October almost demands a horror-theme, so we celebrated one of the most fascinating icons of 20th century horror: Vincent Price.
We started the show by giving every audience member a free pencil mustache.
Co-hosted by Tom Peyer, we looked at dozens of film and television clips, as well as rare audio recordings and Vincent Price cupcakes. (Lisa Beebe served TWO kinds of Price cupcakes, the portrait cupcakes and “fly” cupcakes with a plastic fly caught in a web of icing.) We screened footage of Price as Egghead on BATMAN, Price getting drunk in TALES OF TERROR,
Eric Drysdale (writer from THE COLBERT REPORT) edited down clips from the promotional film for Sears’ Vincent Price Collection of Fine Art, followed by footage from a Price-hosted instructional VHS tape that came with the Nishika 3D Camera. (At the end of the segment, an audience member won said camera!)
Playwright Bob Satuloff screened scenes from two essential films that bookend Price’s career as a horror star: HOUSE OF WAX and THEATER OF BLOOD. Actor Arthur Anderson provided a video-inteview where he reflected on working with Price in Orson Welles’ Mercury Theater and he showed photos from VP’s wedding. Nathaniel Wharton (from THE JIM HENSON LEGACY) shared a rare musical number from The Muppet Show (not released on the season one DVD). Media historian Heather Hendershot (dressed as one of VP’s tragic dead movie wives) read a thought-provoking essay about Prices on-screen persona being compared to hysterical women.
In the middle of the show, audience members shared their memories about Vincent Price: we heard tale of VP’s verdict on an early Michael Jackson trial; we learned the REAL reason one professor never finished his academic art history book with Vincent Price; and we heard a first-hand account of a teenage boy writing a fan letter to Price (promising him a role in a horror movie) – which was met with a heart-warming hand-written reply from the 82-year-old actor.
The video-variety show also included some of Price’s finest audio recrodings: First we heard Price reading the poetry of Percy Shelley. Then one lucky audience member got to perform a scene from Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Ernest”, thanks to the audio-magic of the record CO-STAR WITH VINCENT PRICE (Price released a high-concept album where he delivered half the dialogue in dramatic scenes, the consumer would read the script and play the other parts. Kind of a non-ironic version of Albert Brooks’ COMEDY MINUS ONE.)
The night’s audience was a who’s who of geek super-stars, we had a writers from The Daily Show, DreadCentral.com, DC editors, AMCtv and indie filmmakers.
Plus the good folks at TRAILERS FROM HELL.com let us show Josh Olson’s commentary track for WITCHFINDER GENERAL. Our friends at BLUE WATER COMICS gave everyone in the audience not one but TWO issues of “Vincent Price Presents…”
M. Sweeney Lawless also crafted a first-class paper-program that featured Vincent Price haikus, Price’s recipe for Pump Room Chicken Hash, and a collection of quotes with VP talking about everything from Dracula to expressing love.
Super-producer Jay Stern edited together thematically arranged footage, like “Vincent Price Murders his Wives”, “Vincent Price Drug Freak-Outs”, “Vincent Price Mourns His Wives” and “Vincent Price Out of Context.” And if that’s not enough, we included Vincent Price tributes (a Bugs Bunny cartoon and a short subject film by Tim Burton.)