The Devil's Wedding Night
Two rival brothers are looking for the magic ring of the Nibelungen, a mystical jewel that confers all power to the one who possesses it. The first, Karl, is an archaeologist who wishes to give it to an archaeological institute and the second, Franz, is a materialist who wants to appropriate it to be rich and powerful. Franz, after having read Karl's research, travels to the Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania, to the ancient castle of Count Dracula.
The innkeeper's daughter tells him that on the first full moon night of the summer, five virgin girls from the village are chosen by the powers of evil and taken to the castle to be sacrificed, and that the place was infested with vampires. She gives Franz an amulet for protection. After spending the night with the girl, Franz leaves her to go to the castle but forgets to take the amulet.
In the manor of Count Dracula, he is greeted by the housekeeper, Lara, and meets Countess Dolingen De Vries, the count's widow. The countess uses the famous ring to bring girls home to kill them and then to bathe in their blood. Bewitched and bitten by her, Franz immediately marries her. Their marriage is followed by the sacrifice of five girls.
Equally looking for the ring, Karl arrives in turn in Transylvania but does not know his brother was vampirized by the Countess.
- Mark Damon: Karl Schiller
- Rosalba Neri: La Contessa Dolingen de Vries (as Sara Bay)
- Esmeralda Barros: Lara the Zombie
- Xiro Papas: The Vampire Monster (as Ciro Papas)
- Gengher Gatti: The Mysterious Man (as Alexander Getty)
- Enza Sbordone: Tanya the Innkeeper's Daughter (as Francesca Romana Davila)
- Carlo Gentili: The Innkeeper (as Mort Baxter)
- Giorgio Dolfin: First Villager at Inn (as George Dolfin)
- Stefano Oppedisano: Second Villager at Inn (as Stephen Hopper)
In his book Vampire Films of the 1970s, Gary A. Smith described the film as "a throwback to gothic horror" and that it appeared to be influenced by Hammer vampire films of the 1970s, specifically Twins of Evil.
Producer Franco Gaudenzi stated that The Devil's Wedding Night was a film that actor Mark Damon "wanted to do, it was a script he had, it was his creature." Gaudenzi expanded on this, stating Damon was planning on selling the film to an American production company who was interested in distributing it. The screenplay is credited to Walter Bigari and Batzella, while the copy of the screenplay which is close to finished product with many technical indications only credits Batzella's name. This version of the screenplay includes a prologue which is not in the film, in which the Countess summons the forces of evil while in her castle nude women are tied to a column with their throats being slashed. When choosing the director, Gaudenzi hired Luigi Batzella, stating that he was often in their office discussing film ideas with Joe D'Amato and Bruno Mattei.
The Devil's Wedding Night began shooting on July 31, 1972. It was shot on location at Castello Piccolomini in Balsorano. Gaudenzi stated that despite only Batzella getting a credit on the film, it was directed by both D'Amato and Batzella, as Gaudenzi had D'Amato reshoot some scenes. Damon was impressed with D'Amato, and recommended him to Roger Corman to work on the American production The Arena. Rosalba Neri spoke later about Batzella's direction on set stating that she "never understood him. It was like there were two of them, going different directions...and rarely meeting. A bit schizophrenic, indeed."
The Devil's Wedding Night was released in Italy by Florida Cinematografica on 14 March 1973. The films erotic content was cut by Italian censors who demanded that a sex scene be shortened and that "all scenes be eliminated where the man kisses the lower part of the woman's body." The film grossed a total of 117,115,000 Italian lire domestically in Italy.
- Browning, John Edgar; Picart, Caroline Joan (Kay) (2011). Dracula in Visual Media: Film, Television, Comic Book and Electronic Game Appearances, 1921–2010. McFarland & Company. ISBN 0786462019.
- Curti, Roberto (2017). Italian Gothic Horror Films, 1970–1979. McFarland. ISBN 1476629609.
- Paul, Louis (2005). Italian Horror Film Directors. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-8749-3.
- Smith, Gary A (2017). Vampire Films of the 1970s: Dracula to Blacula and Every Fang Between. McFarland. ISBN 147662559X.