Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Review: "Castle of Blood

I was at Zia Records the other day--unbelievable source for obscure horror and I'm an aficionado of gothic, older, and especially British horror--and I found a lot of awesome and very cheap DVDs for movies even I haven't heard of.

This movie, "Castle of Blood" is actually an Italian one taking place in England. I don't know how I missed this classic, but it was all the things you want in a good horror movie. It stars Barbara Steele, who has a face made only for horror (no, she's not hideous, but she is very unique and exotic looking with dramatic huge eyes and a trembling little jaw). It has a big spooky castle. It has Edgar Allan Poe. It has ghosts and twist plots and turns.

The premise of the movie is simple. A male reporter in the 1800s comes into pub in England looking for Poe to do an interview. Poe and his drinking buddy offer him a bet to stay in a castle for the night. The man takes it. And then, seriously regrets it.

If you liked "The Haunting" (1963) and "The Uninvited," this movie will have a great deal of appeal. It's dark, moody, haunting, and has the slight campy tang of "Dark Shadows." Admittedly, this is a black and white movie from 1964 and when made into DVD the quality isn't HD, but hey, you can definitely see it. I don't ask for a really high quality. Part of the fun of vintage is that look it gets. Plus, with dubbing for English, the lips don't always line up beautifully, but I can forgive it the tiny things because the setting is really wickedly awesome; graveyard, spider webs, castle rooms, dark, no sunlight...The characters are interesting and quirky. It's definitely worth a look-see and for $4, it was worth making it a classic in my collection.


  1. Gawd how I love the British horror movies from the sixties.

  2. @eloh;
    I found out that Hammer films (70s British horror) is re-banding together to make more gothic British movies--I'm positively gah-gah