NOVEMBER 30, 2007
When I was like 4 or 5 I saw a movie on Cinemax that involved a haunted castle. I am pretty sure it was near the ocean, and the ending, which occurred (I think) at sunrise, involved a woman turning into sand/dust. I don’t think she was a vampire though, more of a mummy. Numerous submissions to “Help with this movie title?” threads on horror movie forums have been fruitless, probably due to my terribly vague recollection. So every time I see a movie about a castle, I hope that it might be it.
Nightmare Castle is not it.
But it’s actually pretty good, much better than the 90 or so movies it reminded me of while I was watching it (such as The Ghost, which also starred Barbara Steele, and Dementia 13, which didn't). And a big part of that is, for once, it’s an actual fucking ghost! While the usual inheritance/drive someone mad type plot elements are in play, there is a legitimate resurrection, thus making this an actual horror movie, unlike some of those others.
Not that it’s a masterpiece. The dubbing is atrocious, and is seemingly not limited to the dialogue (a guy pats a horse and the sound is not only not completely out of sync, but it sounds like some wood is involved). Also, the villain guy has a strange sense of urgency. At one point he hears his wife screaming, and acts panicked, but then barely speed-walks through the house to go find her. Later, his mistress cuts herself, and he spends 30 seconds explaining why she needs to be bandaged immediately (and again, just walks out of the scene. Use your feet buddy!
But the fact that, for once in these movies, the ghosts are actually fucking GHOSTS means that stuff actually happens. There’s a couple of kills along the way, including a poor butler who is electrocuted in the most convoluted way possible. And the climax is awesome. Hell, there’s even a light ‘torture porn’ scene, as the crazed husband whips his wife and the guy she’s nailing on the side. Speaking of her affair, I am pretty sure at some point in the film that every male character is seen at least making out with every female character. By the end I couldn’t tell which ones were the actual couples and which were just fucking around. But hey, all part of the fun.
Steele plays two roles, which makes the film a bit confusing at times (especially when they are said to be “Step-sisters”) but that’s OK. And one character is named Lady Aerosmith. “Amazing”, indeed.
What say you?