AN EMPIRE OF ONE

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Alternate Endings: Theater of Blood

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In Theater of Blood, Vincent Price portrays a Shakespearian actor, Edward Lionheart, who takes revenge on a group of theater critics because they overlooked him and gave their award to a newcomer, William Woodstock. Price kills them one by one with the exception of one critic who survives to witness Price’s death. The film ends with that critic’s “review” of Price’s death: Price knew how to make an exit, but he was a ham to the end.

Perhaps because I’ve read too many EC Comics-type horror stories, I thought that the film missed an opportunity for a little twist at the end.

Here’s my alternative ending:

The critic, the detective and the critic’s secretary watch Price climb to the top of the building that has been Price’s HQ throughout the film:

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As Price carries his dead daughter, the fire’s heat melts away his mask to reveal…

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…that Price is, in fact, William Woodstock, the actor to whom the critics had given their award instead of to Price. The critic realizes his mistake just as…

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…Price jumps to his death.

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The critic, who had refused to change his mind about giving the award to Price even while under the threat of death, realizes that he was wrong about Price’s acting ability. He says that he will have to give the award to Price posthumously. The detective says that would be the least he can do.

This may sound like a silly ending, but it would have been perfectly in keeping with the rest of the film wherein Price appears in many guises:

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Written by David Kilmer

April 4, 2011 at 5:05 pm