Three travelers from America, Jenkins (Antonio Casale/John Anderson), Frank (Gianni Dei/John Day) and Mary (Bruna Baini/Kateryn Schous) are traveling through Scotland on their way to Nofis Castle.  They stop at the Rooster Inn for a bite to eat.  The owner of the Inn (Francesco Mule/Jack Murphy) asks if they will take his daughter Betty (Germana Dominici/Germayne Gesny) along with them since she works at the castle.  They agree.  

The travelers are going to the castle to hear the reading of a will.  The castle was owned by a former scientist, Sir Reginald Thorne.  He died three years earlier and his badly disfigured body was buried in the castle crypt.  The castle was managed by his assistant Dr. Quick who went insane due to the same virulent case of leprosy that affected Sir Reginald.  Quick was institutionalized but has since escaped from the sanitarium.

Already at the castle are other heirs, Pastor Crabbe (Ferruccio Viotti/Richard Gillies), Katy (Stefania Nelli/Stephania Nelly), a psychic, and her father, Sir Percival (Umberto Borsato/Gordon Mac Winter).  Also on hand are the notary in charge of the will, Elliot (Nando Angelini/Fernand Angels) as well as Patrick (Calogero Reale/Edward Barrett), the caretaker.

The visitors learn about a rumor that the castle use to belong to Sir Francis Drake and that there is treasure hidden somewhere on the premises.  To pass the time they decide to have a séance to try to discover where the treasure is.  The séance abruptly ends when Katy passes out.  As she is resting, a light is seen in the mausoleum.  Several people go to check it out.  Patrick is found hanging in the family mausoleum and the body of Sir Reginald is missing from his crypt.

 Inspector Martin Wright (Armando Guarnieri/Armand Warner) shows up to investigate the case.  Not long after that strange things begin to happen, and more bodies begin cropping up as one by one the heirs start dropping. 

“The Seventh Grave” AKA “La settima tomba” was released in 1965 and was directed by Garibaldi Serra Caracciolo.  It is a very obscure Italian gothic horror and an old dark house movie.  As far as I know the movie has never had either a VHS or a DVD release other than really bad bootleg copies.  The film is a little on the creaky side since the only copies available come from something taped off of an Italian television screening from, I believe, sometime in the eighties.  The English subtitles on the film are a little questionable but this is all there is.

The movie is average at best.  The plot is rather typical and the characters uninteresting.  The sound is muffled, and the print is a little jumpy which doesn’t add anything to the movie.  There’s no real style involved, and the music doesn’t really fit what should be a creepy or scary mood.  It’s OK for a one time look and it deserves to be preserved, but it’s not exactly a lost gem.  

The film was shot at Balsorano castle and Olimpia Studios in Rome.


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