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A visitor arrives in a small Italian village looking for a woman. Residents tell him that she committed suicide but there's more to the mystery than they're letting on. Meanwhile, a strange woman walks by the lake.
The year is 1885, and necrophiliac Dr. Hitchcock likes to drug his wife for sexual funeral games. One day he accidentally administers an overdose and kills her. He leaves his home shattered. Several years later he remarries and returns. Discovering that his still beloved first wife is alive but insane and prematurely aged, he plans to use the blood of his new bride to rejuvenate and heal her. Written by
Dean Harris <email@example.com>
Gorgeously filmed, totally insane Gothic pastiche from Riccardo Freda holds its marvelously overwrought tone through to the fiery climax. At the center of it is Barbara Steele's Cynthia, the neurotic second wife of the eponymous Dr. Hichcock, who, from the second she arrives in her husband's creaky and apparently haunted mansion, is picturesquely threatened by the hostile maid, by a mysterious figure in white, purported to be the maid's sister, and by her own increasingly mad husband, who was already predisposed to pseudo-necrophilia, but who really starts to tip over the brink as he begins to believe his first wife has come back from the grave. It's all both lavish and ludicrous, and profits from Steele's incredible screen presence and the weight of its own images. Spectacular use of color, as well. Essential viewing.
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