Friday, 11 April 2008

Nightmare Castle (1965)

When you feel the need for some pure entertainment there’s nothing like a good 1960s or 1970s Italian horror movie, and if you can’t find a good one even a bad 60s or 70s Italian horror flick will do. Mario Caiano’s 1965 horror movie Nightmare Castle (Gli Amanti d'oltretomba) really has only one major thing going for it – its star, Barbara Steele. Fortunately Steele, perhaps the greatest scream queen of them all, is in good form and the film is worth watching just for her. She plays a woman whose husband has married her for her money, and also the husband’s first wife, murdered by him in a jealous rage. The first wife won’t stay dead, though, and tries to take over her sister’s body. The husband happens to be a mad scientist, and he’s keeping his mistress young and beautiful using typical mad scientist methods involving blood from younger women. It’s best not to think about the plot too much – there’s nothing there you haven’t encountered in countless other horror movies. It’s quite well executed though, and it has some nice gothic atmosphere. And it has Barbara Steele. It’s perfectly decent entertainment.

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