Confessions of an Opium Eater (aka Souls for Sale)
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Top Customer Reviews
There's no dialogue for the first eleven minutes, it's more like a graphic novel than film, ripe with pulp novel imagery regarding Chinese slave women abducted for auction at the turn of the century San Francisco, mythic Tong wars running rackets, seaports, opium and slavery, and Asian stereotypes from said time-frame (which is excusable at the time the film was made as well as what little we Americans knew of Asians back in the early 1900's, as they were known for both furtive secrecy and non-assimilation, like most immigrants then). And there's that symbolic, surreal white horse that plays a pivotal role in that first beach scene; later recognized as a well-known metaphor for heroin, derived from opium. Whew. And from here it only gets stranger. Much stranger.Read more ›
Shot on a shoestring budget by exploitation producer Albert Zugsmith (SEX KITTENS GO TO COLLEGE, THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ADAM & EVE) and also directed by him, this OPIUM EATER is not an adaptation of the famous Thomas De Quincey work but rather a reimagining of it. Price plays Gerald De Quincey, a descendant of Thomas who 100 years later in 1902 becomes involved in a Tong war in San Francisco over the selling of Asian brides. Vincent plays a philosophical action hero (?!) who waxes poetic as he attempts to free the captured women. While the Chinese characters speak in Charlie Chan English, they are at least played by Asian performers who give commited performances in spite of the dialogue.
Originally released by low budget specialists Allied Artists (formerly Monogram Pictures), the movie is now being released by Warner Archive as an MOD (made on demand) DVD-R. Whether it's for the film's 50th anniversary I'm not sure but whatever the reason, I'm glad to have finally caught up with it.Read more ›
"I think you wear more faces than there are stars in a gutter after the rain."
That i just a small portion of the weird Confucianism's that are peppered throughout this movie. Basically a war between the Tongs and the Drug & "Bride" traders, Price's De Quincey is a mercenary who is siding with the traders until he gets close to one of the "Brides" and decides to help her escape.
It's a very slow and meandering movie where a chase scene is all in slow motion because Price is stoned from opium. It never really gets into 2nd gear and even the ending takes to long to get to it.
Don't get me wrong, I love this movie. Not quite as strange as I remember it, but, then again, it's been decades since I last saw it.
The 1:66 anamorphic picture is grainy and shows it's B movie budget but is still looks great for a 50 year old film.
Here's where I usually drop a bomb and blast this to bits. However, I really don't have any negatives to say at all. Very grateful to Warners for releasing this.
If you haven't seen this then you won't get much out of it. If you have then this is a must.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Big Vincent Price fan this is a little different than most of his horror films, but if you are a fan this is a good movie.Published 22 months ago by p.j.bower
what a fun little movie like a 1960's Big Trouble in Little China
Nice transfer by warner archive picture is sharp and the sound is great
One of the greatest drug trip... Read more
Possibly the best movie ever made by the best actor who ever lived. Vincent's beauty is beyond words. To know him is to love him.Published on December 20, 2013 by Amazon Customer
I love Vincent Price! This definitely is a hidden gem. If you love the actor or old movies check this one out!Published on July 18, 2013 by Kimberly
This one does not.
No matter what you are prepared for, it will surprise you.
Relax, accept the movie in its geniality, and do not attempt to judge it
by any... Read more
I like Vincent Price Movies and that was a good one. Cool old movie. Would recommend if your like Vincent Prince.Published on March 29, 2013 by Carol Heinen
"Confessions of an Opium Eater" (AKA "Souls for Sale") was produced and directed by Albert Zugsmith who brought us "The Private Lives of Adam and Eve," another sensationally titled... Read morePublished on December 19, 2012 by V. Risoli
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