Long Hair of Death, The / I lunghi capelli della morte (1964)

3.0 out of 5

Adele Karnstein is to be burned at the stake for sorcery as well as murder. But before her execution, swears violent retribution on the Humboldt lineage. Years later a plague befalls the surrounding estate of Humboldt and the return of the witch is heralded by a violent thunderstorm.

Antonio Margheriti directs another Gothic horror film; this time it's a witchcraft tale of revenge from beyond the grave. The beginning and ending are superb, but the middle portion settles for soap opera subterfuge with some moderate sexual sizzle. Barbara Steele once more graces an atmospheric Italian terror tale this time as the ill fated daughter of Adele Karnstein. George Ardisson plays the calculating Kurt Humboldt.

The underrated Carlo Rustichelli concocts a boisterously haunting score that often times seems bigger than the film itself, but adds an air of mystery and gloom to the proceedings. The opening sequence and the resurrection scene are deftly handled as well as the ending even if you can see it coming. Just shy of classic status, this is yet another worthy Gothic semi masterpiece.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics