Nightmare Castle

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Nightmare Castle
Italian theatrical poster
Directed by Mario Caiano
(credited as Allen Grünewald)
Produced by Carlo Caiano
Written by Mario Caiano
Fabio De Agostini
Starring Barbara Steele
Paul Muller
Helga Liné
Music by Ennio Morricone
Cinematography Enzo Barboni
Edited by Renato Cinquini
Distributed by Allied Artists Pictures Corporation
Release dates
16 July 1965
Running time
101 min, 90 min (English Edited version)
Country Italy
Language Italian

Nightmare Castle (Italian title:Gli Amanti d'oltretomba) is a 1965 Italian gothic horror film directed by Mario Caiano (credited as Allen Grünewald). The film stars Barbara Steele in dual lead roles. Its music was composed by Ennio Morricone.

The film has several variations in the title and is also known as Night of the Doomed in the United Kingdom, Lovers Beyond the Grave, and The Faceless Monster. It has been dubbed into English in an edited release in 1968. It was released to VHS and DVD in the 1990s with a longer cut of the film in Italian with English subtitles. It was later released to the public domain and became a cult film.[1]


An evil count tortures and murders his unfaithful wife and her lover --- then removes their hearts from their bodies. Discovering that his wife has drawn up a new will giving her fortune to her institutionalized sister, the count marries his sister-in-law. The new wife experiences nightmares and hauntings. The ghosts of the slain return to exact their bloody revenge...until their hearts are destroyed.



Director Mario Caiano had originally planned to film the gory scenes highlighted in red color, but due to budget restraints, the idea was scrapped.[1]


Nightmare Castle made its debut on DVD by Madacy on March 20, 2001 as a double feature with Track of the Vampire as a part of its Killer Creature features. The film has been released multiple times on DVD over the years[2] and will make its Blu-ray debut via Severin Films on August 11, 2015 with Steele's films Castle of Blood and Terror-Creatures from the Grave as extras.[3]


Critical reception for the film has been mixed to positive.

TV Guide awarded the film a score of 2.5 / 4 stating, "While certainly not up to the level of Steele's work with the masterful Mario Bava, this is a worthwhile effort. Nightmare Castle finds its greatest success in showing the beautiful horror icon in as many extreme situations and persona's as possible".[4] Tom Becker from DVD Verdict gave the film a positive review stating, "Cheerfully perverse and agreeably grotesque, Nightmare Castle is a good-time relic from the days when horror was more fun than it was stomach churning".[5] Paul Mavis from DVD Talk gave the film a mostly positive review stating, " Nightmare Castle may borrow elements wholesale from better novels and films, but it still delivers the Gothic horror goods, with Barbara Steele always endlessly interesting (even if she's just prowling around darkened black-and-white sets), and director Mario Caiano alternating from full-blown sadistic horror scenes to languid, dreamy, sullen nightmares.'[6] Kevin Nickelson from Classic gave the film a mostly positive review stating, 'As Gothic horror films go...Nightmare Castle is a very good-looking film.'[7] Brett H. from Oh The Horror! gave the film a mixed review, summarizing, 'Nightmare Castle is a bit of a bore, but the climax shows off Steele’s creepy demeanor to terrific demonic (although quite silly) proportions...and features ample (for the time) amounts of blood and grue.'[8] Horror awarded the film a C, stating, '"Nightmare Castle" is, for the most part, passable Gothic horror, with violent beginnings and endings and a whole lot of talking in between.'[9]

The film has attained a cult following over the years...and is now considered a classic in Gothic horror.[1]


  • Hughes, Howard (2011). Cinema Italiano - The Complete Guide From Classics To Cult. London - New York: I.B.Tauris. ISBN 978-1-84885-608-0. 

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Amanti d’oltretomba (1965)". DB Cult DB Cult Film Institute. Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  2. ^ to /releases "Nightmare Castle (1965) - Releases - AllMovie". Allmovie. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Nightmare Castle Review". TV TV Guide. Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  5. ^ becker, Tom. "DVD Verdict Review - Nightmare Castle". DVD Tom Becker. Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  6. ^ Mavis, Paul. "Nightmare Castle (Amanti d'Oltretomba) : DVD Talk Review of the DVD Video". DVD Paul Mavis. Retrieved 5 November 2014. 
  7. ^ Nickelson, Kevin. "Nightmare Castle (1965)". Classic Kevin Nickelson. Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
  8. ^ H, Brett. "Horror Reviews - Nightmare Castle (1965)". Oh The Brett H. Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
  9. ^ "DVD Reviews N-Z - Horror Digital". Horror Horror Digital. Retrieved 11 November 2014. 

External links[edit]