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I've only recently discovered Michael Reeves, a writer/director who made only four films and who died at age 24, but the two films of his I've seen are quite unique horror films, and were genuinely grotesque and truly horrifying. Reeves was a co-writer and second unit director on this film about a troupe of performers who find themselves victims of Christoper Lee when they are guests in his title castle. This bit of Euro horror definitely feels more along the lines of Werner Herzog (with a dash of Tod Browning) than it does Hammer Horror or your typical AIP Roger Corman horror flick. The film does have it's flaws, mostly that is does feel amateurishly directed at times and the budget is pitiful. However, it does a good job of creating a very unsettling atmosphere with man Goya-esque grotesque horrors. Certainly not for all tastes, the films' strengths outweigh it's faults and is certainly worth watching for fans of 60s Euro Horror. Donald Sutherland's film debut.
Occasionally unintentionally amusing and hardly horrifying black & white Gothic horror starring Christopher Lee as a Napoleonic Era Count, who having discovered a potion that can permanently petrify living creatures, tries to add a traveling troupe of actors to his collection. Sadly, this Italian production bears the marks of a very, very low-budget production
The most notable thing about this film is obviously the presence of the great Christopher Lee, though in fitting with the rest of the movie; he's not at his best and his performance feels rather flat. Castle of the Dead drones on for about ninety minutes with barely a scare in sight and finishes on an unsurprising note.
One of the few positives of this film was the presence of Gaia Germani as 'Laura', but even so she wasn't able to lift this film up all by herself. This is one of Donald Sutherland's first films, and he does a terrific job with three roles, most notably as an old hag-like witch which was unforgettably hilarious and resembles Marty Feldman's role in Young Frankenstein.
Overall, this is an average film at best and can only be recommended for fans of Christopher Lee or for those who enjoy Gothic horror.
wish i could only do a half star that would be too good
An old house, secret passages, witchcraft, Christopher Lee, classic... Overall not a 'good' movie, but you can make through it with some popcorn and beer.
Stark photography (or just over-exposed?), feels almost like a modestly budgeted early 60s TV show. Donald Sutherland in 3 roles, try to spot them all. And Christopher Lee is always pretty good.