Il castello dei morti vivi Film Details
Overview: Count Drago invites entertainers to his castle, but what the people don’t know is that Drago mummifies animals and humans.
Tagline: How much shock can the human brain endure before it cracks?
Review: “Castle of the Living Dead” is a slow and flawed Gothic horror entry. **SPOILERS** Traveling through the countryside, Laura, (Gaia Germani) Eric, (Phillipe Leroy) Sandro, (Mirko Valentin) Nick, (Antonio De Martino) Bruno, (Jacques Stany) and Dart, (Luciano Pigozzi) decide to seek shelter from the dangerous woods. Learning that their troupe has been offered a stay at a local castle owned by recluse Count Drago, (Christopher Lee) and against several objections, take up the offer. Staying on, they try to get the better of the situation and try to support their decision to stay. When they suddenly realize that their numbers are missing, they learn that the Count has a dark passion for stuffing and embalming animals and people, using the help of a special drug that he has discovered which preserves life in a death-like state. Using this, they try to flee the castle before it’s too late. The Good News: This one here wasn’t that bad at times. The castle’s interior here are what really makes this film worthwhile, as it looks positively creepy. It’s a regular Gothic masterpiece, as the normal components that this one uses is right up with the greats of the genre. The general appearance of the rooms, with ornate furniture, decaying traps and a flow that allows for some of the feeling of isolation and dread that the best out there capture the best that the film provides. The many different sculptures on display are quite fun, and make for an even creepier feeling from the location. From the different entries into the room all the way to the feeling that there’s something that the outward appearance is hiding is brought the forefront. When the discovery of the taxidermy hobby is found, there’s some really freaky scenes that come out. The main embalming one is the greatest one, and the few encounters outdoors are also worthy of praise. There’s also the tour through the embalming room as the gigantic pieces of equipment used to perform the embalming, and once the talk turns to the special drug, it gets a little tense as the back-story given to it is a little unnerving and makes it feel really creepy. It’s one of the best scenes in the film, and gets a lot right from it. The film does have a rather nice amount of action in it. The big fight atop the castle is a brilliant one, as well as the extended brawl occurring in the display room. There’s also a pretty nice fist-fight thrown in at the beginning to put some extra action parts into it, and is enjoyable for the type and style done at the time. These here are what really keep the film going. The Bad News: This one here has a few problems with it. One of the things that ruins this is that there’s a large amount of scenes in here that don’t have a whole lot of purpose. The fight in the bar at the beginning is one, which isn’t really necessary for it’s plot and is essentially there only for the fact that it puts an action scene into the film. There’s also the fact that the film literally stops to a halt when the troupe does their performance at the castle. It’s a necessary scene, but it’s incredibly dull and manages to slow the film down to include a scene that is really painful to sit through and makes it a really terrible choice to keep it through the length it is, and is a really big contributing factor. There’s also the main factor in this one, which is the fact that there’s a large amount of time where absolutely nothing happens and manages to provoke a sense of boredom frequently and easily. There’s a large section through the ending of the film where nothing but talking happens, and the talking doesn’t help the film. Most of it is about the disappearances and how they’re going to get away, rather than actually putting a plan into action to get away. It’s a little infuriating to see them actually catch on and not do anything about it, and yet because nothing is happening, it’s boring to sit through. These here comprise all of the film’s shortcomings. The Final Verdict: A really flawed Gothic entry, this one manages to get a few really good points in with all the other problems. Check this one out only for hardcore European Gothic Horror fans or Christopher Lee aficionados, while the others out there would find that this one’s flaws come out more than it’s good points. Today’s Rating-PG: Violence
Country: Italy, France
Duration: 90 min
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Also known as: Castle of the Living Dead,Crypt of Horror,Il castello dei morti vivi,The Castle of the Living Dead,Le château des morts vivants,Castelul morţilor vii,O Castelo dos Mortos Vivos,El castillo de los muertos vivientes,Terror no Castelo dos Mortos-Vivos