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Filmed in Odescalchi Castle and Lake Bracciano near Rome. A group of dropouts find an old man (Lee) in a castle. The old man subsequently turns into the Devil and seizes them. Filmed in ... See full summary »

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(as Joseph Vegh)
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Mephistoles
...
Gugo, the poet
...
Free
Ulderico Sciaretta ...
(as Ulderico Sciarretta)
Lilli Parker ...
Jenny (as Lilly Parker)
Anita Dreyer ...
Maga (as Anita Dreyver)
Mario Zakarti ...
Gianni (as Mario Zacarti)
Adriana Ambesi
Eva Gioia
...
Padre Peo Remigio
Ettore Ribotta ...
(as Ettore Ribotti)
Sergio Gibello ...
(as Sergio Gebello)
Pasquale Basile
Sonia Scotti ...
Sonia, la cantante (as Sonia)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Alma De Río
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Storyline

Filmed in Odescalchi Castle and Lake Bracciano near Rome. A group of dropouts find an old man (Lee) in a castle. The old man subsequently turns into the Devil and seizes them. Filmed in 1963 and having a lavish publicity book issued the film wasn't released until 1965 due to the producer's death. Written by Gordon Harmer <peplumfan@home.com>

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Plot Keywords:

castle | devil | ghost | supernatural | See All (4) »

Genres:

Fantasy | Horror

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Details

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Release Date:

9 June 1963 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Sfida al diavolo  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

'Christopher Lee''s voice was dubbed into Italian by another actor for this film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror (1981) See more »

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User Reviews

 
KATARSIS (Giuseppe Veggezzi, 1963) *1/2
5 January 2011 | by See all my reviews

This is definitely Christopher Lee's most obscure European genre effort and, in retrospect, one of the weakest from any phase in his prolific career – in fact, I would even venture to name it the worst entry in the Gothic Horror cycle emanating from Italy! Incidentally, the copy I watched was culled from a recent late-night screening on Italian TV – its first ever broadcast (where the on-screen title was the alternate one SFIDA AL DIAVOLO) which, given the dire results, is not surprising! Truth be told, the genre icon's presence (or its three stages, since he goes from the reclusive pathetic owner of a decaying mansion – his fair hair unintentionally evoking Shakespeare's Hamlet, in whose celebrated 1948 film version Lee had actually appeared in a bit-part! – to a dark Mephistophelean figure and, finally, revealed to be the previously imperceptible victim of a mugging) within the film hardly amounts to 10 minutes of its 76-minute running-time!

The film starts off as a lame chase thriller with pious undertones, is stopped dead in its tracks by a slew of pointless musical numbers, then turns into a hedonistic drama on the lines of (but a long way after) THESE ARE THE DAMNED (1963) – with the best-known member of the younger cast, Giorgio Ardisson, actually the one to ham it up most relentlessly! – before settling into some typical haunted-house antics (with some cob-webbed interiors and scuttling creatures notching up a few points for Cocteau-like atmosphere). The mix could have actually proved quite interesting but, since director Veggezzi (whose name was unfamiliar to me – and it did not take long to discover why) displayed remarkable incompetence throughout, the end result is almost on a par with the notorious work of Ed Wood!


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