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Castle of the Walking Dead (1967)

Cast: Dieter Eppler, Christopher Lee, Karl Lange, more...
Director: Harald Reinl, Harald Reinl
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Eclectic DVD Dist.
Genre: Foreign, Horror, Supernatural/Occult, Germany
Running Time: 81 min.
Languages: English
    see additional details...

Just the thing for spooky Halloween-night viewing, this good-looking German film from director Harald Reinl tells the story of the horrible Count Regula (Christopher Lee), who murdered a dozen virgins and drained their blood. For these heinous crimes, he was sentenced to be drawn and quartered. Thirty-five years later, his undead servant resurrects him for revenge and a 13th victim (pretty Karin Dor), whose blood will give Regula eternal life. Lex Barker (a former movie Tarzan) plays the descendant of the man who sentenced Regula to death and has the task of stopping him, aided by Dor's maid and a highwayman disguised as a monk. Some chilling visuals (a haunted forest with corpses growing out of trees, swarms of vultures in the castle corridors, the obligatory pendulum) and assorted creepy crawlies (pits of snakes, spiders and scorpions) make this a real old-fashioned scare-fest, and it is not too bloody for horror-hungry children. Very loosely based on Edgar Allen Poe's Pit and the Pendulum, this film delivers on its promise to frighten, although the badly-dubbed U.S. version is to be avoided. ~ Robert Firsching, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Enjoyable German Euro-horror by ColonelKong January 21, 2004 - 8:36 AM PST
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
I wouldn't rank this film as high as Mario Bava's gothic classics such as Black Sunday or Kill Baby Kill (Castle of the Walking Dead's opening scene is pretty blatantly ripped-off from Black Sunday), but fans of those films will probably enjoy this one too. It's got fun low-budget special effects, wild sets, a crazy dreamlike plot, a very fun (albeit quite anachronistic) score by the very talented German jazz composer Peter Thomas, Christopher Lee (mainly at the beginning and end of the film), and claims to be based upon the "novel" The Pit and The Pendulum by Edgar Allen Poe (there's a scene toward the end where our hero contends with a similar pendulum, and...that's where the similarities end), I can't complain too much about a film that has any combination of those elements.

I might have ranked this movie a little higher if the DVD were of better quality, this disc has a pretty crappy transfer and was taken from a print that looked pretty scratched up. Not only that, but it seemed to be sped up just a little bit, which was alternately kind of funny and annoying. The IMDB lists the running time for this movie as being 85 minutes, but watching it slightly sped up like this makes it more like 70.

In short, an enjoyable movie, but not really a great DVD.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.29)
14 Votes
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