In a 15th-century feudal village, a woman is accused of witchcraft and put to death. Her beautiful older daughter knows the real reason for the execution lies in the lord's sexual desire ...
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A writer accepts a bet that he cannot spend the night alone in a haunted castle on All Soul's Eve. Once night falls at the castle, several who had been murdered therein return to life, ... See full summary »
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In a 15th-century feudal village, a woman is accused of witchcraft and put to death. Her beautiful older daughter knows the real reason for the execution lies in the lord's sexual desire for her mother. After confronting the lord on the matter, she, too, is killed. A much younger daughter is spared and taken in by her mother's killers. Once she is of age, as a horrible, deadly plague sweeps the land, she marries the lord's worthless son. Then, during a brutal thunderstorm, the older daughter mysteriously reappears and begins to avenge her mother's death. Written by
Dean Harris <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Well, it's obvious that The Long Hair of Death takes a lot of its influence from the Mario Bava masterpiece 'Black Sunday', but even so; Antonio Margheriti's film manages to deliver a good horror story in its own right. The plot is pretty much your classic Gothic horror yarn, and focuses on a small village. A woman is accused of being a witch and promptly put to death. However, her eldest daughter knows the real reason for her death revolves around the lord, and she's promptly killed also. The youngest daughter survives and is taken in by the murderous lord's family, eventually marrying his son. Soon after, a deadly plague threatens the village; and the older daughter reappears to avenge her mother's death. The main standout of this movie is definitely the atmosphere - director Antonio Margheriti does an excellent job of giving the movie a foreboding feel through the eerie black and white cinematography and the imposing sets. The plot can drag a bit at times, which is a shame; and so it's lucky that Margheriti was able to give the film an atmosphere as it keeps it going when the plot takes a downturn.
Another standout about this film is, of course, the fact that it has a leading role for Barbara Steele. Of course, she was almost certainly cast because of her success in Black Sunday, and as such; this isn't her greatest performance, but she's always nice to see and she does play the resurrected woman well. It does quite often seem like Margheriti is dragging the plot out and this is a shame as the film is overlong as a result and it has to be said that The Long Hair of Death would have benefited from a shorter running time. Antonio Margheriti made some good films in his career, though the fact that he doesn't get good recognition along with the likes of Sergio Martino and Lucio Fulci doesn't surprise me. This film was released in between Margheriti's successes with The Virgin of Nuremberg and Dance Macabre, and although I prefer both of the mentioned films; this one is still worth seeing for the Italian Gothic horror fan. The film boils down to a somewhat predictable ending, but it's a nice ride getting there and overall, despite the fact that The Long Hair of Death may not be the most successful film of it's type - it's still worth a watch.
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