Il Castello dei Morti Vivi (1964)

Castle of the Living Dead is a movie of mystery.

Who directed it?

Warren Kiefer, who couldn’t be directly credited for the film as the film required an Italian director?

Herbert Wise — Luciano Ricci, the film’s first assistant director — whose name was used to fulfill that needed native director credit?

Riccardo Freda, who left I Vampiri for Mario Bava to finish and also made Double Face and Tragic Ceremony?

Michael Reeves, the tragically lost too song director who made Witchfinder General? Depending on who is asked, Reeves either did minor second unit work, a polish on the script’s dwarf character, a complete takeover of the movie or nothing at all.

And did Mario Bava do effects?

So many mysteries!

This gothic horror movie stars Christopher Lee as Count Drago, a man who embalms humans and animals, making them part of his eternal theater thanks to a chemical formula that instantly kills and embalms anything that lives, arresting them at the very moment of death.

Beyond Lee, the cast includes Gaia Germani (Hercules In the Haunted World), Philippe Leroy (The Laughing Woman), Luciano Pigozzi (the Italian Peter Lorre), Luigi Bonos (Frankenstein 80) and Donald Sutherland in his first movie playing a witch, an old man and Sergeant Paul.

Co-writer Paul Maslansky would go on to produce tons of movies like Death LineShe BeastRace with the DevilDamnation Alley and Ski Patrol amongst so many others, as well as creating the original concept — and producing — all of the Police Academy movies.

You can watch this on Tubi.

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