Vincent Price

By: Greg Rowland
May 27, 2011

Vincent Price as Dr. Erasmus Craven

His centenary is deceptive, because VINCENT PRICE (1911-93) was the very model of an 18th-century gentleman, one who effortlessly moved between lowbrow schlock-gothic entertainment and highbrow fine art. He’d buy a Rembrandt in the morning and star in a nutty ass-vibratory fright-fest like The Tingler after lunch; his spooky-measured voice evoked a civilized darkness, the refined depravity of the Eternal Emptiness of the Elevated Eyebrow. In fact, Price’s excessive refinement served as the engine of his creepiness, reinforcing the belief that, given half a chance, posh people would eat our legs and feed our entrails to wild donkeys. Thus Price was uniquely placed to go way Moebius with Mock Seriousness, and his collaborations with Roger Corman have become cornerstones of the camp sensibility. Moreover, he’d uncannily evoke Dr Strange in The Raven (1963) and in a guest-run on Scooby-Doo some 20 years later. Christian activists were terrified by Price’s Occultist Power. Indeed, it can now be exclusively revealed that Vincent Price was Dr Strange, Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme. Since 1993 he’s operated exclusively on the Astral Plane, yet is still tireless in his opposition to the mystic malevolence of the Dread Dormammu .


On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes. Also born this date: John Barth and Dashiell Hammett.

READ MORE about members of the Partisans generation (1904-13).


HiLo Heroes, Movies

What do you think?

  1. Another great piece, and packed with provocation. “The civilised darkness” is particularly intriguing.

    “Given half a chance, posh people would eat our legs and feed our entrails to wild donkeys”

    Not so much “given half a chance” as “on a whim” or “If events took a regrettable turn”

  2. Well said, old chap. If David Cameron ever has to launch a devastating nuclear attack that destroyed 90% of the planet I think he would feel positively mortified about the whole business.

  3. Mr Price’s work in “The Last Man on Earth” is so superior to the sequels “omega man” or “I am Legend”
    The transformation of a suburban man to survivalist is more dramatic, the acting is far better

Comments are closed.