North.
While a fresh-faced Waterson gives a nuanced performance as the laconic Mr Graham, it’s the supporting players who are the film’s highlight. Zero Mostel chews the scenery as a Turkish oil agent, as does Hollywood legend Shelley Winters as shrewish American tourist Mrs Mathews. Her dinner scene, in which picks at her (foreign) food in disgust, is a highlight. In his final film role, Stanley Holloway plays her henpecked husband with great sincerity, and Yvette Mimieux (who will always be remembered by movie buffs as Weena in the 1960 sci-fi classic The Time Machine) provides the love interest.
A standout, however, is Donald Pleasence. He plays Kuvelti, a Turkish agent masquerading as a bungling tobacco salesman who is shadowing Mr Graham. He pops up in a couple of scenes – very much on the periphery of the action – before getting bumped off (which isn’t a spoiler if you happen to possess the paperback tie-in).
Donald’s best scene takes place on location in Athens, where he frantically searches the streets after becoming separated from Mr Graham, – who is being hunted down by McShane’s sweaty assassin. Pleasence’s character doesn’t have any scenes with Price (nor did he in another Price classic, The Monster Club). It is a shame, but then we do get a typically quirky Pleasence turn – which makes this a fun watch.
Price, of course, has a blast playing Dervos – an Arab agent pretending to be an art-loving amateur archaeologist (how very Vincent), and he brings much depth to his duplicitous character. His explosive death scene (by a flare gun) is actually one of Price’s more gruesome screen deaths, and kudos to him for doing his own stunt on camera as his clothes catch fire when he is shot by our hero in the film’s climax.
DONALD PLEASENCE’S SOLE BONNE FEMME This recipe was featured in a 1975 episode of the Canadian TV show Celebrity Cooks, where Donald prepared it for host Bruno Gerussi. It was later included in a tie-in cookbook and now can be found in Supper with the Stars.
INGREDIENTS: 1 sole, filleted 1 cup stock (get head, bones, etc. for the stock or use an extra fillet, chopped) 1/2 lb. button mushrooms 1 doz. medium mushroom caps
INGREDIENTS – BEURRE MANIE: 2 tbsp. flour 2 shallots (finely chopped) Lemon juice Oil Bouquet garni White wine (enough wine to cover fish plus wine to add later, but no more than 1 cup altogether) 2 tbsp. butter Liquid drained from baking sole
METHOD: Make the fish stock, using the head and bones, etc. or an extra fillet. Put in a saucepan, add a cup of water and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain. Season to taste.
Preheat oven to 350°C.
Put fillets in the bottom of a buttered earthenware baking dish. Sprinkle with finely chopped shallots and button mushrooms. Add enough wine to cover the fish stock.
Now add the bouquet garni, bring to a boil, cover with buttered paper, and bake in a moderate oven for 10 minutes.
Drain off the liquid from the baking dish and add some more white wine, making the total wine used no more than 1 cup. Put this liquid in a saucepan and keep it warm.
Make a beurre manié by kneading the flour and butter with your fingers as though you were rubbing fine pastry. Form into small balls and add them to the liquid, stirring well. It will thicken.
In another pan, sauté the mushroom caps in oil and lemon juice. Pour sauce over the sole and decorate it with the mushroom caps.
Place under a grill to brown lightly and glaze. Remove the bouquet garni before serving.
SHELLEY WINTERS’ CAESAR SALAD 1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced 1/2 cup olive oil 1 cup cubed French bread or ready-made croutons 1½ teaspoons salt 1/4 teaspoon dry or hot mustard Freshly ground black pepper 5 anchovy fillets Few drops Worcestershire sauce 3 tablespoons wine vinegar 1 raw egg Juice of 1 lemon 2 heads cos/romaine lettuce 2-3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese Soak the garlic in the olive oil for 24 hours.
Sauté the French bread or croutons in 2 tablespoons of the garlic-infused oil. Place salt, mustard, pepper, anchovies, Worcestershire sauce, wine vinegar and remaining olive oil into a large salad bowl. Blend with a fork. Now add the egg and lemon juice and mix well. Break the lettuce into a bowl. Toss well with the dressing. Add the cheese and croutons before serving. Toss all well. Serves: 4
2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the filming of Vincent Price’s horror opus, which took place in London from 10 July to 17 August 1972.
In celebration, Vincent Price Legacy UK curator Peter Fuller led a special tour with the film’s last surviving cast member, Madeline Smith, visiting all the locations in which Madeline had her scenes.
We started at Kensal Green Cemetery: which was used for three key scenes: the funeral of critic George Maxwell (Michael Hordern), the grisly late arrival of one of the mourners, critic Hector Snipe (Dennis Price) and a scene between Edwina Lionheart (Diana Rigg) and Peregrine Devlin (Ian Hendry). Filming took place between 10-16 August 1972 and involved most of the cast appearing on the steps of the Anglican chapel, while Vincent Price appeared in disguise as the gravedigger who fills in Maxwell’s grave.
Madeline told our tour attendees about her memories of filming and thoroughly enjoyed posing for pictures in the same spot she stood 50 years ago. On her Facebook page, she wrote:
‘Despite the extreme heat, I spent a delightful Sunday with the encyclopedic Peter Fuller on his Theatre of Blood walking tour. It was 50 years to the day (10th July 1972) that we started shooting, and even though this was a joyous event, it was tinged with sadness as we all stood on the steps of the Anglican Chapel in Kensal Green Cemetery (Where George Maxwell’s funeral took place and Hector Snipe’s corpse arrived tied to the back of a horse) I reflected on the fact that all that incredible talent is now no longer with us. I can’t thank Peter and his tour group for their love, care and attention as well as the knowledge imparted re this wonderful little film. Much Love…Maddy xx‘
Following lunch, we took a 40-min bus journey to Putney. Just off the high street is where Lionheart’s lair, the Burbage Theatre, once stood. It was, of course, the old Putney Hippodrome (demolished in 1975) and featured heavily in the final scenes in which Lionheart sets fire to the theatre before taking his final curtain call into the flames. Madeline told us how the theatre was really set alight and how fire engines were on standby just in case the fires got out of control.
Next up was a short bus trip to The Causeway in Wandsworth. At this site, Devlin is knocked unconscious after meeting Edwina, while Inspector Boot (Milo O’Shea) and Devlin’s secretary Rosemary (Madeline) listen to Sgt Dogge (Eric Sykes), who is hiding in the boot of Devlin’s jag, being run over by a train.
Our final destination was Peninsula Heights in Vauxhall. The penthouse at the very top of the building was used as Devlin’s chic apartment and is where Lionheart takes his swan dive into the Thames. Madeline told us that these scenes involved some very long days, and she had some very interesting memories of what happened during filming.
Here’s what some of our attendees had to say about the tour:
‘Thanks for a fantastic day. The tour was brilliant & very enlightening & Maddie was absolutely lovely’ Vinny Venus
‘Thanks, Peter, for organising. We both loved it. And Maddie was great’ Michael Borio
‘Hi there, Peter, just a quick message to re-emphasise what a brilliant day I had today. It was great meeting you, and it was a very informative and interesting tour. Look forward to the next event’ Dwayne Hickman
‘I’ve been on this tour, and it’s great. TOB was actually one of the first films I saw with Ian Hendry. I later wrote his biography, Send in the Clowns‘ Gabriel Hershman
Did you know there’s now a paperback and digital edition of Supper with the Stars. Having had so many requests for the cookbook and practically selling out of the full-colour limited edition hardback – though we do have some left via the VP Store – we have produced a print-on-demand version and a digital version, available from Amazon everywhere.
This black-and-white softcover version omits the galleries and adds a couple of pages at the back where you can write your own notes. It’s what we like to call ‘the kitchen-friendly edition’, so now you can keep your hardback copy all pristine and use this one without fear of getting it stained. Better still, you can download the digital version, which allows you to scan for your favourite recipes in the book quickly and easily via a tablet or your phone.
TESTIMONIAL “Acquired this book last night from Peter, an impulse buy, the kind we all make and sometimes regret. But this book has totally captivated me, full of nostalgia and mirth, a true delight!! It’s just so sumptuous to look at and written in a beautifully witty manner, just wanted to congratulate both authors on this gem. I think Vincent would have been proud!” Paul, London, UK
Here are some links to a few Amazon stores where you can order the paperback and digital editions. But wherever you are, just type in the title: Supper with the Stars, and you’ll see it pop up.
13 February 2022 UPDATE! A huge thank you to everyone who has purchased a copy of our limited edition hardback of Supper with the Stars. We released 250 copies on Halloween 2021 and to date we have just 13 copies left. Having sold out of the signed bookplate, we have 7 Thank You presentation cards signed by Peter Fuller, which we are offering up in lieu of a signed copy. So don’t delay, order your copy today!
The Vincent Price Legacy UK is delighted to present Supper with the Stars, a fantastic new cookbook fusing film legends and food with the culinary endeavours of screen icon and original foodie Vincent Price. Written by Peter Fuller (your curator) and film archivist Jenny Hammerton (Silver Screen Suppers), this limited-edition cookbook features 52 recipes from the kitchens of Vincent’s most famous co-stars paired with some fantastic dishes of his own. With wicked illustrations from Ben Wickey and a Foreword by Victoria Price, this is a must-have for film fans and foodies alike.
Supper with the Stars has been published in a special limited edition hardcover (only 250 copies) and is available to buy in the UK with a choice of edition and postage options.
The Vincent Price Legacy UK and Silver Screen Suppers are proud to present the exclusive London book launch of Supper with the Stars on Monday 25 October (from 7pm) at the legendary Phoenix Arts Club in London’s West End in association with the lovely folks at Misty Moon.
Written by Peter Fuller (curator of the Vincent Price Legacy UK) and film archivist Jenny Hammerton (Silver Screen Suppers), Supper with the Stars features 52 recipes from the kitchens of Vincent’s most famous co-stars paired with some fantastic dishes of his own.
A must-have for film fans and foodies alike, Supper with the Stars will be published in a special limited edition hardback (only 250 copies printed in the UK) with pre-sales starting soon. However, if you attend the event – you will be first in line.
Victoria Price will be our special guest (via zoom – live!) for the evening, which also marks the 28th anniversary of her dad’s passing. Expect fun and surprises – including an extraordinary clip show featuring never-before-screened footage of Vincent’s culinary endeavours. In order to ensure that you get a book, please pre-order using the link below and you can collect it in person at the launch.
I will be announcing full details on how to order the book very soon. Please do not order the book if you are not attending the event (especially if you are outside of the UK) as we will have a special link to do just that.
52 recipes from the kitchens of Vincent Price’s Co*Stars paired with 52 recipes selected from his iconic cookbooks
52 films from Vincent Price’s extensive big-screen career
52 insightful biographies and film reviews, with fun facts and trivia
Full-colour galleries featuring poster art and rare stills
Extra Helpings chapter featuring hints, tips and more recipes
Introduction from Victoria Price
RECIPES FOR COOKS OF ALL ABILITIES
Great for both novices and the kitchen-adventurous alike
Breakfast, lunch, dinner and party ideas
Helpful culinary conversion chart
Kitchen tested by Vincent Price fans & foodies from around the world
A VINCENT PRICE CULINARY JOURNEY
Host a Vincent Price movie night and dinner
Over 100 recipes tested, reviewed and updated for the modern palate
Each Co*Star dish expertly paired with one of Vincent Price’s recipes
PLUS Vincent Price movie-themed cocktails, drinks and more
COME INTO THE KITCHEN
Hollywood Icons: Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, Lillian Gish, Robert Mitchum, Ronald Colman Hollywood Beauties: Anne Francis, Ava Gardner, Gene Tierney, Jane Russell, Lana Turner Horror Legends: Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff, John Carradine, Lon Chaney Jr, Peter Cushing, Peter Lorre Hollywood Heavyweights: Charlton Heston, Charles Bronson, Dana Andrews, Victor Mature British Greats: Diana Rigg, Ian Ogilvy, Jane Asher Comedy Greats: Groucho Marx, Terry-Thomas Plus The King — Elvis Presley …and many more
FUN FACTS AND TRIVIA
52 extensive biographies of Hollywood and British cinema legends
52 comprehensive film reviews
A selection of classics ranging from Service de Luxe (1938) to Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Includes film noir, comedy, thriller and drama favourites such as Laura (1944), Champagne for Caesar (1950), Shock (1946), Dragonwyck (1946) and The Whales of August (1987)
PLUS 20 years of chills and thrills: From House of Wax (1953) to Theatre of Blood (1973)
BE THE FIRST TO KNOW ABOUT OUR UPCOMING PUBLICATION PLANS FOR SUPPER WITH THE STARS!