I lunghi capelli della morte (1965)

LONG HAIR OF DEATH, THE (Lunghi capelli della morte, I)

(director/writer: Antonio Margheriti; screenwriter: ; cinematographer: Richard Thierry; editor: Mark Sirandrews; music: Carlo Rustichelli; cast: Barbara Steele (Helen Karnstein/Mary Karnstein), George Ardisson (Kurt Humboldt), Halina Zalewska (Elizabeth Karnstein), Robert Rains (Von Klage), Laureen Nuyen (Grumalda), Jean Rafferty (Count Humboldt), ohn Carey (Monk), Jeffrey Darcey (Messenger); Runtime: 100; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Felice Testa Gay; Sinister Cinema; 1964-Italy-dubbed in English)
“Helped slightly by the presence of ‘scream queen’ Barbara Steele in a dual role.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Predictable, tedious and uninteresting black-and-white horror film that’s helped slightly by the presence of ‘scream queen’ Barbara Steele in a dual role. But this one is strictly for diehard fans of Steele, who must complete their collection with this unknown film. It’s about a witch accused of a murder she didn’t commit and is burned at the stake but puts a curse on the Humboldt family–the lecherous murderer of the witch’s daughter Helen, the Count (Jean Rafferty), and his evil son, Kurt (George Ardisson), the actual murderer of the crime the witch was accused of that sentenced her to death. Through her two daughters (one living-Mary, the other dead-Helen, both played by Barbara Steele) the witch gets revenge as during a plague she predicted, the witch is revived by lightning and comes up from the grave all pissed that her younger daughter has married the craven Kurt. In the end Kurt gets his comeuppance by being burned at the stake (which is apparent from early on that this will be how it ends and if you couldn’t guess that, then you should be punished by being made to watch the film again).

Antonio Margheriti (“Commando Leopard”/”The Virgin of Nuremberg”/”Vengeance”) directs this familiar type of Gothic yarn, often done better, that’s set in a feudal village in 15th century France. The sets (gloomy castle) and atmosphere (lots of gloom) are fine, but the acting is wooden, the dubbing is moderately bad and the serviceable story that connects all the dots is still a bore.