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Gruesome murders terrify the countryside, with the killer cutting out the
eyes of his victims. But while the police seems to be baffled about the
identity of the killer & their best guess is a tribe of mountain gipsies
out for blood-vengeance, old Matthias Morteval (Boris Karloff) & his friend
Emmerich Harwood seem to have better insight into the case; Matthias figures,
from the m.o. of the killer it has to be one member of his family that has a
long history of serial killing including eye-removal.
So Matthiuas invites
the wholoe family - Morgenstern (Manuel Alvarado), Cordelia (Beatriz Baz), Ivar
(Quintín Bulnes) & Lucy (Julissa) - to his castle, allegedly to show them
their inheritance once he is gone, but really to kill them. Of course, the
Mortevals don't deserve much better, since they are all immoral crooks ...
except for Lucy, who's an angel in disguise, & who has brought her fiancé,
detective Charles Bisley ... whom Matthias rudely sends away though, & when
he returns, Emmerich has him incarcerated.
Then Matthias dies, & if
anyone thought the troubles would end here, they indeed jsut start, as Matthias
has a vast collection of invaluable toys ... that can turn into deadly weapons
just as easily, & soon the Mortevals begin to show up dead: Morgenstern is
shot by a miniature cannon, Cordelia is danced to death by a lifesize dancing
sheik, & Ivar is stabbed by a mechanical knight. Even Emmerich is found
down a well, a rope around his neck. Which leaves only angelic Lucy ... &
Bisley, who has managed to free himself, & who also has found out the dead
Emmerich wasn't Emmerich at all but a lifesize puppet ... so at least Bisley
& Lucy know whom they have to fight, & soon in Matthias' dungeon they
can defeat & kill Emmerich ... But they have not taken into account that
Matthias isn't really dead after all but has only faked his death to kill hios
relatives in peace, & now that he has lured Lucy into the dungeon, he can
burn his mansion & him & her with it & exterminate the murderous
Morteval family once & for all ... that Bisley is caught in the dungeon
with them is just bad luck ...
A very trashy version of the old dark
house formula, that doesn't rely so much on characters (which are little more
than one-dimensional or narrative logic (which is ratehr missing anyhow) but
more on sensationalist but nonsensical plottwists, which take the story in
sometimes very hilarious directions. In that way, the movie is sometimes really
funny. You might like to hate it though.