BLOOD DEMON (castle of the walking dead; the torture chamber of dr. sadism; blood of the virgins; torture chamber; die schlangengrube und das pendel) (1967 W. GERMANY) D: HARALD REINDL W: MANFRED R. KOHLER P: WOLFGANG KUHNLENZ
Here's a forgotten, unusual adaption of Poe's The Pit And The Pendulum (a very loose one). Christopher Lee is tried for the torture and murder of twelve women at his castle lair. He has an iron mask with spikes pushed onto his face (like in the classic THE MASK OF SATAN, except this mask has a smile on it!) and is pulled apart by horses. But first he vows to return for vengeance. Somehow he does return 35 years later and summons the children (a man and a woman) of the villagers who rumbled him to the remote castle. There he puts him (Lex Barker) under the swinging pendulum, and scares her (Karin Dor) with spiders, scorpions, lizards, snakes and skulls before planning to drain her blood and become immortal. The castle (great sets) is filled with secret passageways and traps and Lee's equally sadistic servant seems impervious to bullets (there's an animated self-healing wound). I particularly liked the forest of trees with human limbs sticking out and many men hanging from nooses. It may not always make much sense but has atmosphere and imagination to burn, and a pretty cool soundtrack. I really like it. With Carl Lange and Dieter Eppler. Dor was Director Reindl's real-life wife.