The Witch's Curse

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The Witch's Curse
The Witch's Curse.jpg
Directed by Riccardo Freda
Produced by Luigi Carpentieri
Ermanno Donati
Written by Oreste Biancoli
Ennio De Concini
Piero Pierotti
Starring Kirk Morris
Hélène Chanel
Music by Carlo Franci
Cinematography Riccardo Pallottini
Edited by Ornella Micheli
Release dates
  • April 11, 1962 (1962-04-11) (Italy)
Running time
91 minutes
Country Italy
Language Italian

The Witch's Curse (Italian: Maciste all'inferno) is an 1962 peplum-fantasy film, directed by Riccardo Freda. It is not a remake of a 1926 silent film with the same title directed by Guido Brignone.[1] The sequences set in the Hell were entirely filmed in the Castellana Caves, in the province of Bari.[2] Maciste, the leading character, was turned during the filming into an almost mute character as Freda was very unhappy with the acting skills of the main actor Kirk Morris.[2] The film is referred as "an interpretation of mythology cum the gothic horror genre".[3]


In the mid 1500s a witch is burned in Scotland and places a curse on the inhabitants before she dies. One hundred years later the tree she was chained to and burned still stands with no one daring to destroy it. The curse remains by forcing women to commit suicide. The descendent of the witch, Martha Gunt is sentenced to be burned for witchcraft.

As she is placed in a prison cell, Maciste comes forth to fight evil. When he uproots the cursed tree he finds an entrance to Hell where he attempts to find the original witch to rescind her curse and attempts to help the damned from their plight.

When Maciste looks into a pool to refresh his memory the film features sequences from Maciste nella valle dei re, Maciste nella terra dei ciclopi and Maciste alla corte del gran khan.



The Castellana caves which still serve as a tourist attraction, were used for the underground scenes.[4]


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


  1. ^ Antonella Braida, Luisa Calè. Dante on View. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2007. ISBN 0754658961. 
  2. ^ a b Paolo Mereghetti. Il Mereghetti: dizionario dei film 2002. Baldini & Castoldi, 2001. ISBN 8884900875. 
  3. ^ Louis Paul. Italian Horror Film Directors. McFarland & Co Inc. ISBN 0786487496. 
  4. ^ Hughes, p.11

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