The journalist Alan Foster makes a bet than he can spend one night at the haunted Blackwood Castle. As he learns, the rumors of ghosts at the castle are indeed true. On All Soul's Eve the ... See full summary »
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Dan Hogan and his gang have held up a bank for $100,000 in gold bars. They meet up at Jackal's Ranch, a weigh station for stage coaches. While waiting for the gold to arrive they encounter ... See full summary »
The journalist Alan Foster makes a bet than he can spend one night at the haunted Blackwood Castle. As he learns, the rumors of ghosts at the castle are indeed true. On All Soul's Eve the ghosts of the castle search for blood to tide them over for another year. In the castle Foster meet and fall in love with Elizabeth Blackwood. Written by
For some reason, Italian maestro Antonio Margheriti felt the need to remake his masterpiece 'Danse Macabre' almost a decade on; and personally, I can't see a single good reason for doing so. The original worked mainly through its atmosphere rather than its plot, and this was put across well through the stunning black and white photography. In the move from black and white to colour, the film has lost the main thing that made it great; and the fact that Margheriti doesn't handle the plot as well this time around ensures that this film isn't much more than an interesting cult film. In typical Italian fashion, the plot doesn't make a great deal of sense; and this is made all the more infuriating by the fact that it doesn't have the stunning Gothic atmosphere to fall back on. The plot follows a journalist by the name of Alan Foster, who ends up making a bet with the great Edgar Allen Poe that he can spend a single night in an old Gothic castle, which is rumoured to be inhabited by ghosts. While in the castle, the journalist encounters several strange characters; and soon finds out that they're more than they seem.
The only real name on the cast list belongs to cult German actor Klaus Kinski, who gives the only memorable performance of the film in the role of Edgar Allen Poe. The original film benefited from the presence of the beautiful Barbara Steele; but this film has to make do with Michèle Mercier, who isn't particularly bad; but is no Barbara Steele. Anthony Franciosa ('Tenebrae') takes the lead role, and like much of the rest of the film; is instantly forgettable. The atmosphere surrounding the central location isn't too foreboding, and the sets look more cheap than Gothic. Margheriti does help the film along by way of a number of shots that help to build the atmosphere; the scene that sees smoke edging down a flight of stairs being the standout. There is a sense of beauty about the film, and while the plot always feels like an afterthought - it does bode well enough to fully fit the style of the film. However, there are too many tedious scenes and for everyone that works, there's at least two that don't. Overall, this film may be a point of interest for fans of 'Danse Macabre' (myself included), but I really can't rate as a film worth tracking down.
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