In this film Robert Morley is fed his own minced up poodles in a pie by Vincent Price. I really should stop there, if that does not convince you of the utter genius of Theatre Of Blood, not much of the rest of this will. Vincent Price hams it up something rotten, which is exactly the point.

Price was a proper movie star, in as much as his personality was generally much larger than any role he was meant to inhabit. Perhaps there is a touch of cruelty in asking him to play a lousy actor. And yet when you compare his over-egged performance to those of the critics involved in the film – you start to feel tremendously sorry for him. Price’s Edward Lionheart is a tragic figure: a man who can only be an actor, but who is lousy at it. Why not take it out on the critics, it is surely they who are wrong. The critics here are laughably pathetic, stereotypes who would never be good company: you wonder if Price is doing us a favour. When you see the self importance, pomp and vanity displayed by the critics circle you find yourself wondering if Wilberforces acting could really be that bad. Except since he is played by Vincent Price, you are always sure that it is.

Always a pleasure to stumble across at one in the morning, Theatre Of Blood is a fantastically silly movie with a very serious idea at the heart of it. The urge to criticise may well be inate, but equally the need to be critiqued sits at the heart of any performer. When this relationship breaks down, you really are only a few steps away from being drowned in a vat of wine. And that Shakespeare, he was one sick mofo.