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The Long Hair of Death (1964)

I lunghi capelli della morte (original title)
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 ... See full summary »

Director:

(as Anthony Dawson)

Writers:

(story) (as Julian Berry), (dialogue) (as Robert Bohr) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Helen Karnstein / Mary Karnstein
...
Baron Kurt Humboldt
Halina Zalewska ...
Lisabeth Karnstein
Umberto Raho ...
Von Klage, prete (as Robert Rains)
Laura Nucci ...
Grumalda (as Laureen Nuyen)
Giuliano Raffaelli ...
Count Humboldt (as Jean Rafferty)
Nello Pazzafini ...
Monk, servante (as John Carey)
Jeffrey Darcey ...
Embougr, messaggero
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Storyline

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 <hepcat@inch.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Horror

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Release Date:

30 December 1964 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Long Hair of Death  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Referenced in Why Horror? (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Another effectively atmospheric Italian Gothic horror starring Barbara Steele
15 March 2015 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK) – See all my reviews

The Long Hair of Death was one of the cycle of Gothic horror films released by Italian studios in the 1960's. Like the majority of them, it was filmed in black and white for budget reasons although from today's perspective this does give the film a certain atmosphere and classy look. Set in the 15th century, a young woman is accused of being a witch and is burned to death. She casts a curse on the house of the men responsible and returns from the grave many years later to enact deadly revenge.

The director here was Antonio Margheriti working under his anglicised moniker Anthony Dawson. Margheriti was a director who made films in most of the Italian genres, from peplums and spaghetti westerns to gialli and poliziotteschi amongst others. He displays some care with the Gothic horror genre taking care to build a moody atmosphere and slowly constructing the story. But the main draw here is probably Barbara Steele. This British actress was the queen of the 60's Gothic horror film, appearing in movies from both sides of the Atlantic although she is primarily associated with the Italian strain of the sub-genre. Her strong, seductive features were perfectly suited to these films and, once again, she is more aggressor than victim here.

This is a fairly typical entry in the Italian Gothic sub-set. It's a solid entry, if not in the upper bracket. It does have some well-staged scenes and nice location photography though and it ends on a satisfyingly macabre note. While it obviously benefits considerably by the presence of Steele. The title doesn't really mean an awful lot but it sounds good.


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