Scream of the Demon Lover (1970)

aka Il castello dalle porte di fuoco
Article 3045 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-8-2009
Posting Date: 12-15-2009
Directed by Jose Luis Merino
Featuring Ema Schurer, Carlos Quiney, Agostina Belli
Country: Italy / Spain
What it is: Spanish / Italian period horror of the damsel-in-castle variety

A female biochemist is hired to work for a baron who is suspected of having killed all of his mistresses with the help of two savage dogs. She is hired to help develop a way to regenerate burnt human flesh. She begins to suspect the baron is guilty of the murders… or is he? One thing’s for sure; it’s not the dogs that are responsible.

This is one of those movies that had me wondering at first just how familiar it would be; I’ve seen a lot of Italian horror movies with women in castles with murderers. To its credit, the movie has a few twists to add to its familiar tale, and it even dredges up a bit of mystery when it becomes clear that two different explanations could be tendered for the events. Unfortunately, the script is quite clumsy at times; all too often, the characters act in ways that make no sense, especially the female biochemist. Still, its best scenes are quite effective, and in some ways it reminds me of HORROR CASTLE, though the plots aren’t really that similar. It’s no classic, but it is somewhat better than I expected it would be.


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