Reviewed byHumanoidOfFleshVote: 9/10/10
Italian queen of Gothic horror Barbara Steele portrays the wife of aderanged scientist played by Paul Muller whose latest experimentsinvolve electro-stimulation of human blood.When the mad doctordiscovers that his wife is unfaithful,he tortures,disfigures and killsher alongside her gardener lover,then removes and preserves the heartsof the victims,using their blood to restore youth and beauty to his ownlover Solange.When the madman discovers that his late wife left all herwealth to her mentally unstable sister he quickly sets about courtingand marrying the poor girl,then proceeds to drive her completely mad inorder to inherit her fortune."Nightmare Castle" is an essence ofItalian Gothic horror.It takes place almost entirely in castleinteriors,frequently in utter darkness.There are some scenes ofdepressing violence and the visuals are rich and beautiful.The hypnoticeyes of Barbara Steele are not easy to forget.9 out of 10.
Reviewed by ([email protected])Vote: 8/10/10
Of course Nightmare Castle used to scare the hell out of me as a kid whenIsaw it on late-night TV, it's not exactly scary anymore but it's still alotof fun to watch as I discovered buying it on DVD. Brings back a lot ofmemories of staying up late in a dark room watching old horror movies onthelate late show, TV certainly has lost a lot of charm since the late 70'sasyou rarely find gems like this on anymore. Heck you'd be lucky to evenfinda late late show anymore, let alone old horror movies. But anyhow, good tosee this one again.
Reviewed byThe_VoidVote: 8/10/10
My main reason for seeing this film was the fact that it's on theRedemption label. Redemption films are often not all that good, butthey have great cult value and are usually worth seeking out. Ofcourse, Barbara Steele offered up another reason for watching - butstill, my expectations for this film weren't very high. After the firsttwenty minutes, however, my low expectations turned into hopefulness;as I prayed that the remaining eighty minutes would be as great as thefirst twenty! The film grabs you instantly with it's combination ofcrisp black and white photography, morbid subject material, Gothiclocations and a score courtesy of the great Ennio Morricone. The filmis pure cult class, which really doesn't let up until the final creditsrole. The plot follows a man who, after finding his wife with anotherman, proceeds to torture them both. However, she takes the upper handwhen she lets him know that all of her wealth has been left not to him- but to her imbecile sister! Our protagonist isn't taking this lyingdown, however, and it isn't long before he's returning to the castlewith a new bride
Just like she did in Mario Bava's masterpiece "Black Sunday", BarbaraSteele takes on a dual role. Despite being obviously the same actress,it's easy to buy into the fact that she's playing too differentcharacters. Her roles are suitably different, and she plays them bothto perfection. Steele is often passed off as merely a horror filmactress; but she really does have talent. The rest of the cast'sperformance is marred somewhat by some really awful dubbing and ascript that isn't much better, but it doesn't matter too much becausethe focus of the film is never on the acting - it's clearly on theatmosphere. The plot gives way to a beautiful set of locations; thelushly Gothic castle photographed in the same cinematic style as thebest black and white films that Italian cinema has to offer. At times,the film is incoherent and the plot doesn't always flow well; but itdoesn't matter much, because there is always enough of the styleelement to ensure that the film remains interesting. The fact that theplotting isn't soaked with silly jump moments and out of place imagerymakes me love the film even more; as it's clear that the director caresmore about delivering story and atmosphere rather than simply trying toscare the audience. On the whole; the film has flown under more than afew radars, but that's unfair as it's damn good! Take that as arecommendation.
A sadistic count tortures and murders his unfaithful wife and her lover, then removes their hearts from their bodies. Years later, the count remarries and the new wife experiences nightmares and hauntings. The ghosts of the slain return to exact their bloody revenge, until their hearts are destroyed.