Tag Archives: Antonio Margheriti


Our Next Attraction…

“The most exciting feature of the year! Lady in a Cage… and Olivia de Havilland is in it! A lady in a cage, locked in her own madhouse of insane intruders, powerless to stop the psychopathic horror that hems her in. Olivia de Havilland helpless before the rage of such characters as the Wino, half-crazed with his own destroying sin… the Hustler, a blousy has-been—the most amazing role Ann Southern has ever played… the Muscler, lusting for the last wild thrill of killing… the Weirdo, a blonde psycho driven to tempt, to taunt, to destroy… the Wildo, frenzied by a woman’s body or the razor edge of a sharp, glittering knife. They’re all in Lady in a Cage, the picture that is not for the weak; and perhaps, not even for the strong! If you cringe at violence, scream at fear, faint at horror—Lady in a Cage may not be for you. But if you can take the screen’s hyper-dramatic excitement—don’t miss it! Olivia de Havilland is shocking the screen as the Lady in a Cage.”


Party Girls for the Candidate. See the wild sex party that rocked the nation’s capital. Party Girls for the Candidate will bring you love scenes that only adult moviegoers will understand. Party Girls for the Candidate will show you party girls who will do anything for a price. Party Girls for the Candidate stars those two sensuous personalities, Mamie Van Doren and June Wilkinson, and introduces to the screen three exciting new personalities: Ted Knight as the candidate; Eric Mason as Buddy Barker, the ex-senate page-boy who built an empire of influence in the nation’s capital; Rachel Romen as Mona Archer, the innocent girl who succumbed to Buddy Barker’s web of sex intrigue. Party Girls for the Candidate is the most explosive film ever produced in Hollywood. Party Girls for the Candidate is a must see for every moviegoer. Don’t miss it!”

And Now Our Feature Presentation!

Horror Castle (AKA The Virgin of Nuremberg, directed by Antonio Margheriti) is one of the first Italian Gothic films shot in color. It was successful enough to green-light a followup the next year: Castle of Blood, starring . Having coaxed the genre into two of its earliest, most popular color productions, Margheriti should be better known; but ultimately he’s merely a competent craftsman instead of an inspirational original, and the move to color inevitably proved an aesthetic step back (although financially beneficial) for the genre. Still, Horror Castle is a reasonably effective entry. The color, like the surreal lounge score by Riz Ortolani, is paradoxically both ill-fitting and striking. Margheriti’s sensual color palette echoes the auburn quality of minor Italian cult starlet Rossana Podesta and he compositionally caresses her into the macabre surroundings.

Still from Horror Castle (1963)Storywise, Horror Castle is hardly earth-shaking. Newlywed Mary (Podesta) has some horrific visions within the ancestral German castle of husband Max (Georges Riviera), who resorts to the standard “you must be tired Continue reading 1964 DRIVE-IN DOUBLE FEATURE: HORROR CASTLE AND CASTLE OF THE LIVING DEAD


The fifth submission in the June review writing contest: by Andreas O. Stoehr.

DIRECTED BY: Antonio Margheriti

FEATURING: Tony Russel, Lisa Gastoni, Massimo Serato, Franco Nero

PLOT: In 2015, the space police fight to stop an organ-miniaturizing mad scientist from

Still from Wild, Wild Planet (1965)

building a utopian community.

WHY IT DESERVES TO MAKE THE LIST: Although the synopsis might make it sound like a typical space opera, Wild, Wild Planet is anything but. Everything about the film simultaneously screams “bad!” and “weird!” The dubbed dialogue, for example, is as laughable as any Toho monster movie, with a mix of technobabble and would-be ‘60s clichés like “That’s the wildest, most way-out I’ve ever heard!” The grandstanding villain, Nurmi, constantly repeats his ill-conceived master plan, and his kidnappings are carried out by beautiful women teamed with bald, four-armed mutants.  This is 1960s Italian sci-fi at its wildest and most way-out.

COMMENTS: I’m not sure why Margheriti (who was credited as “Anthony Dawson”) hasn’t become more of a cult figure, though being name-checked in Inglourious Basterds might raise his status among film geeks.  Wild, Wild Planet displays much of the same untalented passion you might expect from Ed Wood or Coleman Francis, and with the screenplay so awkwardly translated into English, it feels even more delirious.

The film’s futuristic aesthetic, which was already outdated in 1965, involves bad model cities and psychedelic dresses; it’s like “The Jetsons” meets Invasion of the Body Snatchers by way of “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse.”  TVs advertise “Computo-dolls,” and the only remaining form of art has performers dressed as butterflies prancing around in a circle.  When the mutant henchmen attack, they do so by suggestively enclosing victims in their trench coats; one scientist escapes in the midst of this process, and ends up as a comatose midget.  It may be ridiculous, it may be cheap, but it sure ain’t predictable.

Who, after all, could guess that the climax would take place on a resort planet amidst an exploding river of blood (that looks suspiciously like cranberry juice)?  With its bizarre interior design and enough hilarious non sequiturs to rival Plan 9, Wild, Wild Planet is a weird, weird movie.


The Wild, Wild Planet has a colourful bizarreness to it… But despite throwing up such an outre and colourful plot, the way Antonio Margheriti allows it all to transpire on screen is really rather pedestrian and dull. This rather wild skew of ideas ends up as a rather murky plot.”–Richard Scheib, Moria: Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review