Review by Steve Urena
I imagine that there are a large number of horror movie fans that are fans of Vincent Price’s work. The Invisible Man Returns, The Fly, The Masque of the Red Death, and Edward Scissorhands were all classics in the horror genre. I am sad to say that the 1962 movie Confessions of an Opium Eater is not one of them. Upon viewing this film, I had high hopes due to the legacy of Vincent Price and how important he was to the horror movie community. Finally, I would be able to see a legend in action during his prime. There is nothing wrong with Price’s performance, the movie in my opinion just doesn’t hold up to the distinction of being a Warner Brothers Classic.
Based loosely (and I mean loosely) on the 1822 novel sharing the same name, the movie takes place in San Francisco and tells the story of Gilbert De Quincy (Vincent Price) and his return from the Orient. He stumbles upon a human trafficking ring that smuggles women from China to be sold to the highest bidder. The people bidding on the women use them as wives until they die and then immediately have a replacement on hand. Price’s character gets involved with one of the girls and tries to save her and the women from such harsh treatment.
Now on paper the movie doesn’t seem like it could be that terrible, but this movie had several things that didn’t make sense, like not featuring anyone eating opium. There is a scene where Price hallucinates from smoking his pipe and it is pretty trippy. It has to be seen to be believed. There are midgets, mysticism, and dream sequences, but this movie is a train wreck. It is definitely a movie you can make fun of with your friends but other than that I would not recommend this movie unless you are a diehard Vincent Price fan or you want to watch a bad movie with a group of people to make your own commentary. The poster is definitely pleasing to the eyes, this movie is not.