Danza Macabra

Castle of Blood

The Castle of Terror

directed by Antonio Margheriti
released in 1964
duration 87 minutes

Danza Macabra is a great example of the fact that a movie that does not necessarily have to have lots of action to be interesting. This film has a rather slow start, but once it gets going, it is very interesting. Beautifully shot in black and white, Margheriti really knows how to build up a mysterious atmosphere without relying on excessive violence. Barbara Steele makes a good performance here. I actually like it, and indeed the whole movie, better than Mario Bava's 1960 classic La Maschera del Demonio (The Mask of Satan, also known as Black Sunday), which, incidentally, is also set in an old castle and is shot in black and white.

I had the pleasure to watch the uncensored international version DVD released by Synapse Films in 2002. Although the film contains very little graphic violence, not all versions have managed to escape from the censorship authorities. Some versions are missing interesting and important dialogue, e.g. the line by Edgar Allan Poe saying "The death of a beautiful woman is the most poetic thing in the world" has been removed, but the Synapse Films version has restored it. Some very mild hints at lesbianism have also been removed from certain versions.

No wonder the company is very proud to present Margheriti's great film as a complete, uncensored print. Thanks for the fantastic work, guys. Highly recommended.

copyright © 2010 Kalevi Kolttonen <kalevi@kolttonen.fi>