Castle of Blood (1964) - full transcript

A writer accepts a bet that he cannot spend the night alone in a haunted castle on All Soul's Eve. Once night falls at the castle, several who had been murdered therein return to life, reliving their deaths and seeking to kill the writer for his blood in a vain attempt to stay alive beyond that one night. Barbara Steele, as one of the living dead, tries to aid his escape from the castle.

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There came a light tap
at the library door -

and, pale as the tenant of a tomb,

a menial entered upon tiptoe.

His looks were wild with terror,

and he spoke to me in a voice
tremulous,

husky, and very low.

What said he?

- some broken sentences I heard.

He told of a wild cry disturbing
the silence of the night -

of the gathering together of the household -

of a search in the direction of the sound;



and then his tones grew thrillingly distinct

as he whispered me of a violated grave -

of a disfigured body
enshrouded,

yet still breathing - still palpitating -
still alive!

He pointed to garments;

they were muddy and clotted with gore.

I spoke not,

and he took me gently by the hand:

it was indented with the impress
of human nails.

He directed my attention
to some object against the wall.

I looked at it for some minutes:
it was a spade.

With a shriek I bounded to the table,
and grasped the box that lay upon it.

But I could not force it open;

and in my tremor, it slipped from my hands,
and fell heavily, and burst into pieces;



and from it, with a rattling sound,

there rolled out some instruments
of dental surgery,

intermingled with thirty-two

small, white and

ivory-looking substances

that were scattered to and fro
about the floor.

They were the thirty-two magnificent
teeth of my cousin Berenice,

The teeth that had obsessed me
during her illness,

and which,
six months after her death,

I had found again

during a horrible night

when I no longer remembered
what I had done

and what had befallen me.

I know that story. It's by you.

It almost seems real
when you tell it.

- Who are you?
- Alan Foster, journalist for the Times.

You're the one who's been after me
for the last five days.

You refused to see me. It was the
only way to get an interview.

It's not every day that
Edgar Allan Poe shows up in London.

Yes, it's the first time
I've been in England

and certainly the last.

London has disappointed you so much?

Life has disappointed me.

Please sit down.

I admit that I'm not a fiction writer.

I'm one of your colleagues.
I'm a chronicler.

My tales
are drawn from real facts.

Real in your writer's
teeming imagination.

No. It's simply a matter of
true cases, my young friend.

I'm not a child. There's only
seven years' difference between us.

Seven?

No. Between us, there are centuries
and a word that doesn't exist:

Death.

You're really extraordinary.

If death is really
the only sure thing, then...

You confuse the grave
with death, my young friend.

The marble slab of a sepulcher
proves the existence of the grave,

but not of what lies
beyond the grave,

a world inhabited by an incalculable
number of anonymous beings.

Don't make fun of me.

An intelligent man like you
couldn't believe in the beyond

except for poetic purposes.

I thank you for treating me
like a fool in such an elegant way.

That was not at all my intention.

I admire and respect you too much
to talk to you in such a manner.

But I'm convinced
that the cycle of life

finishes with death, in the grave.

Beyond, there is the void, nothingness.

Therefore, nothing material,
nothing concrete.

The spirit is impalpable
without the body

which is the essence of living beings.

The dead cannot return to earth,
as they do in your stories,

much less frighten us.

As for me, I'm very afraid,

but only of the living,

who stop doing harm
only after their death.

Permit me, sir?

I am Lord Thomas Blackwood.

I wager 100 pounts
that you will not be able

to spend the night in my castle
in Providence.

You think that I would run away,
blinded by fear?

No, you won't run away.

All those who accepted my wager
died in the castle.

I'm sorry, but I can't
accept your wager.

You're right, my young friend.

I heard of this castle

located on Providence hill,
when I arrived in London.

The last ones to enter it were
a young couple on their honeymoon.

The husband was a cousin of my wife.

Lord Thomas will correct me if I'm wrong,
but it's my understanding

that they never left it again.
- They stayed there because they liked it.

I doubt they vanished into thin air!

Dead or alive,
they left the castle.

Forgive me for contradicting you,

but Mr. Poe is right.
They never left the castle.

They are resting there,
in the family cemetery.

Every year, I search for a brave man
to take up my challenge,

in the hope of clearing up the mystery
of this terrifying legend.

You are very nice,

and I'm happy
that you have refused my wager.

It's not that I don't want to,
but I can't, my lord.

A hundred pounds,

that's too great a sum
for the pocket of an honest journalist.

- But ten pounds...
- You'll accept for ten pounds?

- Whenever you like.
- It must be tonight...

the night of the dead.

Today is the first of November.
From midnight to dawn,

the dead return to the castle
to relive the tragedies of their deaths.

Very well! Tonight,
my theory will be confirmed,

and I'll write a sensational article

about the castles of terror.

Think well, my young friend.

Everything's been thought of.
I'll finish the interview, and we'll go.

We must leave now.

The castle is far. It will take
at least two hours by coach.

Yes, but I have
to write my article.

If that's the only thing that keeps you,
we can talk on the way,

for I don't mind accompanying you.

It's a great honor, Mr. Poe.

In that case,

let's go. Would you mind if we stop
for a moment at my newspaper?

All right.

Thank you, gentlemen,
good night.

Have you ever tried writing

stories based on reality?

Reality...

always voyages beyond,
outside, or beneath

all the forms established

by society or by the mind,

to the abysses, to the
bottom of the sea, to the South Pole.

Of all melancholy topics, what,

according to the
universal understanding of mankind,

is the most melancholy?

Death is the obvious reply.

And when is this most melancholy of topics

most poetical? When it most closely
allies itself to Beauty.

The death then of a beautiful woman
is unquestionably

the most poetical topic in the world.

We've arrived.

You can still withdraw
and return with us.

Your ten pounds are too tempting.

- Think carefully.
- Thanks for the interview,

and I hope Lord Thomas's ghosts
will let me publish it.

We'll come back at dawn.
Good luck.

Good luck, my young friend.

You'll find torches
under the staircase.

Thank you.

Don't let yourself be influenced
by this atmosphere.

All this is absurd.

These suspicious noises,
these strange apparitions

must have a rational explanation!

To doubt, even if only for a second,
means to be afraid.

It's an optical illusion.

It's very simple.
It's just an optical illusion.

Did my brother send you?

If your brother is
Lord Thomas Blackwood, then yes.

My name is Alan Foster.

My name is Elisabeth.

Your brother told me
that the castle was unoccupied.

Yes, I know what he says.

- To him, I'm dead.
- Dead?

He refuses to see me
ever since I left

his world
to seek happiness here.

Haven't you been able to persuade him
to reconcile with you?

No, I've stayed alone.

Maybe it's better
that I go away.

Are you afraid of me?

No, but if I had known,
I wouldn't have accepted this wager.

Of course...

The famous wager that my brother
offers each year

in order to give me company
for one night

and to nourish the legend
that surrounds this castle.

Are these stories true?

They are fantastic stories.

They're coincidences,
chance occurrences.

Don't you want to win the wager?

Has anyone won it
before me?

The past matters little.

Now, there is just you, me,
and a hundred pounds.

To tell the truth,
I bet only ten pounds.

I'm not as rich
as you think.

You won't become rich,

but you can help me
put one over on milord.

Come.

I've prepared your room
on this floor.

You knew I was coming?

Of course.
You, or someone else...

Every year,
someone comes on this night.

On this night...

the night of the dead!

- Are you afraid?
- Who blew them out?

No one!

Everything goes out and lights up again
sometimes, surely you know that.

You're trembling.

It's cold here.

Must it be up to me,

a woman, to put you at ease?

- I thought you were braver than that...
- Look!

- What?
- The painting.

Once again the candlelight

has played tricks with me.

Tricks?

A simple optical illusion.

The portrait of your ancestor

looked to me
like a living image.

Julia doesn't belong
to the Blackwood family.

And what's more, she's my age.

Forgive me, I keep saying
stupid things.

Please offer my excuses
to Lady Julia,

though I don't have the honor
of knowing her.

I'm sure you'll know her soon.

I found it on the ground
in the stable.

- I brought it up, thinking that...
- Thank you.

I've been looking for it for a long time.

I had lost it.

Strange! I was expecting
to spend a terrifying night

and I find myself
in such charming company.

If you're referring to me,
you won't be disappointed.

I don't disappoint
people I like...

And I like you.

But Julia is very mistrustful,
especially toward men.

Here we are.
Here things are a little more in order.

I have no servants anymore,
and I've neglected the ground floor.

But these rooms are still pleasant.

Come close to me, Alan.

Tell me about the world outside,
and tell me about yourself.

There's nothing new in London.

Fog, boredom,
and eternal traditions.

You see, London hasn't changed.

You haven't missed anything
by staying in this castle.

It's we Londoners who have been deprived
of the pleasure of admiring your charm

and your beauty.

You are very nice,
and you have the art

of making yourself agreeable
in a woman's eyes.

I say what I think.
It's not a compliment.

It's been a long time
since I felt myself so much a woman.

You wanted me
to speak of myself, too.

I am poor, a bachelor,
and without family.

I'm thirty years old, I'm a journalist,

and I feel terribly alone.

I'm desperately alone, too.

May I join you?

Happy to make your acquaintance.

Miss Julia.

Elisabeth has told you about me?

She only satisfied my curiosity,

because your portrait interested me.
But you are even more beautiful.

You flatter me.

What did she tell you?

Your name. Only your name.

Should I be grateful,
and thank you for your discretion?

No. It would have been better
if you hadn't come.

Why? Perhaps I'm bothering you?

Not at all. We were talking about London
and about me, before going to bed.

Together, of course.

What are you saying?

Excuse me, I didn't mean to
refer to what Elisabeth was imagining.

I meant "at the same time,"

- and not in the same bed.
- Stop it!

Good night, Foster.

Good night.

I, too, wish you a good night

even if it's without her.

I don't understand you.

Don't lie, Alan.
You don't know how to lie.

Who told you my first name?

No one. I heard Elisabeth
say it when I came in.

Good night.

I'm telling you
for the last time:

stop insulting me, humiliating me,
persecuting me.

You don't know
what I'm capable of.

I know you.
What can you do to me?

Kill me, perhaps?
You can't.

- And so?
- Be quiet!

It's not enough for you
that you've ruined my life?

Why do you persecute me like this?

You like Alan, don't you?

- Admit you like him.
- Yes! I like him.

- And I desire him!
- You don't love him...

Yes, yes, I love him!

You poor thing, if I hadn't been there,
you'd be happy in his arms.

Happy?

Maybe with him
I would have been happy.

No, it's not true.
You've never been happy.

But, this time,
I had a kind of premonition.

Julia, I beg you,
I entreat you,

leave me one last chance.

No, you will only be happy
beside me.

Get out! I am a woman,
do you understand?

A real woman.
Get out of my life!

What life, Elisabeth ?

Do you know
what you're saying?

I despise you, I hate you, Julia!

"I'll wait for you at midnight
in the park under the big oak tree. Herbert."

Excuse me, I wanted to see
if you were sleeping.

I was going to go back to bed
without waking you.

I was going to read
a very interesting book.

I never sleep before dawn

because I spend all my nights
at the newspaper.

- May I stay a little while?
- Of course.

One would have to be stupid
or abnormal to refuse

the company of
a beautiful woman like you.

"Carmus."

This isn't the best thing before sleeping.
But if you were going to read, I'll go...

No, please stay.

There are so many things
to read in your eyes.

The things that are written
in my eyes, Alan:

"Kiss me."

"Hold me close to you."

"I'm yours."

"Take me" -
that's what's written there.

Yes, take me.

Maybe your warmth can save me
from this cold that imprisons me

hopelessly.

Take me, kiss me,
my love.

Alan, I'm alive
only when I love.

Bitch! I knew it.

I knew
it would end with this.

- Where are you going?
- Let me go.

This doesn't concern you.

I still love her.
Don't do this.

Why? So that I can always be
treated like this?

Herbert must know about it,
immediately!

We met each other too late.

My love, the main thing
is that I've found you.

Now we'll be together always.

Always separated.

I, in my world, and you...

in yours, far from here.

My world will be yours, Elisabeth.

I can't go back.
I don't belong to it anymore.

Elisabeth !

- What is it, Alan?
- I was so frightened.

It seemed as if
your heart wasn't beating.

My heart doesn't beat.

It hasn't beaten for ten years.

I am dead.

Elisabeth!

It's not possible!

Yes, everything is possible, tonight.

Don't worry about Elisabeth.

But she's disappeared!

She'll come back.

She's wounded. We must take care of her.

- It's useless.
- Useless?

You're all mad here.
When will you understand that...

She's already being taken care of.
Trust me.

Who are you?

- I am Dr. Carmus.
- Carmus?

- The famous medical researcher?
- Yes.

We had no news of you for some time.
We thought you were...

Dead?

I stopped living a futile existence

in a world that made it impossible
for me to complete my studies.

You have had a shock.

You need to drink something strong.

Come.

There's a stock
of excellent whisky in my study.

Sit down.

Relax, Foster.

- Your name is Foster, isn't it?
- How did you know?

I heard you speaking
with Elisabeth.

- You...
- Yes, I saw everything.

I heard everything,

but there was no way for me
to intervene.

You'll understand why.

Sit down, relax, and drink your whisky.

I don't understand.

It's as if I were living
in a nightmare!

Yet I'm convinced, I'm sure, that
Elisabeth is alive.

I felt her body trembling,
I felt her warmth.

At this moment, she's alive
thanks to the power of her senses

that do not wish to die.

What do you mean?

Three forms of life
exist together in every human being.

That of the body
is the most fragile form.

Next, there is the spirit,
which is indestructible.

Finally, there are the senses,
which are not eternal,

but which can survive
long after death.

Especially when a human being
is torn from life

by an act of violence

in a moment

when the senses are undergoing
an intense emotion.

In short,
one does not entirely die

when one is not ready to die.

That is a totally absurd theory.

But I can demonstrate.

Be careful,
this reptile is very poisonous.

At this moment,
all its senses are mobilized

by a profound
instinct of defense.

Theoretically,

the snake should have died
when I struck the blow.

But it continues to live.

I did this experiment
when I was a child,

with lizards.

It's true, the body struggles for
a few seconds, but then...

There.

Now it has completely
ceased living.

Move your hand closer to it.

Be careful!

Its glands are still secreting
venom.

The reptile is dead, but
its defense instinct survives.

Not for long.

When the blood circulation stops,

decomposition begins,

leading to the death
of the sensory-motor system.

I don't believe your theory
can apply to human beings.

You should believe it,
because you've seen the proof of it.

You've seen Elisabeth.

You've spoken with her.

You've felt her body
trembling in your arms.

Yet,

Elisabeth is buried over there,

in the park cemetery.

And the others?

They too are buried there.

They are victims of
the same destiny.

What destiny?

Follow me, and you'll find out.

Soon, the dead

will relive once again
the final episode

of their earthly existence.

Only Lord Thomas's perversity

could have made you come here
tonight.

He takes after his great-grandfather,
the first Count of Blackblood.

Blackwood!

He took the name Blackwood.

"Wood" instead of "blood."

He was made a nobleman because
he hanged opponents of the Crown.

He was the executioner of London.

Don't be surprised, Foster.

You have many more things to see.

Doctor, I beg you,

tell me about Elisabeth.

It's time.
From now on, words are useless.

Look.

- Do you want something to drink?
- Yes, thanks.

- What do you want?
- Leave. Don't stay with him.

Wait for me in the stable.
Go.

I lost sight of you.

- I'm keeping an eye on her.
- Thank you, Julia.

You took over for me while I was gone.
Now, it's my turn.

What a magnificent family portrait!

You're going?

Yes, I'm going back to London.

I have to work tomorrow,
and I hate not getting enough sleep.

Before, you used to get up early
to hunt. The city has changed you.

I've given up
the pleasure of hunting.

It's been a pleasure for me
to see you reunited again.

William,
try not to leave her alone anymore.

I've sold all my possessions
in America.

Now, I travel
only for pleasure.

What if we went on a cruise,
to visit France, Italy...

That's a good idea.

We'll come see you in London
and talk about it again.

- Let me.
- No, I can go with them.

Stay here with the other guests.

Good night.

- Goodbye, Thomas.
- Good night, William.

- Goodbye, my dear.
- Goodbye.

Goodbye, Elisabeth,
and have a good time hunting.

- Don't go back to him.
- Stop being stupid, he's my husband.

George, the coach!

come on.

You can't go back to him.
You belong to me.

We love each other. We've experienced
unforgettable moments.

He'll go away again, Herbert.
Let me go.

No. I know
you'll leave with him.

I'll kill you
if you go back to him!

- Let me go!
- No!

No, I don't want to.

What you have seen
belongs to the past of the Blackwoods.

And it is only a prologue.

The real tragedy begins now.

Come.

I am alive
only when I love.

Don't cry, Elisabeth.
I beg you.

It's all over. I'm here.
Don't cry anymore.

- Please, Elisabeth.
- Go away!

- Please.
- Go away.

- Don't push me away.
- I hate you, I despise you.

I like men, do you understand?

No, it's not true.

I hate you, you're a murderess!
Leave me alone.

I can't live with you anymore.

I won't leave you again.
We'll stay together forever.

I'd rather die!

You can't say that,

because I -
I love you, Elisabeth.

Stop!

Let me go, Carmus!

No one is holding you.
You are the prisoner of the present.

You cannot cross
the threshold of the past.

That's not true.
That's all a lot of nonsense.

The dead live
in another space,

in another dimension.

I must convince you!

Let me go, and I'll convince you
of the contrary, Carmus.

You're wrong again, Foster.

Look, there is nothingness
behind you.

Let me go!

Don't try to hide, Carmus!

Where are you, Carmus?

Show yourself, I beg you.

Tell Lord Thomas
he has won the wager.

I want to get out of here.
I can't stand it anymore!

Open it!
I know you're there! Open!

I've lost the wager.

I give up!

I'm going mad!

Look out, Carmus!

You have seen how and why

I died.

"Blood is the source of life:

only blood revives the dead!
We will drink your blood!"

Marvelous! Our first night
will be unforgettable!

A night of love and terror
if Lord Blackwood is telling the truth.

Don't leave me.

You are afraid, Mrs. Perkins?

Yes, I'm afraid of cheating on you
with a ghost.

Don't go in.

Don't go in.
Stop!

Let me do it.

Don't go up.
You'll be killed!

You want to keep me from leaving.
Very well.

You don't frighten me!

You're dead!

I'm alive!

What was it?

A ghost
spying on us through the keyhole.

- Don't be stupid. Go see.
- All right.

I'll be right back.

Elsi!

Now it's your turn,
Foster.

Your hour has struck.

Run away, Alan.
They want your blood.

I beg you, run away!

Follow me. Quickly!

In one hour, it will be dawn.

From now on,
you are in our hands.

You can't escape us.

Your fate is sealed.

We don't want to give up life.

Your blood will be our life.

Where were you?

Maybe I can save you. Come.

- You're not with the others?
- I love you.

I've never loved anyone
as much as you.

But you're alive!

No, I wanted to be.
I beg you, run away.

Hurry, before it's too late.

They're coming.
Go through the park.

Your life will be safe
beyond the gate.

- Come with me.
- No.

You can't take me into a world
that is no longer mine.

Let me go!
I'm dead, you must understand!

No, you're alive!
Believe me, you're alive!

- Come.
- No, Alan !

Let me go, please!

I can't follow you!

Let me go!

- I can't go any further.
- Come.

I beg you, let me go.

My love.

You can't escape us.

Your fate is sealed.

We don't want to give up life.

Now your blood is ours.

Your blood will be our life.

You won't escape.

You won't escape.

You won't escape.

You won't escape.

You can't escape us, Alan!

He made it!
He's waiting for us in front of the gate.

Stop, Laster.

Foster!

No one has ever
survived the night of the dead.

Unfortunately, you've lost
the wager, my boy.

Let's go.
I'll have him buried in the park.

When I write this story,

no one will believe it.
As always.

Did you stay for me, Alan?

Yes, Elisabeth.