Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 13th, 2009
Theatrical Release Date: Spain / Italy, 1973
Director: Jorge Grau
Writers: Sandro Continenza, Jorge Grau, Juan Tébar
Cast: Lucia Bosé, Espartaco Santoni, Ewa Aulin, Ana Farra, Silvano Tranquilli, Lola Gaos, Enrique Vivó, María Vico, Ángel Menéndez, Adolfo Thous, Ismael García Romen, Raquel Ortuño, María Dolores Tovar, Franca Grey
DVD released: May 19th, 2009
Approximate running time: 88 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1 Letterboxed Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English, Dolby Digital Mono Italian, Dolby Digital Mono Spanish
DVD Release: Mya Communication
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
The Legend of Blood Castle was co-written and directed by Jorge Grau (The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue). The screenplay for The Legend of Blood Castle was co-written by Sandro Continenza whose other notable screenwriting credits include Hercules in the Haunted World, The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire, The Eroticist, The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue and The Inglorious Bastards. The score for The Legend of Blood Castle was composed by Carlo Savina whose other notable scores include Secret Agent Fireball, Fury in Marrakesh, Naked You Die, The Killer Reserved Nine Seats and Lisa and the Devil.
It doesn’t take too much of an imagination to quickly see where the plot for The Legend of Blood Castle is heading. The plot inches along before it gets to the meat of the story. The film’s final act and the climax are exceptional and they more than make up for the sluggish start. Even though this is not a particularly violent film there is an ample amount of blood which flows. Visually the most enticing moment in the film is a scene where the countess’s husband has just slit a virgin’s throat and her blood drips from above over the countess’s naked flesh.
Performance wise all of the cast are very good in their respective roles with the film’s standout performance coming from Lucia Bosé in the role of Countess Erzsebet Bathory. My favorite scene involving her character is a scene where the countess has a young child brought to her room where her servant has broken glass next to a doll that is to be given to the young girl. When the girl reaches for the doll the countess cut her with the broken glass. Other notable performances include Espartaco Santoni in the role of the countess’s husband and Ana Farra as the countess’s most loyal servant. The only disappointing casting / performance is that of Ewa Aulin (Death Laid an Egg, Deadly Sweet), who is not given enough to work with as she has been cast in a role opposite the ones she is more known for. Ultimately The Legend of Blood Castle is a satisfying adaption of the Elizabeth Báthory legend.
The Legend of Blood Castle is presented in a letterboxed widescreen that frames the image in a 1.77:1 aspect ratio. This transfer has been flagged for progressive playback. Colors and flesh tones fare well. There is some mild print damage and a few scenes which look a tad too soft.
This release comes with three audio options English, Spanish and Italian. All three audio options are presented in a Dolby Digital mono. There are two scenes included with this release that are only in Spanish and for these two scenes removable English subtitles have been provided. The weakest of these three audio mixes is the Italian language track which has distortion and background noise that at times becomes intrusive. The English and Spanish audio language tracks also have background noise which is minimal and it never becomes intrusive. Out of the three audio mixes included with this release the English language track is in the best shape of the three. There are no English subtitles for the Spanish and Italian language tracks.
Extras for this release include six minutes of deleted scenes (In Italian with English subtitles), Italian language opening credits (1 minute 30 seconds), English language opening and closing credits (3 minutes 15 seconds), a poster gallery (15 images) and two alternate scenes from the Italian language version which can be viewed by themselves or in split screen with the Spanish language version. Overall The Legend of Blood Castle gets a strong DVD release from Mya Communication that comes with a handful of interesting extras.