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Ceremonia Sangrienta (Blood Castle) (1963): Hey, It’s Better than Super Buddies

Ceremonia Sangrienta (Blood Castle) (Jorge Grau, 1973)

A line drawing of Elizabeth Bathory, blood dripping down her body, decorates the movie poster.

The poster is way cooler than the movie.
photo credit: todocoleccion.com

Jorge Grau is best remembered in English-speaking countries for the utterly ridiculous The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue, one of the silliest zombie movies of all time. Ceremonia Sangrienta is likely his second-best-known movie, Grau’s take on the tale of Erzebet Bathory, the countess who believed she could keep herself young by bathing in the blood of virgins. Now, before I say this, your mileage may vary, and mine does on occasion, but the thing about these two Grau films (IMDB tells me he’s made twenty-eight more; I haven’t stumbled across any of them) that rubbed me the wrong way is his insistence on taking a shoestring budget and still trying to come up with realistic-looking scenery. Man, if you can’t afford to rent an actual medieval castle, don’t build one out of styrofoam and color it grey, either work with a room or two or modernize your story and put your new Bathory in Polish block housing. (Hey, Polish block housing worked great for Kieslowski’s movies, don’t knock it.) I know some folks find that charming. I’m not one of them. The same can be said of the woeful acting to be found here, though that does tend to be offset by the oodles of attractive young things, even if you’ll have a hard time believing any of them were virgins by 1973. Can you believe Lucia Bosé had, just five years previously, worked with Fellini? * ½


Trailer.

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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