While Mario Bava remains the best-known purveyor of Italian Gothic horror, many other filmmakers tried their hand at the form throughout the 1960s. Gothic Fantastico presents four titles from this classic period, all of which demonstrate Italy’s ability to expand genre beyond the classic literary monsters that dominated elsewhere.
Gaslighting abounds in Massimo Pupillo’s Lady Morgan’s Vengeance – a tale of romance and mystery sprinkled with sadism and the supernatural – as newlywed Sir Harold Morgan tries to destroy his bride with help from his sinister maid. Meanwhile, the perverse influence of Poe is used to great effect in Alberto De Martino’s The Blancheville Monster – a tale of family curses and madmen in the attic, as Emilie de Blancheville returns home to her brother Roderic and finds her own family out for her blood. Mino Guerrini’s The Third Eye features an early role for Italian cult icon Franco Nero and a plot that borrows elements from Hitchcock, layered with a whiff of necrophilia. Finally, Damiano Damiani’s The Witch takes a more avant-garde approach, when a young historian is lured to work for an ageing woman, only to be held captive when he becomes obsessed with her beautiful daughter.
Madness, obsession and messed up families are the order of the day in these four lesser-known monochrome gems from Italy’s peak Gothic period, restored in 2K from their original negatives for the first time alongside an array of in-depth extras.
STARRING: Franco Nero, Gordon Mitchell, Erika Blanc, Gérard Tichy, Ombretta ColliRead more “Gothic Fantastico: Four Italian Tales of Terror (4-Disc Limited Edition Blu-ray) Available October 18”