Thursday, February 8, 2018

Horror Castle, Torturer of Fair Maidens

One hour into the film, the very buxom Rossana Podesta finally gets dressed. Before she dons a very smart, if not slightly tight business suit, our Euro-babe prances through this flick in a loose, cleavage friendly, white negligee. Whether running through castle corridors, fleeing a 300 year old torturer, or trying to escape from a torture chamber, our damsel in much distress wears that negligee well. So, on to 1963's "Horror Castle," an Italian film, set in Germany and directed by Antonio Margheriti.
Ah, The Virgin of Nuremberg! No not our buxom protagonist Mary (Podesta). No, this moralist from the 17th Century is a torture device resembling an Iron Maiden. As a nubile Euro-babe screams from the inside of this device, Mary is woken. Her new  husband Max (Georges Riviere) is nowhere to be found, so the apparent damsel explores. She finds the The Virgin of Nuremberg with a very bloody corpse of a beautiful woman, who probably wasn't a virgin, inside. See 300 years ago, an ancestor of Max was a torture expert who loved plying his trade on immoral woman. Is he back? Mary will wake up in her room the next morning heavily sedated and assured by Max and a suspicious looking maid (Laura Nucci) that she dreamed the whole thing. Mary knows what she saw and when given more sedatives, fakes taking them.
As Max has apparently left for business, the negligee clad Mary sneaks out of bed to investigate. She finds a bag of surgical/torture tools in the office of Max' assistant, Erich (Christopher Lee). Erich has a scarred face and a creepy demeanor and tells Mary the bag belongs to Max' deceased dad. As Mary begins to be stalked by a masked torturer, she is now on the run, locked in the castle. She'll come across a nubile, but apparently immoral, Euro-babe in the torture chamber whose face was just eaten by a rat. She faints again and wakes in bed with Max assuring her everything is fine (oh yeah, why would anyone think otherwise?).  Knowing what she saw, Mary and her soon to be dead maid-servant attempt to leave the castle. NO ONE LEAVES! Because she has such impressive cleavage, the 300 year old torturer believes Mary to be impure...I guess. Now the fiend sets his sights on the red-headed beauty, but Mary is far from helpless.
Is Max really the torturer, or is it in fact a 300 year old monster?  Will the quite capable Mary give in to Euro-horror stereotypes and need a man to save her?  Is the fact that Mary faces her greatest peril once she has changed out of her negligee into professional attire a misogynistic statement about the role of women in modern western civilization? The answer to the mystery is revealed through a horrific and heartbreaking backstory which explains everything. For some very gratuitous, and very smart horror, treat yourself to "Horror Castle."


  1. good review, don’t think I’ve seen this will definitely check it out in the future💀💀

  2. Is it like a Hammer House Horror? I'll have to try and watch this one. Christopher Lee was always a major actor for such movies. :D