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La Vergine di Norimberga

The Virgin of Nuremberg
Back to the Killer / Castle of Terror / Horror Castle

Italy 1963
produced by
Atlantica Cinematografica
directed by Anthony M. Dawson (= Antonio Margheriti)
starring Rossana Podestà, Georges Rivière, Christopher Lee, Jim Dolen, Anny Degli Uberti, Luigi Severini, Mirko Valentin, Luciana Milone, Lucile Saint-Simon
based on a novel by Frank Bogart, assistant director: Bertrand Blier

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Flix.com

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 until ...

... 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.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD