You talk of evil…
You, who gave me deformity in form of a twisted spine and a withered, arm.
Who possesses the greater evil my mother?
You who made me this way, or I who have to bare it!
Tower of London was Roger Corman and Vincent Price’s attempt at something a bit historical and Shakespearean.
It tells the tale of King Richard III and his ascension to the throne up til his downfall.
Now like many others that was taught the story of the Plantagenet’s and the Wars of the Roses in school I had to go to Wikipaedia to refresh my memory because I’d forgotten most of it and the filmmakers had too (though they are American so probably were not taught this in school in the first place) as it takes its cues more from the play (something they filmmakers probably were taught).
This means lots of murders and ghost though they could be hallucinations caused by his conscience. The film never lets the viewer know.
Leading the film is Vincent Price as the deformed Richard, duke of Gloucester standing out from the rest of the cast given as he is in the majority of scenes.
This means other characters don’t receive much screen time and when they do they largely seem to be there to set up Vincent’s character rather than further the story which is not a bad thing as watching the hunched Vincent Price hobble across the set looking fraught as he is tormented by the visions of his victims or so overcome with emotion he nearly succumbs to those visions attempts at revenge are what makes the film.
This is the Vincent Price show and I am ok with that. He does walk a fine line between Old Vic and Hammy with his acting but manages to stay on the correct side.
The sets look cheap-ish in places and Corman borrows stock footage from unrelated film-of-the-same-name made in 1939 but all adds to the charm. Given how Roger Corman was not given the budget he wanted which he goes into for an exclusive documentary on the disc everything comes together nicely.
The transfer is pretty good as usual with Arrow releases and the sound is clear enough.
I liked this. There is nothing exceptional but everything is good enough to be entertained and I was. For fans of Vincent Price or Roger Corman this is something to consider.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS:
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation of the feature, transferred from original film elements by MGM
- Original 1.0 mono audio (uncompressed on the Blu-ray)
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
- Brand-new audio commentary by Vincent Price’s biographer David Del Valle and Tara Gordon, daughter of actor-screenwriter Leo Gordon
- Interview with director Roger Corman
- Producing Tower of London, an archive interview with producer Gene Corman
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Dan Mumford