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Castle of the Living Dead [DVD]
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When a travelling troupe of performers accept a commission from the mysterious Count Drago (Christopher Lee: Dracula, The Wicker Man), and fail to heed the warnings of a local witch (Donald Sutherland: M*A*S*H, Don t Look Now), they find themselves trapped in the Castle of the Living Dead. Terror ensues as they are picked off one by one as the Count enacts a diabolical scheme: the perversion of science to achieve immortality. Our grim dwarf hero battling the Count`s scythe-wielding henchman, a surreal secret museum of the Count`s victims (whose number includes British horror film-maker Michael Reeves) and the arresting Italian baroque setting all make for a uniquely cult film experience. Dare you enter The Castle of the Living Dead? Extras: Digitally Remastered Picture Enhanced for 16x9 TV s. Restored Original Mono Soundtrack (PCM). Booklet Notes by Michael Reeves biographer Benjamin Halligan BA MPhil PhD, Original Theatrical Trailer.
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Another recent release from Odeon Entertainment, this turns out to be surprisingly good in many ways and should be a real treat for vintage horror fans. The black-and-white photography, art direction, locations and musical score are all splendidly atmospheric. Donald Sutherland makes an intriguing film debut in two roles - he plays both a police sergeant and an old witch straight out of Macbeth who even speaks in rhyming couplets! Christopher Lee as Drago (with goatee and dark circles around his eyes) is his usual imposing presence. The script has some nice touches but misses an obvious opportunity to make Drago a more complex, interesting character. The film was shot in Italy with all of the dialogue dubbed on later; it has to be said that the dubbing is not terribly well done and also features a peculiar mixture of accents. The good news is that the film has been digitally remastered for this release and presented in its original aspect ratio. The cover has Michael Reeves (of Witchfinder General fame) prominently credited as Second Unit Director, which seems a little desperate. The only extra is the original trailer.
All in all, I found this film to be much better than I had expected and I would urge anyone interested not to let the previous review put you off.
A few years back I purchased a DVD-R version of the film but it was the same substandard American International TV print but it was all there was. Until now. Having read about this version being taken from a 35mm print was enough for me to order a copy. Even though I live in the States, I have a region free DVD player so that I can watch movies from all over the world. As soon as it arrived I popped it in and was blown away by the quality of the print. Not only is it in the proper ratio but it looks and sounds as if it were shot yesterday. This apparently is the original Tigon U.K. release and it couldn't be better. Now more than ever it resembles Cocteau's BEAUTY & THE BEAST with a little of THE SEVENTH SEAL thrown in for good measure. This time I noticed that the menacing servant walks like Max Schreck in NOSFERATU.
This film will not appeal to today's hardcore horror fans.Read more ›
However the picture quality is excellent when you consider this is a very obscure Euro Horror 'B' flick from the 60's some of the over voice dubbing leaves a little bit to be desired but overall doesn't ruin the film.
Its not the worst film I've ever seen NOT by a long chalk but as a stand alone DVD unless your a Christopher Lee completest you may want to give it a miss this, Surprised its not been released by someone as part of a film compilation set which is really where it deserves to be.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm American, and this dvd is not available here. Yes, there are versions out there that are less than perfect....blurry, off center, and just not that great. Read morePublished 3 months ago by backbaybos
Excellent acting by Sir Christopher Lee and Donald Sutherland a interesting story.Published 9 months ago by Sir Christopher Frank Carandini lee is my best friend since 1958.
CASTLE OF THE UNEVENTFUL - three times I persevered with this movie trying to find something of interest, some storyline. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Keith Naylor
I am a huge fan of peter cushing and Christopher lee. I've got to be honest and say I was disappointed in this film. Not one of Mr Lee's best.Published 23 months ago by peter johnson
Another Christopher lee horror very good in its storyline
well worth a watch and the value
a twist every where you turn
This is the first time I have given 2 stars nothing wrong with your service or anything, it was the film itself, not what i thought it would be.Published on 20 Jun. 2013 by Mrs. S. Wilks
A very cool, atmospheric horror film shot on stunning locations. Very creepy with a wild cast of actors and characters. A very nice widescreen DVD. Read morePublished on 20 May 2013 by mormovies