The Mad Magician

1954

Horror / Thriller

2
IMDb Rating 6.4

Synopsis


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1.39G
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English
23.976 (23976/1000) FPS /
72 min
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902.34M
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English
23.976 (23976/1000) FPS /
72 min
P/S 0 / 0

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Hitchcoc 8/10

The wronged artist is the theme of so many revenge horror movies. Goingback to "The Phantom of the Opera," the unjustly maimed or wrongedbring vengeance to their adversaries. No one could look more painedwhen victimized than Vincent Price. He is the master of the hang dogexpression. In this one, he is a magician and master of high techdisguises (for the time) who has sold his talents to another man,seemingly for the rest of his life. When he decides to freelance and dohis own magic show, his contract is waved in his face. Not only that,but the man who owns him also stole his wife years before. So there iseven more bitterness brewing. The plan becomes to get rid of all thepeople who wronged him, then, through the use of clever masks, keep thepeople alive by impersonating them. He even "becomes" one of the greatmagicians of the world, showing his incredible talent. This is a silly,unbelievable movie. But who cares. I don't think I'll get it mixed upwith Schindler's List. The hardest thing to swallow was why these twosuccessful men had anything to do with Eva Gabor and why the VincentPrice character could have cared less when she ran off. She has noredeeming qualities in the movie other than her beauty, and that is soflamboyant and self centered, who cares. Every time Vincent Price wasin disguise, it was easy to see who it was. Nevertheless, I've alwaysloved Vincent's mugging from his Roger Corman films to "The Last Man onEarth." I liked the way he said "Crematorium." Why, exactly, does ithave an automatic pilot that sends the body into the flames if it isnot activated within a certain period of time? There is also a subplotwith a mystery writer and her husband who bumble their ways into theplot. If you like the campy world of Price, watch it on the late show.

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Reviewed by Coventry 8/10

Basically the exact same movie as "House of Wax" - Vincent Price'sfirst genuine horror hit released the previous year - but seriously whocares, because "The Mad Magician" offers just as many sheer thrills,delightful period set-pieces, joyous 3-D effects, sublime actingperformances and macabre horror gimmicks as its predecessor! "Neverchange a winning team" is exactly what writer Crane Wilbur must havethought when he penned down Price's character Don Gallico, anothertormented soul besieged by fate and out for vengeance against those whowronged him. Don Gallico is about to perform his very first ownillusionist show as Gallico the Great and plans to exhibit the greatestmagic trick in history; entitled "The Girl and the Buzz Saw". Gallico'spromising solo career is abruptly ruined before it even begins when hisprevious employer Ross Ormond appears on stage and shoves a contractunder his nose, stating that all of Gallico's inventions are therightful property of the company. The sleazy and relentless Ormond, whoby the way also ransacked Gallico's once beloved wife, takes off withthe buzz saw trick and programs it in the show of Gallico's rival TheGreat Rinaldi. Inevitably Gallico snaps and sadistically butchersOrmond, but – also being a master of creating disguises – recreates hisvictim's image and even starts leading a double life. "The MadMagician" is an amusing and thoroughly unpretentious 50's horror moviein Grand Guignol style, with a whole lot of improbably plot twists (thelandlady turns out a brilliant crime novelist?) and a handful offantastically grotesque gross-out moments (although they obviouslyremain suggestive for most part). The 3-D delights near the beginningof the film, like a yo-yo player and a goofy trick with waterfountains, merely just serve as time-filler and contemporary 50's hype,but it's still fun to watch even now and without the means to properlybehold them. "The Mad Magician" is also interesting from a periodicalsetting point of view, as the events take place around the timefingerprints were starting to get used as evidence material and thecharacter of Alice Prentiss is an obvious reference towards famouscrime authors of that era. Needless to state that Vincent Price remainsthe absolute most essential element of triumph in this film, as well asfrom nearly every other horror movie this legendary man ever starredin. Like no other actor could ever accomplish, Price depicts thetormented protagonist who gradually descends further and further intomental madness in such an indescribably mesmerizing way. You pity DonGallico, yet at the same time you fear him enormously. You support hisvile acts of retaliation and yet simultaneously you realize hismurderous rampage must end in death. Vincent Price simply was a geniusactor and, in my humble opinion, the embodiment of the horror genre.

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Reviewed by Neil Doyle 7/10

The only ingredient missing in this VINCENT PRICE tale of horror isTechnicolor which might have provided even more interest in thismurderous tale of a magician who kills in order to protect hisinventive magic act.<br><br>First to go is a partner with whom he has a violent argument and isgiven the buzz saw treatment. Then, JOHN EMERY, a rival magician who isfoolish enough to steal from Price and threatens to reveal what heknows about the death of Price&#x27;s partner. Emery has a grand timematching his scene stealing tricks with Price.<br><br>Skillfully directed by John Brahm, a section of the film dealing withthe bonfire is reminiscent of a similar moment from Brahm&#x27;s HANGOVERSQUARE when Laird Cregar delivers the body of a woman to be consumed byfire.<br><br>Acting is uniformly excellent and the script moves at a fast pace underBrahm&#x27;s direction. Once again, Vincent Price delivers a first-rateperformance in a shuddery role. The suspenseful moments lead to an edgeof your seat climax involving a crematorium device.

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