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Nightmare Castle - Severin Films Print E-mail
User Rating: / 3
Written by Chris Mayo   
Thursday, 25 June 2009

AKA: Gli amanti d'oltretomba, Les amants d'outre tombe, Lovers Beyond the Tomb, Lovers from Beyond the Tomb, Night of the Doomed, Orgasmo, Stoiheiomenos pyrgos, The Faceless Monster

Directed by: Mario Caiano
Written by: Mario Caiano, Fabio De Agostini
Produced by: Carlo Caiano
Cinematography by: Enzo Barboni
Editing by: Renato Cinquini
Music by: Ennio Morricone
Cast: Barbara Steele, Paul Muller, Helga Liné, Laurence Clift, Giuseppe Addobbati, Rik Battaglia
Year: 1965
Country: Italy
Language: English
Color: Black and White
Runtime: 104 Minutes

Video: NTSC R1
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Anamorphic
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
Severin Films

Severin Films has done it again.  This time around they deliver an important genre release that belongs in all serious horror fans’ collections.  Mario Bava fans should also be delighted with this release as it stars none-other-than legendary scream queen Barbara Steele (Black Sunday) in this all new, restored, remastered and uncut transfer of Nightmare Castle on DVD.

When Count Stephen Arrowsmith (Paul Muller) catches his wife Muriel (Barbara Steele) in the act with her lover, he’s none too happy.  He chains up the lecherous duo in the castle’s dungeon, and proceeds to torture them with hot pokers and whips.  The Count continues to burn his wife with acid drips and ultimately seals their fate by electrocuting them.  What progresses is an intricate scheme between the castle’s housekeeper, Solange (Helga Liné) and Count Arrowsmith so that they may become the castle’s beneficiaries.  However, one thing stands in their way, and that’s Muriel’s sister Jenny (also played by Steele).  In order to receive the castle’s fortune they must get rid of Muriel’s (supposedly) psychotic sister who currently resides in a mental facility.  The diabolical scheme cultivates when the Count marries Jenny and moves her into the castle.  Now all they have to do is drive Jenny into madness in order to collect the fortune.  The plan might unfold all too easy, however, when the victim’s ghosts return to seek revenge.  Will anyone survive the Nightmare Castle?

Nightmare Castle is an excellent example of a classic black and white gothic tale which ranks right up there with the best films of Mario Bava.  There’s something about the atmosphere inherent in a black and white film that simply cannot be captured today, or recreated with color.  Another great example is the atmosphere of 1963’s The Haunting.  These pieces of cinema simply don’t work or wouldn’t work as modern-day films in color.  Barbara Steele has such an iconic classical horror face which places the film at a whole new level.  A final scene that involves Steele’s character Muriel returning from beyond the grave captures the terror of what the traditional definition of horror is all about!  The film also contains terrific music by Ennio Morricone, which showcases his first foray into horror scores.  Nightmare Castle is a great introduction into the world of black and white gothic horror films, and as mentioned earlier, is a vital addition to any serious horror fan’s collection.

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- 2 Featurettes
- Theatrical Trailers

Severin Films delivers the goods with this restored, remastered and uncut release of Nightmare Castle on DVD.  It’s presented 1.66:1 Anamorphic and the transfer is absolutely pristine.  The only blemish to be found in the print was at the 58-minute mark.  You won’t find a better looking version of Nightmare Castle around anytime soon (if ever.)  The audio is presented English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono as does this 1965 film justice.  The supplemental features contain 2 featurettes.  The first, titled “Barbara Steele - In Conversation” is an extensive 30-minute modern interview with her and will be a definite wet dream for her fans.  Herein she travels through her entire career, right from modeling and onto her film career.  It also contains a ton of old photos which is a major addition.  Next up is the 14-minute “Black, White and Red - An Interview with Director Mario Caiano”.  Here the director professes his love for Poe and mostly focuses on the filming of Nightmare Castle.  Rounding out the extra material is a US and UK theatrical trailer.

VIDEO: 1.66:1 Anamorphic 1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema
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