Castle of the Living Dead (1964) Christopher Lee, Donald Sutherland

Six years after Hammer’s Dracula, Christopher Lee starred as mad Count Drago, in this Italian thriller, obsessed with immortalizing beauty… at any cost. Also in the cast is a young Donald Sutherland, in what is believed to be his first big screen role. In fact, Sutherland has THREE roles in this film – as well as Sgt. Paul, he also plays the witch and an old man. Gaia Germani is Laura, and Philippe Leroy the heroic Eric.

Directed and written by Warren Kiefer and Luciano Ricci (as Herbert Wise).

Michael Reeves, who went on to direct Witchfinder General (Vincent Price) and She Beast (Barbara Steele) is listed as writer/1st assistant director.

This film provided another early cinema-going experience for me in the mid-1960’s, and I wasn’t sure if it would stand the test of time. In fact, I found it quite engrossing and enjoyable. In it, Drago invites some traveling entertainers to his castle, but what they don’t know is that Drago has been carrying out experiments in embalming animals and humans!