“I have come more and more to the belief that we owe our arts a thousand times what we are paying them. We support our cigarette factories, soap manufacturers, beauticians, all the luxury and pleasure businesses of our over-indulged civilization, but we pay our painters an average wage… and yet when the future digs us from the past they won’t care how we smell, what we smoke, or if we bathed. All they’ll know of us will be our architecture, our paintings, sculpture, poems, laws, philosophy, drama, our pottery and fabrics, the things which our hands made and our minds thought up – oh, the machines they’ll dig up too, but perhaps they’ll point to them as our destruction, the wheels that drove us down to death.”
— Vincent Price (I Like What I Know: A Visual Autobiography)
I adore, in no particular order, Edgar Allen Poe, Tim Burton and Vincent Price. I must stress this because if I was forced, at gun point, to put the previous in order of preference, there is a very real possibility that Price would edge out Poe at the very last second and emerge victorious. Vincent Price; King of Horror, Master of the Macabre, Merchant of Menace, was an actor who became best known for playing villains in both the noir and horror genre.
For me this unhealthy obsession comes down to his voice, that stunningly mellifluous voice, which can floor you with just a simple change in tone. I liken it to the more commonly known obsession with Alan Rickman’s voice, which I also share to a lesser extent, that same deliciously sinful voice, which with just a few swirling consonants can create an atmosphere so threateningly ominous that you are sincerely spell-bound. Very few people have and even fewer actors have it, Price had it and perfected it. For those of you who think you have never heard this man utter a word, false, you have. You know Michael Jackson’s infamous Thriller video? You know that creepy voice-over at the beginning? That’s Price in all his sinister tongued glory.
Tim Burton also had a sizable man-crush on Price, especially his villainous on-screen persona, and produced the following wonderful short in honour of him, which Price narrates. Vincent Price also starred in Edward Scissorhands as The Inventor, which Burton wrote specifically for him. It would unfortunately be his last performance.