Horror – aka The Blancheville Monster – is a 1963 Italian/Spanish horror feature film directed by Alberto De Martino as Martin Herbert from a screenplay by Bruno and Sergio Corbucci, and Giovanni Grimald, based loosely upon an (uncredited) story by Edgar Allan Poe. It stars Helga Liné (Horror Express, The Dracula Saga, The Loreley’s Grasp), Gérard Tichy (Pieces), Leo Anchóriz, Ombretta Colli.
The original version is set in Scotland, however the US version chose to transpose the events to Brittany, France.
1884: Emily Blackford returns to her ancestral home from finishing school to find that her brother has sacked the entire staff and all the new servants act suspiciously. Her father – whom she had believed to be killed in a fire – is discovered to be alive but ‘horribly disfigured’ and having been driven insane. The family keep him locked up in the tower. It transpires that there is a curse on the Blackford line, and their father believes that the curse can only be broken if Emily is killed before her 21st birthday…
‘Fun aspects here include: Roderick’s great harpsichord playing; some fantastic sets including the old manor house and the ruined abbey nearby; a great spookshow sequence with Lady Blancheville’s friend wandering through the darkened manor and finding her way to the tower with some genuinely creepy moments; and the Scooby-Doo mystery of the scar-faced man, which wasn’t too hard to figure out but still fun …’ Mad Mad Mad Mad Movies
‘The Blancheville Monster is quite atmospheric and it benefits a lot from the amazing, spooky castle and the fetching ladies. A few scenes are really good. But as a whole, well, this is nothing special.’ Pidde Andersson, Xomba.com
‘ …solid midnight viewing thanks to its dank theatrics and comforting adherence to genre conventions. Best scene: the Blancheville family and friends bury poor Emily… unfortunately, they don’t realize she’s still alive.’ The Terror Trap
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On November 19, 2013, the film was released in the US by Retromedia as a 50th Anniversary DVD in 1:66:1 widescreen and in high definition.