Vincent Price turns on his usual terrifying charm in the role of a homicidal magician in The Mad Magician, a satisfying thriller that was originally shown in 3-D. The actor best known for the luster he brought to many horror films stars as Gallico the Great, an inventor of magic acts who yearns to be the star of his own show.
On the night of his first performance, he is shut down by his cruel manager Ormond (Donald Randolph) -- who wants to use Gallico's ingenious buzzsaw act for the famed magician Rinaldi (John Emery). Added to the knowledge that the wealthy Ormond had already stolen his wife Claire (Eva Gabor), Gallico goes mad and decapitates his tormentor with the buzzsaw.
After a great sequence in which Ormond's head takes a mistaken trip with Gallico's assistant Karen (Mary Murphy) and her detective boyfriend Bruce (Patrick O'Neal), Gallico disguises himself as Ormond and rents an apartment with a mystery author (Lenita Lane).
He manages to dispose of the body in another amusing scene, but he must kill again when Claire confronts him in his Ormond disguise. The author identifies Ormond as her killer and Gallico appears to be off the hook -- until Rinaldi appears with designs on stealing Gallico's latest trick: a crematorium illusion.
Naturally, the illusion becomes reality and Rinaldi is burned to a crisp. Disguising himself as Rinaldi and taking over the magician's successful show, Gallico continues to fool the law until Bruce matches fingerprints from Rinaldi (who is really Gallico) to those of Ormond.
Meanwhile, the author, realizing that the Ormond who stayed in her house was really Gallico, gathers Karen and the detective for a fiery confrontation.