Max (Georges Rivière) takes his new wife Mary (Rosanna Podestà) to Nuremberg
to lie with him in his ancestral castle ... which of course has a dark past,
since one of Max' ancestors was the Punisher, a violent & hooded
torturer who lived 300 years ago - & the castle is full of proof of his
life & deeds, including a museum holding his favourite torture instruments,
including an iron maiden called the Virgin of Nuremberg ...
& even in the first night, Mary seems to fall prey to the eeriness of
the castle, when she finds a dead body in the iron maiden, then she passes out
... Of course, when Mary is found, there is no corpse in the iron maiden, &
everyone tries to assure her it was just a nightmare ... well anyone but the
local doctor (Luigi Severini), who grows mighty suspicious about the goings-on
in the castle, & he soon calls FBI-agent Selby (Jim Dolen) in for help.
Mary meanwhile is reluctant to believe it was all a nightmare either, &
she soon starts spying on her husband as well as snooping around the castle,
where she meets the usual array of suspects including a bad-mannered
chambermaid (Anna Degli Umberti) & the museum's disfigured custodian Erich
(Christopher Lee) before she meets the hooded Punisher in person ... & cuts
his hand which at least proves he's no ghost. Later she witnesses the Punisher
torturing a young girl by strapping a cage containing a rat to her face so it
can eat up her face. Mary manages to chase the Punisher away & to save the
girl from the worst, only to soon find her hubby Max in the Punisher's outfit
lieing knocked out on the floor. But could he be the Punisher ? Guess again.
Soon the Punisher (whose real identity is still not revealed) manages to
lock Max into the catacombs which he then floods with water from the garden's
spring. Then he goes on to lock everyone else into the castle, & eliminates
all possible suspects from the list one by one, including the chambermaid &
Erich ... but Erich survives being pushed out of a window & goes to fetch
Selby & the police ... & he finally discloses the identity of the
Punisher: Max' father, who has been conspiring against Hitler in World War II,
but failed to kill the Führer. & while all his accomplices were shot, a
much worse fatebefell him - several plastic surgeries were performed on him
... by now it's Mary's turn to face the Punisher, but she manages to remove
his mask & finds ... a face in shape of a living skull, a special nicety of
Hitler's henchman which drove the man mad.
As a punishment for removing his maks, the Punisher places Mary inside the Virgin
of Nuremberg & uis already closing it when Max, his son, steps in &
saves Mary just in time. Then the police, led by Selby enters the castle too,
wghich somehow catches fire, & as it seems all but the Punisher could sve
themselves ... only Erich, his former servant, voluntarily goes into the flames
to save him, but dies with his master ...
Despite having a modern-day story, this nice little spooker has, thanks
largely to the settings, a definite Gothic feel to it. All in all, this is a
competent horror-show, with a nice if trashy World War II-trauma twist, on the
other hand however it's not one of director Margheriti's best ones.