Hazel Court's devilish dream in Masque Of The Red Death

News Martin Anderson 16 Apr 2008 - 10:06
The symbolic sacrifice. [HAZEL COURT IN MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH]

Martin remembers scream-queen Hazel Court at her devilish best, in Roger Corman's classic adaptation of Poe...

It was with some sadness that I received a bulletin on Tuesday announcing the death of well-loved Roger Corman/Hammer scream queen Hazel Court, from a heart attack at the age of 82. It was a couple of days later that her demise made the news, and since there are many well-deserved tribute obituaries around, I thought I’d take a simpler route to commemorate the many reasons that Hazel knocked us all out in the Corman ‘Poe cycle’ - and also just how far Roger Corman could rise above his reputation as the ‘knock-off’ king of Hollywood.

About an hour into Masque Of The Red Death (1964) comes a highly theatrical sequence representing the process of willing damnation. It’s sexy, frightening (largely due to the innovative use of music and sound) and yet amazingly ‘staged’, capturing perfectly the mute helplessness of being caught in a nightmare. The green-tinged sequence, though directed by Corman, was lensed by avant guard film-maker Nick Roeg, who served as cinematographer on MoTRD.

In some unspecified eastern-European country, evil Prince Prospero (Vincent Price) has gathered up the noblemen and women of the area into his impregnable castle, to spare them the ‘red death’ that is ravaging the region - and to enjoy their fawning loyalty and favour. The Satanist Prospero brings innocent but staunch village-girl Francesca (Jane Asher) into his protection on a pretext of punishment for a public taunt made by her boyfriend Gino (David Weston), but his real aim is to corrupt this sylph-like Christian girl and bring her over to devil-worship.

But Prospero’s current protégé – the more mature Hazel Court as ‘Juliana’ – takes umbrage at the competition and decides to perfect herself early in the black arts that she has been studying under her dark master. Alone in a late-night ceremony, Juliana – who has branded her right breast with an inverted crucifix - drinks some unspecified (presumably hallucinogenic) mixture from a chalice, in a ritual that is intended to definitively pledge her soul to Satan.

The ritual dissolves into Juliana’s toxic dream of damnation, and finds her tip-toeing terrified through a mysterious forest in what appear to be ballet shoes, wearing the most transparent negligee that ever locked a 12-year old boy’s bedroom door. For this early part alone, Court won legions of admirers, but the sequence develops into one of genuine tension and mystery…

…as the sequence fades to a later part of Juliana’s nightmare, where she finds herself lying on a four-poster bed, surrounded by brass gargoyles. She’s not chained, but seems unable to move as a series of demons penetrate the transparent curtains around her and cavort in devilish pirouettes before attacking her with knives, scythes and ceremonial swords.

The theatricality and symbolism of the sequence is enhanced by the fact that there are no wounds or blood. These murderous gestures do not really touch Court, despite her evident terror and voiceless screams - the only soundtrack on the sequence is David Lee’s sulphurous score.

The first demon comes in the form of what looks like a Polynesian warrior, the second some kind of Greek Gnostic, the third an Egyptian priest and the fourth an African prince. These silent spectres perform similar ceremonial wounding-actions as Court’s expression – optically warped – segues between anticipation, pain, pleasure and horror.

Presumably these ‘pagan’ avatars represent the damnation of the soul outside of the Catholic church (dominant in the period portrayed in MoTRD), and the embracing of ‘other’ religions is arguably painted as the road to hell. This politically incorrect demonising of non-Catholic faiths is similar to the temptation of the sapphic Muslim twins in The Saragossa Manuscript, and unlikely to reappear in modern horror output, however gothic.

As Juliana seems set to expire from the pain of these (presumably psychic) wounds, the sequence fades to black, and we find her back in Prospero’s castle, her marriage to Lucifer consummated. Unfortunately, ultimate demonic approval will prove to come in the form of ravens attacking her in Prospero’s empty halls and pecking her to death. But that’s love, I guess…

The ‘green dream’ sequence in Masque Of The Red Death provides then a scene of dark ravishment which spells out the sexual subtext of female stabbing-victims in horror films in a way that only Alfred Hitchcock had heretofore attempted – in Psycho. It’s not a sublimated rape scene, since Court deliberately and enthusiastically brings the entire experience upon herself, and is pleased with its result afterwards, in Prospero’s castle. Nonetheless the sequence is shot through with sado-masochism and sexualised (if symbolic) violence, to a degree that is unusual in a series of films that – by this time – represented ‘mainstream’ horror.

The Corman/Poe series remains fascinating viewing – hints of ‘c’-feature perversity and originality permeate these films, as if Corman cannot resist showing his hard-won (and temporarily won) mainstream audience some of the harder-edged material that was to carve him a long career as the king of great - and not so great - schlock horror.

Hazel herself is beautiful as ever in the sequence, but also proves her acting prowess, as she rapid-fires a fusillade of conflicting emotions during her torment. This was a formidable ‘scream-queen’, in an equally formidable – and eternally classic – work of gothic horror.

Martin writes his (mostly) sci-fi column every Friday at Den Of Geek.

Disqus - noscript

It's very good,for this reosen this site is number one;)film izleFilmFilm izleFilm seyretizleVideoSinema<font color="white">film izle</font> <font color="white"></font><font color="white">sinema izle</font> <font color="white"></font><font color="white">cizgi film izle</font> <font color="white"></font><font color="white">film seyret</font> <font color="white"></font><font color="white">online film izle</font><font color="white"></font><font color="white">bedava film izle</font><font color="white"></font><font color="white">bedava sinema izle</font>

<font face="Akhbar MT" size="4">شات بيبسي | شات بنت جازان | شات بحر الكويت | شات قلبي |
| شات ابن اليمن | شات جبر الخواطر | شات علي البال | شات ياعمري | شات كيوكات | شات بنات الكويت | شات دوت كوم |
صرقعه | شات لجين | دردشة قلوب الكتابية | شات همس الحب | شات لمسة حب | شات لذة غرام | شات ندى الورد | شات كويت عسل | شات نادي العرب | شات سارق القلوب | شات سحر الدلع | شات سواح | شات اميرة الكون | شات مملكة دلع | شات رومنسية | شات عبير | شات عاشق القلوب | شبيك لبيك | شات قطر الحب | شات حبيب قلبي | شلة بنات | شات التنسيم | شات الخليج | شات غزل | شات دلع | شات مزوح | شات قطر روز | شات علي بابا | شات شمعة حياتي | شات خفايا الشوق | شات فتافيت سكر | شات بحور الحب | شات مشاعل نجد | شات مزاجيات | شات حلو | شات فوز | شات عطر المحبة | شات الكوت | شات شموع نجد | شات ضوء القمر | شات عمان | شات الفجر | شات ورودي | شات القمرا | شات الجوارح | شات جروح | شات مزيكتك | شات لبيه | شات بنت السعوديه | شات كويت 500 | شات نجديات | شات الجوهرة | شات الحور | شات الحلم العربي | شات قمر العرب | شات ناعم العود | شات ليالينا | شات المشتاق | شات ترحال العرب | شات دلوع | شات خجل | شات روح الوفاء | شات المها | شات بنات نجد | شات بنات نت | شات مساهير الغلا | شات البدر | شات الوسام | شات شجون | شات الفنان | شات انين | شات مملكة حبي | شات بنات العرب | شات مملكة الحب | شات الجبيل | شات حبايب | شات بحريني ون | شات كواسر | شات كازنوافا | شات عروبة | شات مدار الروح | شات مياس القلوب | شات دنيا الوله | شات شلة مجنونة | شات العين | شات الشله | شات حلا | شات بنوته | شات حبي | شات كرستال | شات الحيران | شات الحنين | شات لهفة | شات بنات السعوديه | شات وعد | شات العشاق | شات المزيون | شات رماد الحب | شات غلاي | شات تغاريد | شات الدمعة | شات بنت الجامعة | شات المملكة | شات كويت 35 | شات الديوان | شات النهر | شات دانة الكويت | شات الغلا | شات الدلع | شات الحب | شات تعب قلبي | شات دلع | شات السحر | شات بنات الكلية | شات الساهر | شات رجة | شات حمودي |
شات كتابي | شات حبيبتي | شات الود | شات انت عمري | شات الحب | شات قلوب | منتديات | دليل | مركز تحميل | عالم الرومانسيه</font>

شات قلوب السعوديه

What is the discussion today? UGGS? Today we are going to discuss about business based on gender. There are two genders, male and female. We can categorize business in the world to the two big categories that has been written above. Every single business has different perspective and way to get success. We need to learn strategy of getting success based on this categorized business. In male business, we need to create modern, easy use product to satisfy male because male never like something complicated because it will confuse them. But women are different because they like detail and described stuff. Male categorized business is such as automotive, computer, etc. Then the women based business is such as beauty salon, skin treatment, shoes and clothes selling and so on. Many people like to do women based business to get more buyers because we know many women like to go on shopping. For example UGG Classic Short,
UGG Cardy,
UGG NightFall,
UGG Metallic,
UGG Sundance,
UGG Leopard,if we talk about shoes or boots such as the Ugg Boots then we will see that even woman has more than one pair shoes or boots but they still want to add new shoes to their private collection. This is really yummy to the sellers to meet this kind of buyer. Because of that reason many new business are targeting women as the primary market. How about you? Do you want to create this too?

<font color="#000000">
- <font color="#000000">شبكة
- <font color="#000000">غيور</font>
- <font color="#000000">مدونة غيور</font> -
<font color="#000000">الارشيف</font>
- <font color="#000000">شات</font> -
<font color="#000000">دليل النساء</font>
- <font color="#000000">مركز تحميل</font>
- <font color="#000000">خواطر</font> -
<font color="#000000">لك</font> -
<font color="#000000">الاسرة المسلمة</font>
- <font color="#000000">اعلانات النساء</font>
- <font color="#000000">سوق النساء</font>
- <font color="#000000">طب النساء</font>
- <font color="#000000">سوالف النساء</font>
- <font color="#000000">توبكات ماسنجر</font>
- <font color="#000000">رسائل وسائط</font>
- <font color="#000000">ازياء</font>
- <font color="#000000">مكياج وعطور</font>
- <font color="#000000">العناية
<font color="#000000">المطبخ</font>
<font color="#000000">الديكور المنزلي</font>
- <font color="#000000">تجهيز العروس</font>
- <font color="#000000">الحياة الزوجية</font>
- <font color="#000000">الامومه
<font color="#000000">السياحة والسفر</font>
<font color="#000000">الصور</font>
- <font color="#000000">التصميم وبرامج
<font color="#000000">الماسنجر</font>
<font color="#000000">الكمبيوتر
<font color="#000000">عروض البوربينت والاكسل</font>
<font color="#000000">كرسي الاعتراف</font>
- <font color="#000000">الالعاب
<font color="#000000">استراحه الاعضاء</font>
<font color="#000000">القصص والروايات</font>
- <font color="#000000">تعليم لغات</font>
- <font color="#000000">قصائد مرئيه</font>
- <font color="#000000">قصائد كتابية</font>
- <font color="#000000">شات غيور</font>
- <font color="#000000">النساء الاسلامي</font>
- <font color="#000000">النساء العام</font>
- <font color="#000000">Rose</font>

家具全民英檢Vinyl Packaging

Sponsored Links