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Horror Castle (1963)

La vergine di Norimberga (original title)
Unrated | | Horror | 15 August 1963 (Italy)
Women are being tortured to death with various torture devices in the dungeon of an old castle by a deformed, hooded, holocaust survivor.


Antonio Margheriti (as Anthony Dawson)


Frank Bogart (novel), Ernesto Gastaldi (screenplay and adaptation) (as Gastad Green) | 2 more credits »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Rossana Podestà ... Mary Hunter
Georges Rivière ... Max Hunter (as George Riviere)
Christopher Lee ... Erich (as Cristopher Lee)
Laura Nucci ... Martha
Jim Dolen Jim Dolen ... John Selby
Leonardo Severini Leonardo Severini ... The Doctor
Anny Degli Uberti Anny Degli Uberti ... Kidnapped Woman
Luciana Milone Luciana Milone ... Trude
Mirko Valentin Mirko Valentin ... The General
Lucile Saint-Simon ... Hilde (as Lucille St. Simon)
Patrick Walton Patrick Walton ... (as Patrik Walton)
Carole Windsor Carole Windsor
Rex Vidor Rex Vidor
James Borden James Borden
Peter Hardy Peter Hardy


Women are being tortured to death with various torture devices in the dungeon of an old castle by a deformed, hooded, holocaust survivor.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Women's Virtues Made him a Killer!




Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Sir Christopher Lee's voice was dubbed by another actor for the English language version. See more »


Although the movie is set in Germany, palm trees can be seen during the exterior shots and the geography and exterior architecture denotes the landscape that of southern Europe. See more »

Alternate Versions

In the first German release all reference to the Nazi background like the cutback to the operation have been cut. Even typical German names like Erich and Trude have been changed to disguise the German origin. See more »


Referenced in The Defilers (1965) See more »

User Reviews

THE VIRGIN OF NUREMBERG (Antonio Margheriti, 1963) **1/2
3 January 2011 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

This is a popular title in the Gothic tradition of Italian Horror cinema – from one of its most prolific exponents but, in hindsight, not really among the best examples – that I had been rather longing to see. In fact, I acquired it first in an English-dubbed version (also available on R1 DVD) and, subsequently, with its original Italian soundtrack (which is how I watched it now – although I do not recall it ever having played on Italian TV)! Curiously enough, while the film was released in the U.S. as HORROR CASTLE, the DVD sports the literal English translation of the Italian title (which refers to a particularly nasty medieval torture device).

Incidentally, despite the modern-day setting, events unfold completely in a vast ancient German castle! Similarly, the presence of genre icon Christopher Lee (billed Cristopher in the original Italian credits!) as a mysterious and sinister-looking manservant – bearing WWII-induced facial scars – proves misleading, since he is not actually the villain of the piece (although his character still perishes in the obligatory fiery climax)! The killer on the loose (who can also be considered a monster, given his hideous pre-DR. PHIBES look – ludicrously, as a result of the real-life failed "Valkyrie" attempt on Hitler's life, and possibly inspired by the seminal EYES WITHOUT A FACE [1959]!) is a Crimson Executioner-type torturer, albeit anticipating that very film by two years.

The heroine is played by Rossana Podesta' (soon to be divorced from the film's producer Marco Vicario), who spends much of the time prowling the castle grounds and conveniently discovering victims' bodies. Her husband (Georges Riviere) not only shuns her assertions to the ghastly goings-on but absents himself for periods on end which clearly points the finger of suspicion towards him; this notion, however, is dissipated when he finds himself trapped in a flooded underground cave straight out of Fritz Lang's THE TESTAMENT OF DR. MABUSE (1933)! As it turns out, the real identity of the bloodthirsty maniac is not all that hard to guess – despite the film boasting the writing talents of Ernesto (1962's THE HORRIBLE DR. HICHCOCK) Gastaldi and Edmond T. (the 1960 version of THE HANDS OF ORLAC) Greville! Interestingly, the film is accompanied by an incongruously jazzy score by Riz Ortolani which works rather well; its main asset, however, is the enveloping brooding atmosphere vividly rendered through stylish color photography.

While Margheriti started out in low-brow sci-fi, he seemed to really find his métier within the Gothic Horror stakes, following this first effort with such effective examples as two Barbara Steele vehicles shot in monochrome – CASTLE OF BLOOD (though its color remake WEB OF THE SPIDER, dating from 1970, was a disappointment) and THE LONG HAIR OF DEATH (both 1964), THE UNNATURALS (1969) and SEVEN DEATHS IN THE CAT'S EYE (1973).

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Release Date:

15 August 1963 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Horror Castle See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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