Saturday, January 5, 2013

Castle Of Blood (1964)

Starring Barbara Steele, Georges Riviere, Margarete Robsahm, Henry Kruger, Montgomery Glenn
Directed by Anthony Dawson & Gordon Wilson, Jr.
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

A reporter accepts a wager to spend the night in a haunted castle, where he discovers those who died there relive their last moments again and again.

This was apparently a French/Italian co-production starring Italian actress Barbara Steele, who after a star-making performance as an ancient vampire in Mario Bava's Black Sunday, made a series of horror films playing similarly beautiful and terribly cursed women.  The framework for this film is interesting as Rivere's reporter accepts the wager after meeting and interviewing Edgar Allan Poe, setting the stage for this horrific tale as along the lines of Poe's fiction, which Poe in the film insists was not fiction, but all true stories that he has recounted.  After entering the castle, Riviere soon encounters Steele, who is riveting, but does not have as much screen time as you would think.  The film drags a bit when she is not on screen.  In my opinion, a little too much time was spent on scenes exploring the castle, and some lengthy exposition sequences could have been trimmed a bit, but it's a worthwhile horror film nonetheless.

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