31 October 2014

The Blancheville Monster (1963)
88 min.
Directed by Alberto de Martino.
With Gérard Tichy, Leo Anchóriz, Joan Hills, Helga Liné, Irán Eory, Richard Davis, Francisco Morán, Emily Wolkowicz.
Also known simply as Horror, this early Italian gothic mystery is an enjoyable outing.

Nearing her 21st birthday, Emily de Blancheville returns home from college with her friends Alice and John Taylor. But once the trio arrives at the ancestral Blancheville estate, Emily begins to feel something's not right: her brother Rodéric has fired all the old staff, there's a shifty-eyed new housekeeper named Eleanor (Liné, in a good performance here)...and some unearthly creature keeps howling just outside the castle walls.

Turns out the nightmarish cries are from Emily's father, the Count de Blancheville, presumed dead in a fire but in actuality now a hideously deformed monster! Yikes.

Directed by Alberto de Martino (1974's The Antichrist) and written by spaghetti western scribe Sergio Corbucci, this is solid midnight viewing thanks to its dank theatrics and comforting adherence to genre conventions.

Best scene: the Blancheville family and friends bury poor Emily...unfortunately, they don't realize she's still alive.

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