The Blancheville Monster
The Blancheville Monster (Italian: Horror) is a 1963 horror film directed by Alberto de Martino. The film's script by Gianni Grimaldi and Bruno Corbucci is promoted as being based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe, but actually only borrows elements from the short stories "The Fall of the House of Usher", "A Tale of the Ragged Mountains" and "Some Words with a Mummy". Long after its release, director Alberto de Martino described his film as "a little film of no importance".
|The Blancheville Monster|
Italian film poster for The Blancheville Monster
|Directed by||Alberto de Martino|
|Edited by||Otello Colangeli|
|Distributed by||Titanus (Italy)|
|Box office||₤87 million|
After returning to her family's castle, Emily discovers that her home life has drastically changed. Her brother is now in charge of the estate, the servants and maids who were almost like part of the family have died and been replaced by new staff members who are cold and unfamiliar. Her father, Count Blancheville, has been horribly disfigured and lives secluded in one of the castle's isolated towers. Count Blancheville believes in a prophecy that the family curse will be lifted if Emily dies before her 21st birthday. Emily will turn 21 in five days. She discovers that her father has escaped from the tower where he tried to convince Emily to embrace death.
Spanish sources for the production credit Natividad Zaro as a contributor to the script. As with many European co-productions of the era, this was done for tax reasons. Italian promotional material for the film promoted it as a product based on an Edgar Allan Poe story, but the film only borrows elements from "The Fall of the House of Usher", "A Tale of the Ragged Mountains" and "Some Words with a Mummy". The films script is closer to that of Roger Cormans films based on Poes work rather than the Italian gothic horror films of era. Director Alberto de Martino felt he was more inspired by Alfred Hitchcock.
The Blancheville Monster was released in Italy on June 6, 1963 through Titanus. It was released in Italy under the title Horror as chosen by producer Italo Zingarelli. The film grossed 87 million Italian lira on its initial theatrical run in Italy.
The film is in public domain in the United States. On March 23, 2004, it was released on DVD by Alpha Video. Alpha Video would also re-release the film on April 8, 2009 as part of its Gothic Horror Movie Pack. It was later released by Mill Creek Entertainment on August 30, 2005, as part of its Chilling Classics DVD. Mill Creek would re-release the film on August 19, 2008 as part of its Tales of Horror Collection. On August 30, 2007, it was released by Direct Source as part of its Monster Mash Movie Pack. On August 24, the following year, it was released by TNT Media Group. It was last released by Retro Media on November 19, 2013 as a part of its 50th Anniversary Edgar Allan Poe's Horror Pack.
Alberto de Martino referred to his own film as "a little film of no importance" and that the only thing he found memorable was the mask used in the film which was sculpted by his father. Roberto Curti, author of Italian Gothic Horror Films, 1957-1969 (2015) stated that the film "does not have much to offer" outside de Martino's competent directing and Alejandro Ulloa's lighting. Curti also noted the plot's cliches and mediocre acting. Bartłomiej Paszylk, author of The Pleasure and Pain of Cult Horror Films referred to the film as one of the brighter moments of Alberto de Martino's career and that "neither the overacting nor the many flaws of the script can take away the pleasure of watching The Blancheville Monster".
- Curti, Roberto (2015). Italian Gothic Horror Films, 1957-1969. McFarland. ISBN 978-1476619897.
- Paszylk, Bartłomiej (2009). The Pleasure and Pain of Cult Horror Films: An Historical Survey. McFarland. ISBN 978-0786453276.
- Paul, Louis (2010). Italian Horror Film Directors. McFarland & Co. ISBN 978-0-7864-6113-4.
- Russell, Phil (2012). BEYOND THE DARKNESS: Cult, Horror, and Extreme Cinema (2nd ed.). Bad News Press. ISBN 978-1-4818-6512-8.
- The Blancheville Monster at AllMovie
- The Blancheville Monster on IMDb
- The Blancheville Monster at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Blancheville Monster at the TCM Movie Database