The darkly comic and sometimes quite gory Theatre of Blood is a vehicle tailor-made for its star Vincent Price, brilliantly capitalizing on his reputation as a master of period horror drawn from "literary" sources. Price portrays Shakespearean actor Edward Lionheart, who becomes enraged after losing a prominent acting award and decides to seek revenge on the critics responsible. Fittingly, he using the works of the Bard as a guide, basing his killings on violent scenes from Shakespearean plays. Price takes full advantage of his meaty role, ominously reciting classic Elizabethan monologues while rigging particularly nasty torture devices. This hilarious turn is assisted by a colorful supporting cast, including Robert Morley, Richard Coote, and Michael Hordern as critics and Diana Rigg as Lionheart's devoted daughter and partner in crime. The end result is a wonderfully evil lark that, in its own way, proves surprisingly faithful to the often bloody spirit of Shakespeare; certainly the full implications of Shylock's demand for a "pound of flesh" have rarely been made quite as explicit.