The Masque of the Red Death (1964 film)

1964 horror film directed by Roger Corman

The Masque of the Red Death is a 1964 UK/US film about a European prince who terrorizes the local peasantry while using his castle as a refuge against the "Red Death" plague that stalks the land.

Directed by Roger Corman. Written by Charles Beaumont and R. Wright Campbell, based on the short stories "The Masque of the Red Death" and "Hop-Frog" by Edgar Allan Poe.
Horror has a face.  taglines


  • Hear me! [all fall silent] Soon you will be costuming yourselves for the masque. A celebration, my friends. A celebration of victory over death, of evil over good. Monsignor Scarlatti will not be joining us...he failed to obey my orders. But because of me, through my mediation with my master, the Lord of Flies, you, all of you, unworthy though you may be, will be safe from the Red Death. We promise you...unless of course you incur our displeasure. For some of you are guilty of acts against us. Acts of faith perhaps. And all of you I suspect still harbor some sacred thoughts. But no more. A fallen angel will protect you.
  • Do you know how a falcon is trained, my dear? Her eyes are sewn shut. Blinded temporarily, she suffers the whims of her God patiently, until her will is submerged and she learns to serve - as your God taught and blinded you with crosses.

The Red Death

  • It's time for a new dance to begin... the Dance of Death!
  • [to Prospero] Why should you be afraid to die? Your soul has been dead for a long long time.
  • I called many. Peasant and prince... the worthy and the dishonored. Six only are left... a young man and woman... a dwarf and a tiny dancer... this child [he rests his hand on the little girl's head] and an old man still in the village. Sic transit gloria mundi (Latin for "Thus passes the glory of the world").


Prospero: That cross you wear around your neck; is it only a decoration, or are you a true Christian believer?
Francesca: Yes, I believe - truly.
Prospero: Then I want you to remove it at once! And never to wear it within this castle again!

Juliana: Prince Prospero? Why do you roam the late night corridors?
Prospero: Sleep eludes me.
Juliana: You have disturbing thoughts?
Prospero: And you, Juliana? What keeps you awake?
Juliana: I think my thoughts dwell on the same subject as yours. The peasant girl.
Prospero: She has a perfect faith.
Juliana: So do I. In you and in what you believe. I've been an eager student but I've held back from the final ceremonies. And now I'm ready to join you at the invocation.
Prospero: How truly realistic women are. Finally, you are ready to dare the most terrible rites and incantations to secure your position here. I wonder. I wonder if she is ready to dare as much if anything for the sake of love.

Francesca: Forgive them!
Prospero: Forgive them? If my hound bites my hand after I have fed and caressed him, should I allow him to go undisciplined?

Prospero: Somewhere in the human mind, my dear Francesca, lies the key to our existance. My ancestors tried to find it. And to open the door that separates us from our Creator.
Francesca: But you need no doors to find God. If you believe...
Prospero: Believe? If you believe, my dear Francesca, you are... gullible. Can you look around this world and believe in the goodness of a god who rules it? Famine, Pestilence, War, Disease and Death! They rule this world.
Francesca: There is also love and life and hope.
Prospero: Very little hope I assure you. No. If a god of love and life ever did exist... he is long since dead. Someone... something, rules in his place.

Francesca: You had me take off my cross because it offended...
Prospero: It offended no one. My Master and his followers look about with open eyes. No, it simply appeared to me to be discourteous... to wear the symbol of a deity long dead.

Prospero: Who do you come for?
Red Death: Many.
Prospero: All?
Red Death: Not all.

Prospero: Our master will be pleased. I brought all of these souls to him; I corrupted them for him. I believed in Satan when no one else would. I built a chapel to him and I prayed to him. And all of these, my friends, I brought them here promising them safety.
Red Death: You presumed too much.
Prospero: I know, I know. But it does make a fine jest, the kind of jest that would amuse Satan.
Red Death: [coldly] Would it?

Red Death: I have no title. Why do you call me "Excellency"?
Prospero: Well, I thought that as the ambassador of Satan...
Red Death: He is not my master. Death has no master.

Prospero: But Satan rules the universe! I made a pact with him!
Red Death: He does not rule alone... and your pact with him will not save you.
Prospero: There is no other God! Satan killed him!
Red Death: Each man creates his own God for himself, his own Heaven, his own Hell.
Prospero: Let me see your face!
[He unmasks the Man in Red to reveal his own bloodstained face]
Red Death: Your Hell, Prince Prospero... and the moment of your death.

About The Masque of the Red Death



  • Horror has a face.
  • Stare into this face and count if you can the orgies of evil....
  • We defy you to stare into this face.
  • SHUDDER... at the blood-stained dance of the Red Death! TREMBLE... to the hideous tortures of the catacombs of Kali! GASP... at the sacrifice of the innocent virgin to the vengeance of Baal!