Vincent Price as Prince Prospero and Patrick Magee as Alfredo
As we approach Halloween, I propose a 1964 film by Roger Corman as the perfect paradigm for our year of coronavirus and Trump—namely, The Masque of the Red Death.
The story concerns a gathering of wealthy friends (let’s call them billionaires) of Prince Prospero at his castle while the Red Death plague rages through the land. It is my favorite Roger Corman film, with elegant color photography by Nicholas Roeg.
Unfortunately, the character of Vincent Price’s Prospero, nasty as he may be, is played by too interesting an actor to be a stand-in for Donald J. Trump—though he wealthy guests are perfect. One can imagine the My Pillow Guy and the founder of Goya Foods at this party.
You might also want to read the Edgar Allan Poe story from which the film is drawn. You can find it here.
Death Is Stalking the Land in Masque of the Red Death
In the end, Prince Prospero and all his guests come down with the Red Death, which they had so studiously tried to avoid. And curiously, the character is plays the personification of the deathly plague is, once again, Vincent Price.