ARROW BOX SET RELEASE: Gothic Fantastico: Lady Morgan’s Vengeance (1965)

Massimo Pupillo also made Bloody Pit of Horror and Terror-Creatures from the Grave, but this would be the last horror movie he’d make. He said, “I started in the horror genre because I wanted to get out of documentaries, I wanted to enter the commercial market. In Italy, when you do a certain type of film, you become labeled and you can’t do anything else. I remember one day, a producer called me to do a film only because the other producers told him he had to get either Mario Bava or me. When I understood this, I felt dead.”

Using the name Max Hunter and working from a script by Giovanni Grimaldi, this starts with Susan Elaine Blackhouse (Barbara Nelli) and Pierre Brissac (Michel Forain) discussing their plans to be married while riding in a boat. Then, a caped figure shoves Pierre into the water to her horror, which leaves her broken and soon married to Sir Harold Morgan (Paul Muller). It’s not all bad — she has a huge home and several servants, including the kind Josef. But when she comes back from a trip, there’s a new housekeeper named Lilian (Erika Blanc), her husband’s assistant Roger and a maid named Terry (Edith MacGoven). And then things get really weird, like her being locked into her room, Lillian’s voice speaking to her in the middle of the night and screams in the night.

Well, poor Susan gets gaslit so badly — and even hypnotized by Lillian on an intercom system — that she is walked right out a window to her death. The moment she dies, we find Pierre waking from his amnesia, her spirit calling to him. And now her ghost will use him to have her revenge on them all.

Horses galloping through fog? Erika Blanc creeping up dark steps holding a candle? Are conspiratorial killers all turning on one another? Yeah, this has it all and then some. And finally, thanks to Arrow, it looks gorgeous.

Along with a new video introduction by Italian film devotee Mark Thompson Ashworth, a limited edition 80-page book featuring new writing by Roberto Curti, Rob Talbot, Jerome Reuter, Rod Barnett and Kimberly Lindbergs, a fold-out double-sided poster and limited edition packaging with reversible sleeves featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Colin Murdoch, Lady Morgan’s Vengeance also has new commentary by author and critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, a new video essay by author and producer Kat Ellinger, a new interview with actress Erika Blanc, newly edited interviews with Paul Muller and Massimo Pupillo, a trailer and the complete original cineromanzo, published in Suspense in April 1971.

You can get this set from MVD.

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