director Mario Caiano
When you’ve seen one 1960’s Italian Barbara Steele horror picture…you’ve seen a glimpse upon a continuum. Themes, ideas, locations, so many things recur in ways rewoven into new cloth though certainly not whole cloth. And yet the power of Barbara compels you!
Nightmare Castle has a lot of that, but features nasty sadistic torture, doppelgangers (in brunette and blonde), psychological torture and ghosts! The Steele 1960’s Italian horror line interweaves with notions of the growing giallo genre, zipping in and out of man-made mystery and the supernatural. Though it’s more Gothic than anything Hitchcock did, the murder of your wife and her lover, followed by the marriage to her insane younger sister who you attempt to drive completely over the edge…is quite something that the Master of Suspense would have approved.
It’s easy to see how these movies could get conflated in one’s mind, even watching them relatively back-to-back, the films are so littered with similar tropes that it’s kind of easy to get lost between them.
And yet this is only the mid-point in my little Barbara Steele mini-marathon.