Nightmare Castle (1965)

Article #613 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 11-18-2002
Posting date: 4-14-2003

A scientist tortures and murders his wife and her lover, uses the blood to restore the youth of his lover, and then marries his former wife’s sister in order to get the inheritance.

One of the aspects of Italian horror movies that made me feel somewhat ambivalent about trying them out was their obsession with sadism; they seem to linger on long sequences of torture (especially against women) with emphasis on pain, and these tend to make their movies very unpleasant. In the hands of someone like Bava, it has its uses (quite frankly, he does an amazing job with the theme in THE WHIP AND THE BODY), but it’s movies like this one that generally drive me away. I feel the need to point out that my print of the movie is none too good, and the dubbing on it is even worse than usual for this type of movie, so this may color my feelings about it, but there’s not much here to make me feel that a subtitled print would raise it to the level of a movie that I would like. The story feels overly familiar, as if there’s nothing I’ve seen here that I haven’t seen in other (better) movies, and the unpleasant first ten minutes just makes the whole thing a rather nasty affair. Most likely, I won’t bother with this one again unless I’m given reason to believe that a subtitled version is clearly several times superior.


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