Castle of Blood – Italy, 1963

‘They love only for blood!’ 

Castle of Blood – Italian title: Danza macabra “Macabre Dance” – is a 1963 Italian horror feature film directed by Antonio Margheriti (The Virgin of Nuremberg; Killer FishCannibal Apocalypse), using the pseudonym Anthony Dawson.

In the US, the film was distributed by the Woolner Brothers, who also imported Hercules in the Haunted World; Blood and Black LaceCastle of the Living Dead and produced Hillbillies in a Haunted House.

In 1971, Margheriti remade Castle of Blood in colour as Web of the Spider. The film’s score is by Riz Orlolani (Cannibal Holocaust).

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In October 2002, American company Synapse Films released an ‘uncensored international version’ of the film on DVD.

Plot:

A journalist challenges Edgar Allan Poe on the authenticity of his stories, which leads to him accepting a bet from Lord Blackwood to spend the night in a haunted castle on All Soul’s Eve. Ghosts of the murdered inhabitants appear to him throughout the night, re-enacting the events that lead to their deaths. It transpires that they need his blood in order to maintain their existence…

Reviews:

Castle of Blood has the makings of a minor classic, but it doesn’t quite get there. It has a great set, a sound premise, some very solid acting by contemporary Italian standards, oodles of morbid atmosphere, and a resolution that defies happy-ending/sad-ending categorization in a manner years ahead of its time.” 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting

“Steele is as strange and beautiful as ever, and the story is dreamlike and surreal enough to rank this as one of the finest fear films to come out of Italy in the 1960s. It certainly ranks up there with the best of Mario Bava, who was originally asked to direct but had to decline due to other commitments.” Lucius Gore, eSplatter.com

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“For creepy Gothic atmosphere and chilling, eerie set pieces, Castle of Blood is really tough to beat. Margheriti does a great job framing the gloriously spooky images, and the camera is seldom stationary, using slow zooms, Dutch angles, and even a surprising hand-held shot or two to keep things visually kinetic and interesting. The sets are picture perfect, the music actually FITS and sets a ghastly mood, and the plot is a ripping old-school ghost story that wouldn’t be out of place in a collection of stories by Poe himself…” Mad Mad Mad Mad Movies

” … the overall impression is good, and the erotic angle much more than that. Antonio Margheriti has made quite a few dull films, often with substandard, rushed visuals. But Castle of Blood has a consistent look and a camera style that avoids meaningless zooms and sloppy blocking.” Glenn Erickson, DVD Savant

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This film is also known as Coffin of Terror, Danse macabre, Dimensions in Death, La Lunga notte del terrore, Terrore, The Castle of Terror, The Long Night of Terror, Tombs of Horror, and Tombs of Terror.

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