16 April 2014

The Long Hair of Death (1964)
99 min.
Directed by Antonio Margheriti.
With Barbara Steele, George Ardisson, Halina Zalewska, Robert Rains, Laureen Nuyen, Giuliano Rafaelli, Nello Pazzafini.
Okay team up for Italian director Antonio Margheriti and horror queen Steele, but no match for their superior Castle of Blood (1964).

It's the 15th century: a feudal Count named Humboldt (Rafaelli) accuses a woman of being a witch and burns her alive, thus leaving her two daughters to fend for themselves.

However, just before meeting her fiery death, the woman places a curse upon the Humboldt family, vowing deadly revenge through her two offspring.

The willful Count then molests the eldest daughter Helen Karnstein (Steele) - and murders her by tossing her off a bridge.

The younger daughter Elizabeth (Zalewska) grows up in relative peace and ultimately marries the Count's evil sex-crazed son Kurt (Ardisson).

But when a mysterious stranger named Mary (also played by Steele) appears on their doorstep, it's not long before the Humboldts begin to feel the true weight of their sins...and they won't get off easily!

Gamely acted (especially by Ardisson and Steele) and nicely directed by Margheriti, but occasionally too plotty, this sags a bit in the middle, losing a necessary sense of urgency.

Still, it's boosted by a very cool climax worth the price of admission alone!

Italian: I lunghi capelli della morte.

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