Nightmare Castle is the story of Dr. Stephen Arrowsmith, who catches his hot wife with an Elvis impersonator, so he tortures them both and kills them. When he later remarries, his new wife (the sister of his former bride) starts to feel the presence of the dead lovers.
At the time “Nightmare Castle” was released, Barbara Steele was 28 years old. The director taps into her beauty early and often. It doesn’t take much effort.
The story features two sides of a very dark coin. Stephen (Paul Miller) displays his hatred through violent acts, facial expressions and mannerisms. Muriel (Steele) harbors her hatred inside, bleeding venom beneath her gorgeous candy shell.
The good doctor proceeds to marry Muriel’s sister, Jenny, who is supposedly mentally unsteady. Jenny is also played by Steele, though she’s a blonde. She also carries herself in a completely different manner, losing the knife blade hatred of Muriel and replacing it with a balloon-like lack of wisdom. She covers an entire range of emotions effectively as Jenny takes on more of her sister’s behavior.
Miller answers Steele’s frantic range of emotions with a steady performance as the diabolical and conniving doctor. He is assisted by Solange, portrayed by a dark and entrancing Line’. They get what’s coming in the film’s climactic ending, featuring a number of great visual effects.
For its time, Nightmare Castle is violent and sexy. There’s eye gouging, acid and organ removal. Steele is reduced to lingerie within ten minutes and spends a lot of the movie in sleepwear.
Nightmare Castle comes to DVD courtesy of Severin Films in a solid 1.66:1 transfer, and two short featurettes; one with Barbara Steele, and one with director, Mario Caiano.
Also known as: “Lovers Beyond the Tomb”, “Lovers from Beyond the Tomb”, “Night of the Doomed”, “Amanti d’oltretomba, Gli”