HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Wildlife
X2
Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese
Heiress, The
Cold Pursuit
Firestorm
Dogs of War, The
Holy Mountain, The
Piercing
Under Fire
Jennifer on My Mind
People on Sunday
Lethal Weapon 4
Downhill Racer
Emily
Odette
Escape Room
Across the Pacific
Madeline's Madeline
You're Gonna Miss Me
Iron Sky: The Coming Race
Derby
Mortal Engines
Union City
Knife+Heart
Little Stranger, The
Sauvage
Watermelon Man
Wandering Earth, The
Good Fairy, The
Killer Party
Holmes & Watson
Monster in the Closet
Sand, The
Glass
My Brilliant Career
Knife for the Ladies, A
Man in the Attic
Destroyer
Fillmore
   
 
Newest Articles
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
Oh, What Happened to You? The Likely Lads on Blu-ray
Killer Apps: The Rise of the Evil 60s Supercomputers
How 1970s Can You Get? Cliff Richard in Take Me High vs Never Too Young to Rock
A Perfect Engine, An Eating Machine: The Jaws Series
   
 
  Castle of Blood Buy this film here.
Year: 1964
Director: Antonio Margheriti
Stars: Barbara Steele, Georges Riviere, Silvano Tranquili, Umberto Raho, Margarete Robsahm, Silvia Sorrente
Genre: Horror
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: A smoky tavern somewhere in London plays host to a conversation between Edgar Allan Poe (Tranquili) and his friend Sir Thomas Blackwood (Raho). Poe's claim that his stories are all based on fact is overheard and challenged by English journalist Alan Foster (Riviere), who will soon accept a bet that he cannot survive an entire night at Blackwood's haunted castle. Each year, on 2nd November, Sir Thomas makes the same wager, with the same end results: those who accept the challenge are never seen again.

Thanks to the advent of DVD, we are now able to study the works of a number of influential directors with a heightened awareness of that wafer-thin barrier between the living and the dead. While the name of Mario Bava springs to mind as the prime mover in these haunted worlds of unquiet spirits, Riccardo Freda and Antonio Margheriti both merit at least a chapter each in any self-respecting book of the dead.Of course, this trio of Italian directors had more in common than a talent for creating some of the most unsettling imagery in horror cinema; they also shared the services of some wonderful actresses, with the likes of Barbara Steele, Harriet Medin and Michelle Mercier gracing a number of their individual productions, including The Ghost, Black Sabbath and The Horrible Dr. Hichcock. Steele worked for all three directors, appearing here as Elisabeth; one of a quartet of ghosts who must replay their tragic deaths on the fateful anniversary. Once again, Steele's extraordinary features dominate the camera lens as she attempts to lure Foster to the other side, though fellow apparition Julia (Robsahn) almost steals the show as a spook with a score to settle. Regretably, Robsahm's acting career ended with this film, due to her embarrassment over a lesbian love scene with Steele. A similar red-faced reaction may also have been felt by one dithering G. Riviere, whose initial actions and reflexes seem governed by a 5 second time delay. Happily, Georgie boy eventually turns into a more than capable performer, complimenting a fine cast and Margheriti's atmospheric direction. By the time this film reaches a thoroughly downbeat conclusion, it's clear that Blackwood Castle has joined such undesirable residencies as The Villa Graps, Hill House and Lisa Reiner's mansion; part of a select group of properties that invite us through their doors for one night only.

Synapse's splendid DVD release gives us the welcome opportunity of viewing the uncut Castle Of Blood, which includes "lost" footage of a topless Silvia Sorrente - one half of a honeymoon couple who accepted a Blackwood wager - together with the aforementioned love scene (which plays more like a rape, with Robsahn on top!). This particular incarnation was created from four different audio and video sources, in order to present the longest version possible. As a result, image quality is variable but, overall, gives a top-notch representation of Marheriti's macabre compositions, with bags of detail in darker scenes and crisp depictions of decaying corpses, haunted portraits and those gorgeous flesh and blood spectres. This DVD release was subject to a delay of several months, due to soundtrack-related problems. While it's true that Synapse have been unable to deliver a flawless soundtrack, any remaining glitches, while occasionally obtrusive, can easily be forgiven in the light of the reverential treatment afforded to this classic.

In 1971, Margheriti directed a colour remake of this sixties gem, titled Web Of The Spider.
Reviewer: Steve Langton

 

This review has been viewed 7625 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Antonio Margheriti  (1930 - 2002)

Italian writer and director who worked in a variety of genres throughout his career, although largely horror, science fiction and western. Some of his films include Castle of Blood, The Wild, Wild Planet, The Long Hair of Death, Take a Hard Ride, Killer Fish, Cannibal Apocalypse and Yor, Hunter from the Future.

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Rachel Franke
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Paul Shrimpton
Darren Jones
George White
   

 

Last Updated: