20 June 2008 | Witchfinder-General-666
Another Great Gothic Tale From Margheriti
"La Vergine Di Norimberga" (aka. "The Virgin Of Nuremberg"/"Terror Castle") is a wonderfully atmospheric, and delicately demented Gothic gem from genius director Antonio Margheriti, that should appeal to every fan of the uncanny. No true Horror fan or even cineaste in general could possibly deny that the late Margheriti had a great talent to create a Gothic atmosphere. Especially his 1964 masterpiece "Danza Macabra" (aka. "Castle Of Blood"), starring the incomparable Barbara Steele is pure Gothic brilliance and ranks among my personal favorites. While "The Virgin Of Nuremberg" does not quite reach the brilliance of "Castle Of Blood", in my opinion, this is yet another excellent Gothic Tale that no lover of Gothic- and Italian Horror can afford to miss. The film is terrifically set in a medieval castle full of terrible instruments of torture. Mary Hunter (Rosanna Podesta), whose husband Georges Rivière) is the owner of the castle since he has inherited it from his father, awakes one night hearing screams. The castle was once owned by a blood-thirsty judge, and, after four hundred years, the judge suddenly seems to be walking the castle again, craving for blood...
The film builds up a wonderfully creepy and yet often beautiful atmosphere from the first minute, the eerie castle-setting, ingenious camera-work and sublime score by the brilliant Riz Ortolani go in hand how it will only be experienced in Gothic tales from the good old days. For the year of its release, 1963, the film has an unusually high gore level, and an enormous nastiness. Horror icon Christopher Lee (as far as I am considered, one of the greatest actors ever) has a small, but great role. Lee is once again outstanding, and my only regret with "The Virgin Of Nuremberg" is that he had not quite a lot of screen-time. The English aka. title, by the way, is not quite 100% accurate. "La Vergine Di Norimberga" does indeed translate as "The Virgin Of Nuremberg", however, it is also the synonym for a gruesome medieval torturing device - the iron maiden. Atmospheric, excellent and very, very creepy, "The Virgin Of Nuremberg" is a Horror experience that no real genre-lover could possibly afford to miss. Films like this one prove that Margheriti was Italy's second only to Mario Bava when it comes Gothic Horror. A must-see for every Italian Horror fan or lover of Gothic greatness.