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"Castle of Evil" is haunted castle movie much in the style of Roger Corman
and England's Hammer productions. Although it doesn't quite measure up to
those productions, it is a competent little horror flick.
The story involves a group of people who are summoned to a mysterious castle for the reading of the will of the man who has virtually destroyed each of their lives individually. Their host unfortunately has just passed away, or has he? The film contains most of the usual horror cliches and settings. There are the secret passages, sliding doors, dark shadows, murders and the requisite mysterious housekeeper.
The film is boosted by its veteran cast of actors who had all seen better days but were still able to deliver solid performances. Scott Brady is the hero of the piece and Virginia Mayo effectively plays a discarded mistress. Hugh Marlowe is along as a doctor, David Brian as a lawyer and the lovely Lisa Gaye as Brady's love interest. Shelley Morrison is quite good as the housekeeper.
What now makes this film memorable is the resemblance of the character "Kovic" to a certain former U.S. president. See if you agree.
On the surface, CASTLE OF EVIL is a movie about a bunch of people who are threatened my a business-suited robot (with a really bad skin condition) who promenades about the secret passages of a Gothic castle in Nassau (?!). But look again! The film features Scott "Journey to the Center of Time" Brady, Hugh "Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers" Marlowe, Lisa "House on Haunted Hill" Gaye, Virginia "I guess that blows this spook stuff!" Mayo, and last but certainly not least "Shelley Morrison" -- a stunning South American Indian-featured woman -- as "Natividad Esperanza", and her pet gecko-on-a-leash. Secret doors, native superstition, and Shelley at the surveillance console...the movie's a smorgasbord of cliches, bad reads and improbability, but it's great to see this wild assortment of actors ply their trade amidst the pseudo-gothic surroundings. And anyone who can tell us the real name of "Shelley Morrison" will get a heartfelt thank you for those of us who fell in love with her in close up.
I had originally seen this on creature features on channel 5 in new jersey and back then it was scary,recently re watched it on you tube,in a very well recreated creature features with commercials.just like i remembered it,a creepy old chiller.back in the day this was scary.old castle,secret doors,a ghoul,and yes a player piano.with some good actors in it led by the late great Scott Brady(destination inner space)Lisa Gaye(shake rattle and rock)Virginia Mayo(white heat)and Hugh Marlowe(day the earth stood still)i enjoyed this little horror flick even though its no masterpiece and not as good as the original house on haunted hill.but it does have its moments.they don't make them like this anymore and if they tried remaking it there would be lots of overdone cg effects,6 pout of 10.
It's a shame, movies like this are generally what I'm looking for, but
`Castle of Evil' doesn't even manage the level of suspense of a `Dark
Shadows' episode - and is about as talky and stagy as that series. On
whole, this movie is down there somewhere with the Philippino `Blood
series, and the more than competent cast gives some of the most wooden
performances of their careers. It is easy to see that Hugh Marlowe was
about ready to begin his interminable run on `Another World' because this
about as close to the Soaps as horror ever comes.
The plot is a tried-and-true midnight will reading preceding the six people locked in a house knowing one of them is a murderer routine. Fair enough, but the movie betrays what interest the audience might have in trying to resolve the mystery by showing us the murderer in the first few minutes, then even going so far as to demonstrate the means used for the slayings before the mystery is even fully underway. What could have been an interesting group of characters, each suspecting the others and forming alliances and theories degenerates into a group of non-entities being stalked by a Slasher-type disfigured killer (with minimal gore). The contrived ending seems far, far too long in coming.
Natives of Nassau will be offended by the racism of the script and hispanics of all backgrounds will no doubt take issue with the pronunciation of the character Lupe's name (sounds like `Loopy'). Scott Brady seems to be dating one of his daughter's friends, and poor Hugh Marlowe just looks confused as Virginia Mayo's tramp character (`just call me Sable, dear') comes onto him. Overall, one gets the feeling everyone in the cast just wanted to get their check and forget about the whole ordeal. Perhaps we should do them a favor and do the same.
The above quote, as insane as it is, is from this odd little horror
film. In fact a lot of this film is insane...and watchable IF you like
When the film starts, six folks who hated Kovic (and vice-versa) are invited to the dead guy's mansion to discuss his will. He promises to give them his fortune but they need to figure out which of them booby-trapped his experiment and made him into a horrid dead guy who is missing part of his face. However, it's all a pretext just to get them in the house to kill them one by one.
The premise is ordinary enough but the execution is rather poor. And the plot is just nuts--with zombies and lasers and all sorts of silliness that simply don't belong in a movie! Overall, a rather stupid but oddly enjoyable mess of a film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A bunch of hopeful heirs to the estate of a reclusive but wealthy scientist arrives on an isolated island to hear the will. The sinister housekeeper, Lupe (well played by Shelley Morrison) turns out to be in cahoots with the horribly scarred scientist. But there is a murderous, equally horribly scarred zombie robot the scientist has made in his own image that threatens and / or starts killing some of the assembled heirs. It becomes a race against time for the survivors to uncover the person responsible for the scientist's disfigurement, to call off the rampages of the robot. The story has some nice touches but the soap opera dialog and unpleasant characters keep Castle of Evil in constant low gear. It is good to see the underrated Lisa Gaye but her character is so dull. Hugh Marlowe and Scott Brady are well cast, and Brady provides a tongue in cheek attitude when he keeps referring Lupe as 'Loopy.' Virginia Mayo is terrible, and she seems to know it... The zombie is menacing, however. As played by William Thourlby, the zombie scientist only has to cock his head slightly to be frightening. (Thourlby was the star of the lamentable Z-movie, The Creeping Terror.) Paul Dunlap's music is not boring and kept waking me up. The secluded castle has many unusual features, including an elaborate electronics and surveillance system.
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