CineSavant Column

Saturday October 14, 2023



Aren’t you lucky today . . . here’s an oversized graphic, forwarded by the helpful Michael McQuarrie. In last Tuesday’s review of Tombs of the Blind Dead, I could hardly believe the report that some American distributor had retitled the movie and added a dumb prologue, to pass it off as part of the Planet of the Apes series. How could a distributor stoop so low? ¬†Correspondent ‘Cadavra’ even left a comment, saying that, as a film booker back in the day, he had walked out of a sales screening after discovering the substitution.

Could the distributor have been Hallmark Releasing, in 1973?

Well, as Orson Welles once said, It’s All True: this (Texan?) newspaper ad proves that the bait & switch did actually take place.



Yesterday having been Friday the 13th, Severin Films let loose their big announcment of a
Danza Macabra Volume Two: The Italian Gothic Collection.

We reviewed Volume One back in April of this year, sizing the set up as ‘an oddity, a rarity and a garish pair of titles imported for U.S. drive-ins.’

With a ship date of December 12, Volume Two is now up for pre-order. The three Blu-ray offerings in the box are the ‘vampires-go-corporate’ thriller They Have Changed Their Face (1971), a four-part RAI-TV saga called Jekyll, and a 1972 gothic in which Rosalba Neri reportedly becomes The Devil’s Lover.

But the main feature to attract the fan buzz is what might be a definitive — or maybe better than definitive — presentation of Antonion Margheriti’s Danza Macabra, known under its English language title Castle of Blood. Critic Raymond Durgnat first turned us on to Gothic EuroHorror — and Barbara Steele — by discussing it in his 1967 book Films and Feelings.

Severin’s presentation includes Castle of Blood and the Italian original Danza Macabra in both Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD, accompanied by a selected scene commentary with Barbara Steele. A third disc dedicated to the title contains more extras, including a locations featurette and several interview documentaries.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson