01 November 2014

Tragic Ceremony (1972)
87 min.
Directed by Riccardo Freda.
With Camille Keaton, Tony Isbert, Luigi Pistilli, Máximo Valverde, Luciana Paluzzi, Giovanni Petrucci, José Calvo, Irina Demick, Paul Muller.
This Italian chiller is subpar at best.

But, if you like Camille Keaton (star of I Spit on Your Grave, and grand niece to Buster), then feel free to give it a little whirl.

The plot goes like this: four aimless hippies are meandering through the countryside, when their car runs out of gas on a rainy night. The slackers seek refuge at a nearby gothic castle belonging to the creepy Lord Alexander (Pistilli).

They're not there for more than five minutes, before they stumble upon a bizarre cult ritual hosted by the eccentric Alexander.

Never fear, the four hapless teens escape the weird goings on. But not before they accidentally instigate an outrageous mass murder sequence (please, don't ask).

Now, it appears someone has it in for the quartet of party wreckers. Because they're dying off, one by one!

Tragic Ceremony is a weak entry from genre director Riccardo Freda (1956's I Vampiri et al).

Clearly inspired by the then-recent Sharon Tate murders, Ceremony can't decide whether it wants to be straight gothic horror, a supernatural ghost story, or even police procedural.

So it ends up being a bit of all three, unfortunately not to its credit. Keaton and Isbert are okay eye candy, but that's not enough to make you forget the loopy plot, poor pacing and kooky, out-of-left-field ending.

Italian: Estratto dagli archivi segreti della polizia di una capitale europea.

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