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The Castle of the Living Dead (1964)

Il castello dei morti vivi (original title)
Count Drago invites entertainers to his castle, but what the people don't know is that Drago mummifies animals and humans.

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, (as Herbert Wise) | 1 more credit »

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(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Count Drago
Gaia Germani ...
Laura
...
Eric
Mirko Valentin ...
Sandro
...
Sgt. Paul / The witch / The old man
Renato Terra ...
Policeman (as Renato Terra Caizzi)
Antonio De Martino ...
Nick
...
Dart
Ennio Antonelli ...
Gianni
Jacques Stany ...
Bruno
Luigi Bonos ...
Marc (as Luigi W. Bonos)
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Storyline

All'inizio dell'800 una compagnia di girovaghi è specializzata in uno spettacolo durante il quale viene messa in scena una falsa impiccagione. Durante un sosta vengono invitati dal conte Drago nel suo castello. L'arlecchino della compagnia viene licenziato da Bruno dopo una lite ed il suo posto viene preso da Eric, ex ufficiale. E così partono per il castello; per strada incontrano una vecchia che predice loro che arrivati a destinazione alcuni incontreranno la morte. Nella foresta vedono inoltre un corvo che sembra vivo, ma vivo non è. E infine giungono al castello dove, dietro una porta aperta, trovano ad attenderli una sala piena di uccelli imbalsamati, o che almeno lo sembrano. Fa quindi la sua comparsa il conte Drago. Written by Baldinotto da Pistoia

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Taglines:

He lured beautiful women to his evil castle and induced them into a state of living death until infinity! See more »


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Release Date:

5 August 1964 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Castle of the Living Dead  »

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Trivia

The scriptures quoted by Count Drago at the grave site include Psalm 90:4-6 and 1 Corinthians 15: 51-52. See more »

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User Reviews

 
They don't make them like this anymore (and probably shouldn't)
24 July 2000 | by See all my reviews

Back in the '50s and '60s, these Evil-Count-Doing-Something-Bad movies were a dime a dozen. Nowadays, you're lucky if you get one every five years. Which is not necessarily a bad thing if all the entries turned out like this one.

The movie involves a traveling band of minstrels traveling to the castle of Count Drago (Christopher Lee, sporting an odd makeup job) to perform. Once there, they find that the Count has an interesting taxidermy hobby. As you will have figured out in the first 15 minutes, the Count has more in store for the minstrels than they expected.

This movie isn't so much about Lee's plans to turn everthing into a statue (his creations aren't stuffed carcasses; they're permanently frozen while living); it's about the stupidity of the minstrels. Look at these examples of how they completely miss the fact that they are in danger:

* they don't suspect anything being invited to a remote castle for a private appearance for three gold pieces (!!), or when they're warned by an old hag (Donald Sutherland, for Christ's sake!!) that they will die if they go to the castle;

* when Lee tells the lead minstrel that he has started using humans, but substitutes the word "animal" for "human", the minstrel doesn't catch on;

* the strongman/firebreather doesn't notice the evil henchman standing 10 feet away, preparing to shoot him in the eye with a crossbow;

* the female minstrel doesn't realize that a man she knew is dead, even though he is completely immobile and attached to a stand, nor does she catch on when the Count talks of giving her "eternal beauty" as codewords for killing her.

This film does have other problems. The print I saw looked like it had been through the washing machine (I really don't see a big preservation movement for this one). The acting is pretty wooden (the terrible dubbing doesn't help either). Sutherland (who plays a soldier as well the hag) plays the soldier role with all the seriousness he played the surgeon Hawkeye Pierce. There are a few redeeming moments, though: when the henchman throws the midget minstrel off the top of the castle (he lives, but it's nice to believe that he won't), and the great expression Lee has to hold at the end of the movie (he sure is shaking a lot for a statue). Other than that, there no reason to recommend this movie. Die-hard Lee fans may not even enjoy it.


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