Friday, May 27, 2011

Castle of the Walking Dead (1967)

After enjoying my trip into the Vincentennial, I turned my attention to Horror Master Christopher Lee, in honor of his birthday. At first, I thought of revisiting The Wicker Man (one of my favorites). Instead, I decided on Castle of the Walking Dead (AKA Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism).

Plot/ Count Regula is drawn and quartered for killing twelve virgins in his dungeon torture chamber. Thirty-five years later, he comes back to seek revenge on the daughter of his intended thirteenth victim and the son of his prosecutor in order to attain immortal life.

Much like the flick I selected to celebrate Horror Icon Vincent Price (Master of the World), this may be one of the most underrated films in Lee’s catalogue. Very loosely based on Edgar Allan Poe’s The Pit and the Pendulum, this movie is a surreal and atmospheric classic. Yes, it is not perfect, with some of the performances being subpar, but those flaws are easily overlooked because of the detailed cinematography, outstanding pacing, beautiful set design and creepy atmosphere. Most importantly, Lee’s performance is top notch and perfect for the role. For me, this is a flick that I can watch all of the time. It is an entertaining and distinctive display of vintage gothic horror and perfect for fans of grand years of Hammer Horror.

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