30 July 2014

Nightmare Castle (1965)
104 min.
Directed by Mario Caiano.
With Barbara Steele, Paul Muller, Lawrence Clift, Helga Liné, Rik Battaglia, John McDouglas.
Having worked with directors Mario Bava, Antonio Margheriti, Riccardo Freda and Federico Fellini, scream queen Steele teamed up with Mario Caiano for this excellent baroque Italian chiller.

When lascivious Muriel Arrowsmith (Steele) is caught having a romp in the hay with another man, her husband Stephen (Muller) promptly tortures - and kills - both her and her lover.

But Muriel was filthy rich, and left her entire estate to her stepsister Jenny (also played by Steele).

So Stephen decides to marry Jenny...and then drive her insane.

But things go awry when Muriel's restless spirit begins to inhabit mild-mannered Jenny, a malevolent reincarnation that seeks to exact some permanent retribution!

Featuring one of Steele's best performances, beautiful cinematography, and buoyed by a great score from Ennio Morricone, this mid '60s gothic horror is a delightful ride all around.

Best scene: Muriel's fiery revenge at the climax.

Known also as The Faceless Monster.

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