Director – Antonio Margheriti (Cannibal Apocalypse, Death Rage)
Starring – Anthony Franciosa (Tenebre, The Twilight Zone), Michele Mercier (God’s Thunder, Black Sabbath), and Klaus Kinski (Crawlspace, Venom)
Release Date – 1971
Rating – 3.5/5
Blu Release – 3.5/5
The works of Edgar Allen Poe has fascinated people for decades. His foreboding tone, gothic atmosphere, and nightmarish twists has mesmerized readers for sometime. It only made sense that his works would be adapted into films. When I was growing up I remember watching several of the Vincent Price lead films that was adapted from Poe’s work. When I was in high school I watched the Dario Argento and George A. Romero anthology Two Evil Eyes. Both segments in the film was adapted from Poe’s work and they were phenomenal.
Several months ago I received a press release for the 1971 film Web of the Spider. I fell in love with the bluray artwork and reached out for a review copy. I was lucky enough to get a copy. Thanks Garagehouse!
**Spoiler Alert**The film finds Poe in England telling his stories of ghosts and a life beyond in a pub when the American journalist Alan Foster arrives. The two speak for a moment before Lord Blackwood introduces himself and offers a wager to Foster. If he can spend the night in his castle he would win a hefty sum of money.
Foster is reluctant to do so but when the wager is lowered he agrees to it. The castle seems to be well maintained and soon he crossed paths with two beautiful women who live in the castle and a professor studying the afterlife. But soon other residents of the castle make their presence known and Foster realizes that there is indeed ghosts and his life hangs in the balance.**Spoiler Alert**
I had not heard of Web of the Spider prior to the press release so I wasn’t expecting one of the best films to hit the horror genre since Night of the Living Dead. However, I was shocked by how well made this haunted house flick was made.
The acting in this one is great. The entire cast delivers amazing performances which makes me wonder why no one talks about this one in horror circles. My only real complaint about the cast was Klaus Kinski was not in the film more. I was under the impression that he was the star but he was only in the film for minutes.
The story for this one takes the standard haunted house tale and adds more to it. The film incorporates romance a great deal which works well with the characters established and the jilted lover angle works so well with their backstories. The film has perfect pacing which builds tension very well.
Finally, the film isn’t really that blood. We do have an on screen kill or two but they are done in such a manner that the viewer doesn’t get the gruesome bits. A little bit of blood and minor practical effects is it. Overall, Web of the Spider is a great film. The atmosphere isn’t there like the haunted house flicks from the black and white era of cinema but it still works very well. Check it out.
2 German Super 8 Digests
Uncut Italian Version