A journalist takes a bet that he can spend the night in a haunted castle on All Hallow's Eve. During his stay, he bears witness to the castle's gruesome past coming to life before him, and falls in with a beautiful female ghost.
An attorney arrives at a castle to settle the estate of its recently deceased owner. The owner's wife and daughter reveal that he was someone who was able to summon the souls of ancient ... See full summary »
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 »
At the end of the 19th century, in a little Italian village by a lake an old statue is recovered. Soon a series of crimes start and the superstitious people of the village believe that the ... See full summary »
In 19th century Holland, a professor of fine arts and an unlicensed surgeon run a secret lab where the professor's ill daughter receives blood-transfusions from kidnapped female victims who posthumously become macabre art.
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 »
A writer accepts a bet that he cannot spend the night alone in a haunted castle on All Soul's Eve. Once night falls at the castle, several who had been murdered therein return to life, reliving their deaths and seeking to kill the writer for his blood in a vain attempt to stay alive beyond that one night. Barbara Steele, as one of the living dead, tries to aid his escape from the castle.Written by
Dean Harris <email@example.com>
Alan is supposed to be fatally impaled by a spike (which is what we see in close-up), but the spike in the swinging gate could only hit him tangentially. His body remains upright but there is no embedded spike to provide the necessary support. (In any case a supporting spike would need to be not in the gate but in the railing behind him.) See more »
It's hard to explain the appeal of this movie. It's not a gem as some have said. But I wouldn't characterize it as Euro-trash either. The plot is not very original, and relies on standard haunted house conventions, perhaps pirating some from Robert Wise's THE HAUNTING (1963). It may also have a literary source in Bulwer-Lytton's story "The Haunters and the Haunted," which also tells the story of a disbelieving rationalist who wagers he can spend a night in a mysterious house where spirits relive incidents from past lives. The film is full of continuity holes (or should I say "challenges"), because many may be explained away. But the execution is flawed. Feral cats, sudden scenes of carnage, and other fright effects do not deliver the shudders.
I must say, however, that the film held my interest, primarily because of the creepy, fog-shrouded sets that look better than they ought to on such a small budget, and because the performances are above average for this type of fare. And although the plot is full of old dark house clichés—slamming doors, billowing curtains, and mysterious portraits—some nice dialog makes it all seem less contrived somehow. There is no doubt that the director and writers were absolutely sincere.
There is also some provocative sexual content and nudity following a tradition of salaciousness that seems to have been a necessary ingredient of horror films as far back as Hollywood's pre-code days. So if I were forced to assess whether this glass is half empty or full I would say it is slightly more than half full. This one might appeal to all those baby boomers who watched the soap opera DARK SHADOWS when they were teenagers in the '60's. It has that feel to it, only with better acting and writing.
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