HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Ray & Liz
African Queen, The
Helen Morgan Story, The
Golem, Der
Yentl
Finishing Line, The
Triple Threat
Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians, The
Driven
Planet of the Dinosaurs
Gwen
Big Breadwinner Hog
Thunder Road
Moby Dick
Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie
Mad Room, The
Phantom of the Megaplex
Night Sitter, The
Child's Play
Power, The
Midsommar
After Midnight
Dolemite is My Name
Varda by Agnes
Toy Story 4
Master Z: Ip Man Legacy
Man Who Never Was, The
Greener Grass
Scobie Malone
Gangster, the Cop, the Devil, The
Brightburn
Satanic Panic
Claudine
Harpoon
Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, The
Dark Phoenix
No Mercy
Arctic
Fate of Lee Khan, The
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
   
 
Newest Articles
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
   
 
  Long Hair of Death, The The AccursedBuy this film here.
Year: 1964
Director: Antonio Margheriti
Stars: Barbara Steele, George Ardisson, Halina Zalewska, Umberto Raho, Laura Nucci, Guiliano Raffaelli, Nello Pazzafini, Jeffrey Darcey
Genre: Horror
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: It is the late fifteenth century and the land is gripped with a fear of witchcraft, meaning anyone suspected of dealing with the devil is put to death - even if there's no proof other than basic superstition. Count Humboldt (Guiliano Rafferty), the landowner of the region, has had it arranged so one woman is to be burned at the stake, and her daughter Helen (Barbara Steele) sneaks into his castle to confront him and plead for her mother's life. However, he only agrees if he can take sexual advantage of the young woman, and even as he rapes her he does nothing to prevent the execution...

Barbara Steele was well into her run of Italian gothic horrors by the time The Long Hair of Death was released, but in spite of this being what she was best known for, this example was one of her most obscure entries. It fit the template that had been set down by Mario Bava's Black Sunday, not simply because of who the leading lady was but because it adopted the by now familiar revenge from beyond the grave plot, as not only does Helen's mother go to her death placing a curse on those who have wrongfully killed her, but Helen gets bumped off as well, though she doesn't get the chance to yell out any curses.

That's due to her being pushed off a cliff into a fast-flowing river below, so all she says is "AAARGH!" but rest assured she will be back. In the meantime the story concentrates on her sister Elizabeth, only a child when she suffers her bereavement but growing up within the castle's walls to be Halina Zalewska, who the Count's now-adult son Kurt (George Ardisson) lusts after against her wishes. As you can see, this is one of those many Italian horrors where the upper classes are a bunch of corrupt, no good exploiters of the poor, and so it is that Elizabeth is forced into a marriage with Kurt, even though she knows what his family did to hers all those years ago.

But a plan is being put into motion, and that happens about the point where you're wondering if Babs will ever reappear considering her name was first billed, so if you're missing her she does show up again thanks to a lightning bolt striking her grave and blasting it open. Inside we see her corpse grow flesh and a pair of eyes, and the next thing you know Helen is up and walking around as if nothing had happened, except now she's calling herself Mary to preserve some sense of mystery. It's about this stage that the narrative grows murkier, but if you get lost don't worry as right at the end Steele has a speech which explains it all - besides, that enigma simply adds to the atmosphere.

Although Kurt is set up as the baddie, taking advantage of all and sundry but especially Elizabeth, there comes a time in the movie when you might begin to feel sorry for him, that despite him poisoning his wife because he now wants Mary. Much of this is thanks to Ardisson's genuinely anguished performance once the trouble for him starts, as the spirits do toy with him like a cat with a mouse, so he may be a would-be murderer and rapist, but there's a cruelty matching his actions which the less bloodthirsty might well have wished had resulted in some kind of fair trial instead of what actually happens to him - which also begs the question, did the makers of The Wicker Man see The Long Hair of Death? In a film bedecked with impenetrable shadows, which handily also concealed the cheapness of the sets, the darkest part is that revenge, as not only have the Count's lineage been cursed but there's a plague afflicting the populace, so the ending may have a satisfying nastiness to it, but whether you endorse it is another matter. Music by Carlo Rustichelli.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1654 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 (0)


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
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: