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Nella Stretta Morsa del Ragno

Web of the Spider
Dracula im Schloss des Schreckens / Edgar Poe chez les Morts Vivants / E venne L'Alba ... ma Tinto di Rosse / And Comes the Dawn ... but Colored in Red / Les Fantômes de Hurlevent

Italy/France/West Germany 1971
produced by
Giovanni Addessi for Produzione DC7, Paris-Cannes Productions, Terra Filmkunst
directed by Anthony M. Dawson (= Antonio Margheriti)
starring Anthony Franciosa, Michèle Mercier, Klaus Kinski, Peter Carsten, Silvano Tranquilli, Karin Field, Raf Baldassarre, Irina Maleevy, Enrico Osterman, Marco Bonetti, Vittorio Fanfoni, Carla Mancini, Paolo Gozlino
written by Anthony M. Dawson (= Antonio Margheriti), Giovanni Addessi, based on the screenplay Danza Macabra by Bruno Corbucci, Giovanni Grimaldi, music by Riz Ortolani

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Nosy American reporter Alan Foster (Anthony Franciosa) is persuaded by Edgar Allen Poe (Klaus Kinski) and company to spend a night in a haubnted castle - which Alan, the cynic, gladly accepts, not believing in ghosts and the like.

In the castle, he before long meets a beautiful woman, Elisabeth (Michèle Mercier), whom he falls for and gets intimate with - until she is suddenly killed by someone called Herbert (Raf Baldassarre), whom he then defeats and kills in a fight ... immediately after which both Herbert's and Elisabeth's bodies disappear into thin air. Instead a certain Professor Carmus (Peter Carsten), investigator into the occult, shows up and explains that everyone he's just seen or will see that night is a ghost, and they are all doomed to endlessly relive a night of mass-murder, when Elisabeth's husband (Silvio Tranquilli) was killed by her lover Herbert, Elisabeth killed her friend Julia (Karin Field) for giving away her affair, then she killed Herbert ... - whing is, Alan sees all of this happening before his very eyes, then he sees a young couple brutally being killed by their ghosts, then he even sees Professor Carmus being killed ... which would mean - he's a ghost as well.

Suddenly all of the ghosts come after Alan, only Elisabeth, who has really fallen in love with him, helps him escape. Against all odds, Alan makes it out of the castle and to the front door of the estate - where he is (accidently ?) staked by some ornaments attached to the gate ...

 

In 1963, Antonio Margheriti filmed the exact same story as Danza Macabra, a black and white ghost story starring Barbara Steele. It's not clear why he was persuaded to remake the same film in colour a mere 8 years later, but the result is actually pretty good, a very atmospheric gothic featuring great, moody camerawork, with Anthony Franciosa making a good lead and Klaus Kinski being mad as ever as Edgar Allen Poe (even if his role is rather small), making the role totally his own.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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On the same day
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WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

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produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
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written by
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starring
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out now on DVD