Happy birthday to the master of horror himself, Vincent Price! The wonderful character actor may have left this mortal coil long ago, but we’re still huge fans of his creepy catalog of work. To celebrate this milestone and the memory of one of our favorite genre stars, I’ve curated a list of nine of Price’s most enjoyable movies that are streaming right now. So pop some corn, light some flickering candles, and get ready to enjoy some stone cold chillers!
This William Castle classic features one of Price’s most well known roles for a reason. This is a non-stop carnival of spooky fun as Frederick Loren (Price) invites a group of strangers to stay in his haunted house. Anyone who survives the night will win $10,000. There’s plenty of chills and spills here but the real joy comes from watching the cast of characters spar. Carole Ohmart in particular is endlessly watchable as Loren’s long suffering fourth wife Annabelle. House on Haunted Hill is also weirdly timely as we’re all currently trapped in a scary place–in some cases–with a bunch of people we’d probably like to escape from.
Witchfinder General (1968) – SHUDDER
Loosely based on the real horrors wrought by the man who called himself “Witchfinder General,” this brutal film is a must watch for genre fans. Heavily censored for years in the UK, this film follows Price as the real life lawyer and charlatan Matthew Hopkins as he torments and tortures women in the name of his “faith.” A stunning score, inventive direction, and terrifyingly sadistic examination of the witch hunts, this is a great twist on the supernatural trend of British horror, instead focusing on the real horrors that humans enact on one another.
The Raven (1963) – IMDB TV
Roger Corman is behind this horror comedy that features three horror icons. Price is joined by Peter Lorre and Boris Karloff to bring this Poe poem to life. Set in the 15th century, this is a campy romp that isn’t really much like Poe’s story at all, but is still a bunch of silly fun. There’s also a delightful early role by Jack Nicholson and plenty of fantasy and freakishness to enjoy.
Want a silly, simple, and ultimately entertaining watch? Then add this 1981 anthology to your list. Presented by Price, who plays a vampire, each of the shorts center on a different terrifying creature. Price and John Carradine sharing drinks at the titular supernatural watering hole tying together the three stories. If you like your horror lo-fi and want a nostalgia-inspiring watch that you probably haven’t seen this is a great option.
Theater of Blood (1973) – ROKU CHANNEL
One of my personal favorite Price films, Theater of Blood is a gruesome delight! Edward Lionheart is an actor with a deadly grudge, and he is ready to dole out vengeance on the critics who have wronged him. After a less than lauded run of Shakespeare, Lionheart decides to murder the writers who refused to lavish him with praise in a series of killings inspired by the bard. Hilarious, horrifying, and dreadfully entertaining, this is peak later-stage Price.
Cry of the Banshee (1970) – PRIME VIDEO
In another twist on the Hammer Horror witch hunt trend, this ’70s flick pits Price against a coven of vengeful witches. Once again reckoning with the grim realities of witch hunters and their sadistic, misogynistic campaign, Cry of the Banshee adds a bonkers supernatural subplot. If you like ’70s British horror, class war fueled by witches, and evil men getting their comeuppance, you will probably find something to love in this Gordon Hessler helmed, Christians vs. Witches chaos.
The Tingler (1959) – ROKU CHANNEL/ TUBI
Another of Price and Castle’s collaboration, this film is probably best remembered for the gimmick it was released with. Seeing as the movie centers on a terrifying explanation to why you get a tingle on your spine, Castle sent certain theatres a machine called Percepto! which buzzed certain seats during the movie. Price stars as the doctor who discovers that people who suffer a tingling in the spine when scared are actually hosting a parasite known as “the tingler.”
Madhouse (1974) – EPIX/AMAZON VIDEO
This brilliantly dark Amicus offering rounds out our list. Madhouse is the perfect mix of murder, mystery, and British horror. Price leads as a TV actor who becomes entwined in a series of killings committed by someone disguised as his most famous character, Dr. Death. Atmospheric, strange, and featuring a Price / Peter Cushing showdown, Madhouse is an enjoyable and entertaining ’70s gem.
Header Image: Amicus, AIP, United Artists