The Long Hair of Death (1964)
aka I lunghi capelli della morte
Genre: Gothic Horror
Country: Italy | Director: Antonio Margheriti
Language: Italian or English (2 separate audio tracks)
Subtitles: English (Optional, embedded in Mkv file)
Aspect ratio: Widescreen 1.85:1 | Length: 96mn
Bdrip H264 Mkv – 1920×1036 – 23.976fps – 3.71gb
In a 15th-century feudal village, a woman is accused of witchcraft and put to death. Her beautiful older daughter knows the real reason for the execution lies in the lord’s sexual desire for her mother. After confronting the lord on the matter, she, too, is killed. A much younger daughter is spared and taken in by her mother’s killers. Once she is of age, as a horrible, deadly plague sweeps the land, she marries the lord’s worthless son. Then, during a brutal thunderstorm, the older daughter mysteriously reappears and begins to avenge her mother’s death.
Director Antonio Marghereti, who also co-wrote the compelling script with Bruno Valeri, does an expert job of creating and sustaining a potently brooding gloom-doom midnight-in-the-graveyard sepulchral atmosphere; the extremely strong and unsettling sense of bleak nightmarish dread really gets under the viewer’s skin and culminates in an exciting confrontation between Helen and Kurt with an ultimate chilling resolution which neatly prefigures “The Wicker Man.”
Moreover, Margheriti stages Helen’s resurrection from her grave by a bolt of lightning with real bravura aplomb and makes excellent use of the gorgeous rural sylvan countryside. Steele excels in her dual role; she receives fine support from the lovely Halina Zalewski as her faithful sister Elizabeth, Umberto Raho as honest priest Von Klage, and Laura Nucci as loyal housekeeper Grumaldi. Riccardo Pallottini’s crisp black and white cinematography boasts several nifty prowling camera pans. Carlo Rustichell’s supremely spooky’n’shuddery score likewise hits the shivery spot. Well worth seeing for both Barbara Steele fans and Italian Gothic horror buffs alike.