Amanti d’oltretomba – NIGHTMARE CASTLE – The Dungeon Review!

nightmare castle“A mad, sadistic scientist on the loose!”

I count myself among Barbara Steele’s legion of fans. The strikingly beautiful woman is fascinating to watch and is amazing in everything she is in. Whether she is playing a naive noblewoman, a coy seductress, or a seething bitch she always delivers the goods. She definitely does not disappoint in ‘Nightmare Castle’.

Scientist Dr. Stephen Arrowsmith learns his wife Muriel is cheating on him. He tortures and kills both Muriel and her lover. Before she dies, Muriel tells him that she has changed her will and has left everything to her stepsister, Jenny. Arrowsmith marries Jenny in hopes of securing ownership of the massive property. He brings his new bride home from the hospital where she was being treated for mental instability. Jenny immediately begins seeing and hearing strange things in the house. Arrowsmith invites her doctor to stay with them and monitor her progress. But there is more than a fragile patient to contend with, in this castle of depraved experiments and torture. There may just be angry spirits hungry for revenge.

still from nightmare castle

Barbara Steele is outstanding in dual lead roles. As cheating wife Muriel, she is full of seething hatred for her husband. Equally strong, is her potrayal of sweet but unstable Jenny. Paul Muller is solid as the loveless and sadistic scientist, Dr. Stephen Arrowsmith. Performances from the small supporting cast are commendable.’Nightmare Castle’ is a Gothic Italian tale of obsession, madness and revenge. Its idea’s are grand enough, but the story wanders a bit. The dialog leaves little to be desired and is definitely the films weakest spot. Fortunately the execution is brilliant. The film is wonderfully moody and the black and white cinematography is excellent. Ennio Morricone’s effective but low-key score lends a great deal to the mood. The sets and costumes are stunning. There are some delightfully diabolical and unsettling moments, including a torture scene that was particularly racy for the time, and a twisted side story involving Dr. Arrowsmith and the maid. It is really Steele’s performance that elevates this one to a higher tier though.This is a must see for Steele fans and a pretty entertaining classic for just about anyone who appreciates black and white horror. Recommended!

Dungeon Rating: 3.5/5

Directed By: Mario Caiano

Starring: Barbara Steele, Paul Muller, Helga Liné, Laurence Clift, Giuseppe Addobbati, Rik Battaglia

One Response to “Amanti d’oltretomba – NIGHTMARE CASTLE – The Dungeon Review!”

  1. I’m a sucker for these black and white Gothic chillers from Italy,and this one is no exception. And what can I say about Barbara Steele? There are not enough words. I wish Mario Ciano,who directed quite a few Peplums(another genre,along with Euro Spy and Spaghetti Westerns,that I adore),would have made more horror flicks.

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