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Castle of the Living Dead [DVD]

3.9 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Christopher Lee, Gaia Germani, Donald Sutherland, Philippe Leroy, Mirko Valentin
  • Directors: Warren Keifer
  • Format: Dolby, PAL, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Odeon Entertainment Ltd
  • DVD Release Date: 23 Jan. 2012
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006K3IN8C
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,100 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

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.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Just after the Napoleonic wars, a troupe of travelling players accept an invitation to perform at the castle of Count Drago - a sinister nobleman who has allowed his embalming hobby to get somewhat out of hand...
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.
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I am no expert on Euro Horror so I can not comment on the completeness on this version. As I understand these films often have various run times and are often edited. I can comment on the visual quality and the sound, which were very good. No problems there. The actual film is pretty good, although no masterpiece. Lee is strong as always, Sutherland is good in dual roles and there are some genuinely creepy moments. Some of the outdoor scene provoke a sense of dread. I was happy with the purchase.
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Yes, I am afraid sarcasm is intended. Reeves name features above the DVD title and 3 times on the reverse. (Lee is mentioned twice). What was it really and truly that seems to excite so many serious writers to scribe lengthy tomes about him? Sorry...but even the informative booklet goes on and on...Which leads me on to ask why ODEON goes to such trouble to a) Issue a digitally remastered Picture enhanced copy, and b) produce an interesting 7 page booklet for this particular film?? This always was an obscure "Italian" genre horror, and whilst I did enjoy a lot of it, does it really merit such attention? The DVD itself is fine picture wise, but the dubbing, except for Lee, is poor. The actress who dubbed heroine Gaia Germani is almost unintellagable and even Sutherland's witch suffers. I think Lee saves this rather dull film from complete failure. Even tho I must sound terribly negative (and apologies to Reeves' supporters), I did think this film worth seeing, and for Lee completists and lovers of the genre I recomend it (with the above reservations).
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CASTLE OF THE LIVING DEAD is another one of several Euro-Gothic horrors that I first encountered at my local drive-in theater in Greenville, South Carolina. I don't remember what I saw it with (this was over 40 years ago) but I remember it standing out because it was in black & white. I had recently seen Cocteau's BEAUTY & THE BEAST and was struck by some of the visual similarities as well as a general sense of unease about the whole film. The stone monsters on the castle grounds (a real place in Bomarzo, Italy) and Christopher Lee's collection of instantly embalmed creatures made quite an impression. So did Donald Sutherland's grotesque witch even though I didn't know who Sutherland was at the time. I later saw it a couple of times on TV but the print was terrible (16mm) and the framing was wrong but I still enjoyed it anyway.

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.
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HMMM! Not sure how to describe this one, like another reviewer said (Keith Naylor) the plot is a bit hard to explain, the film never really explains why what's going on IS going on. Other than its a Nobleman who's hobby is Taxidermy and takes it to the extreme and uses people (living ones at that) instead of animals.
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.
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