The Strangler of Blackmoor Castle – West Germany, 1963

The Strangler of Blackmoor Castle – aka Der Würger von Schloss Blackmoor – is a 1963 German ‘krimi’ murder mystery film directed by Harald Reinl (Castle of the Walking Dead; The Sinister Monk) from a screenplay by Ladislas Fodor and Gustav Kampendonk. The story is based on a novel by Bryan Edgar Wallace. It stars Karin Dor, Harry Riebauer and Rudolf Fernau.

The film features a distinctive electronic score by Oskar Sala composed using the instrument he invented, the trautonium (also used in Hitchcock’s The Birds, the same year) which pre-dated the synthesizer (later used for many movie scores).

Reviews:

“Looking at it, it’s hard to believe the formula for the type of films we know and love was already firmly set in place years before, but it’s true. The killer is effectively creepy, the music sets a great, disturbing mood, and the film has enough gothic set pieces to keep audiences enthralled.” Wes R., Oh, the Horror!

“an entertaining, black & white entry with elements interchangeable with the horror genre. Aside from the masked menace and the adequately gothic castle, there are a several beheadings, resulting in severed heads with the letter “M” marked on the forehead (one of the heads is delivered in a parcel package!).” George R. Reis, DVD Drive-In

“It’s krimi time again, and this is a good one. Like most krimis, it gets confusing during the middle section and it has too many characters, but the musical score is unique and effective, the comic relief (a Scottish landlord) is fairly decent, and it’s full of effective touches and scenes.” Dave Sindelar, Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings

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“The plot is serviceable, but the characters are blandly drawn, and the action sequences few and far between. Only Dor musters some charisma, and the scene where she’s terrorized by an electric drill is the best moment here.” The Terror Trap

Main cast:

  • Karin Dor (What Have You Done to Solange?; Castle of the Walking Dead)
  • Harry Riebauer (The College Girl Murders)
  • Rudolf Fernau
  • Hans Nielsen
  • Dieter Eppler (Slaughter of the Vampires)
  • Hans Reiser
  • Richard Häussler
  • Walter Giller
  • Ingmar Zeisberg
  • Peter Nestler
  • Gerhard Hartig
  • Albert Bessler
  • Werner Schott
  • Carl de Vogt

Image credits: The Dwrayger Dungeon

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