Movie, Horror: The Masque Of The Red Death (1964, Vincent Price)

There are a couple of places where the sound cuts off for about a minute. Alas, these are important scenes, too.


imdb synopsis: A European prince terrorizes the local peasantry while using his castle as a refuge against the “Red Death” plague that stalks the land.

imdb rating: 7.1 of 10

Title: The Masque of the Red Death (YT link) Uploaded by Joseph Mulga.

The Masque Of The Red Death starring Vincent Price – (1964) 5 stars

Run time: 1 hour, 28 minutes. This is another one of those movies that researcher Robert Sullivan credited as being full of Gnostic themes. In most of the previous films Sullivan recommended, Gnosticism was incidental or too vague to be worthy of note. Most of those movies were crappy B-grade productions and not worth the watch. Well, I thought this specific movie was pretty good, both because Vincent Price was in it and because it is based on a work from Edgar Allan Poe.

The plot revolves around a medieval baron. Prince Prospero, who entertains the nobles and basically spits upon the peasants. Prospero takes the place of the Demiurge. The supporting roles are largely and deliberately kept vague. These people are faceless, except for a few notable people. For example, the lover and the father of the heroine are nearly interchangeable. They wear similar clothes and have the same hairstyle. Note that at the start, Prospero invites the peasants to his castle for a festival, but instead of the rabble being excited, the prince is rebuffed due to an omen.

As the Demiurge, Prospero decides in his selfish way who is worthy and who is not. Those who are worthy are elevated and rewarded, while those who are despised are trod upon. The heroine is instantly placed onto a pedestal, even higher than the other nobles. The lover and father are put at odds with one another several times. This is similar to the philosophies of the Greek gods who set human armies to fight for them and to the Roman tactic of Divide And Conquer.

By the way, Prospero and his consort, as well as other nobles, are cast as Satanists, to stabilize the movie in the horror genre and to disguise the Gnostic aspects. Putting a Satanic label on it automatically marks this movie as occult, instead of setting it as a philosophical drama as it truly is. This was done for broader market appeal, I would assume.

Note that the heroine and Prospero’s consort are both redheads (or at least one of auburn hair), to signify two aspects of the demon Lilith. One is naive innocence, while the other is a wise serpent.

Prospero plays the same games with the nobles as he plays with the peasants. He exalts and entertains them at times, while at other times he humbles them and humiliates them. All are under the whims of the Demiurge.

There is a disturbing allusion to pedophilia, when a lavish midget shows up as a handler for a very young ballerina. This reminds me of the way the Illuminati use young starlets under the influence of Project Monarch sex kitten programming. Note that right away Prospero’s rival wants the girl. Both men know why she has been brought before them. We see a lot of over indulgence and parallels of an orgy taking place at that same festival gathering.

Later, Prospero leads heroine Francesca through four rooms, or levels. One room is yellow. Prospero describes this room as a place where a man’s will may be broken. The next room is purple. The sound cuts off here, so I don’t know what this room’s purpose was. After this comes a white room and lastly a black room. This black room is only for the adepts, the students of the Mystery Schools who have mastered the lessons of the previous rooms. To confirm this, soon after consort Juliana states that she has been an eager student, and is ready for the final initiation.

Francesca gasps at finding blood, just as we hear Prospero beginning the occult rite. This is an allusion to blood sacrifice. Apparently, Francesca has become a student as well, as she is able to enter through all four rooms without being stopped. She is seeing what it will take for her to reach the level of the initiated nobles.

When the midget handler returns, he has become an Archon, conniving to set up Alfredo to a most dire fate later by playing on his ambitions. In the same way, the Demiurge sets up a false route of escape that leads to an equally dire fate for Francesca’s father. See how Prospero releases Francesca’s lover so he won’t have the chance to die a martyr. This decision keeps the focus on Prospero as the master controller of a man’s destiny.

Juliana drinks blood. This puts her into a dream / hallucinating state. I think the four shaman that come to her in this state are eternal Archons, or demons as described in the Tibetan Book Of The Dead. The shaman are, an Aztec probably, a man from the Middle East (because of the scythe), and Egyptian and an African. Juliana returns from the dream state as Satan’s wife. Immediately left, she is killed.

Francesca’s lover becomes Enlightened and breaks away from the commoners who approach Prospero’s castle. Prospero teases the afflicted rabble. In the same way that Juliana was killed right after her initiation, the peasants are killed right after supplicating to Prospero. I think this equates Prospero as Satan, and perhaps this is why Satan has been seeking to lay the prince low since the start.

Prospero and Francesca are seen as opposites of light and dark near the end, when Satan is about to reveal himself. After having been the trickster to so many others, we see that there is no Satan except for the idealized form that Prospero has created within his own mind. The Demiurge as Prospero has realized a reflection of himself. The caster of illusions deified an illusion of himself.

In the end we see the Satan character meeting up with six others, all apparently higher beings who control the destiny of humans and deities like the Demiurge. I am not sure what the total of seven is supposed to represent. The seven Chakras, maybe? A prism effect or rainbow? Their colors are white, orange, yellow, red, blue, purple and black. They are also reminiscent of the Greek Fates or the Norse Norns.

In summary, we see that man from high to low, as well as the deities that we see as gods, are all under the whims of beings even higher than they.

By raymondtowers Tagged

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