Eurocrypt of Christopher Lee Collection, The (Boxset – Blu-ray Review)

  • Reviewed by: Tim Salmons
  • Review Date: Jun 30, 2021
  • Format: Blu-ray Disc
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Eurocrypt of Christopher Lee Collection, The (Boxset – Blu-ray Review)

Director

Various

Release Date(s)

Various (June 22, 2021)

Studio(s)

Severin Films
  • Film/Program Grade: See Below
  • Video Grade: See Below
  • Audio Grade: See Below
  • Extras Grade: A+
  • Overall Grade: A

The Eurocrypt of Christopher Lee Collection (Blu-ray Disc)

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Review

The great Christopher Lee wasn’t one to adhere strictly to one type of genre in a single country. He traveled the world over playing a variety of roles on film and TV. As such, there’s a surplus of material, most of it readily available for viewing. However, some of his work, particularly that made in Europe, hasn’t had quite as much reach. Rectifying that is Severin Films who has cobbled together five films and one TV program, the latter of which has rarely if ever been seen by western audiences. The result is The Eurocrypt of Christopher Lee Collection, which features Castle of the Living Dead, Challenge the Devil, Crypt of the Vampire, Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace, The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism, and the horror TV program Theatre Macabre. Most of these selections have had next to no proper home video releases in the US, making this set an automatic must for fans of the late actor.

In 1964’s Castle of the Living Dead (AKA Il Castello dei Morti Vivi or Crypt of Horror), a traveling theater troupe makes their way from town to town, winding up in the castle of the mysterious Count Drago (Lee). Their host is gracious, but the more time they spend with him, the more they realize they’re all in great danger. Directed by Warren Kiefer and featuring two early performances by Donald Sutherland as a soldier and an old witch, Castle of the Living Dead is an Italian Gothic that has received much retroactive praise from critics who, up until now, had been forced to watch much lower quality versions. Lee is adorned with dark circles under his eyes as he favors the initial sympathy of his guests while planning their demise, giving him a much different look than one would normally expect. The film has also been scrutinized over the years due to certain crew members and publications perpetuating notions that Michael Reeves (Witchfinder General) directed portions of it and that Mario Bava (Blood and Black Lace) did the special effects for it. Neither of these things appear to be true, now confirmed by many, including producer Paul Maslanky. Warren Kiefer was unfortunately believed to be a myth or a pseudonym of some kind, meaning that he never received full credit during his lifetime. And though the film never made it to theaters in the US, it was popular on late night TV.

In 1963’s Challenge the Devil (AKA Sfida al diavolo or Katarsis), a young monk tends to a wounded man found on his doorstep. Pursuing a woman who may be able to help, he relates to her a story of the incident that led him to becoming a monk. In his youth, he and his troublemaking friends found a castle in the middle of the night where an old man (Lee) lived, telling them that he had made a pact with the Devil. And while exploring the dark corridors of the castle, they found evil waiting for them. To be honest, this Faustian tale isn’t one of the strongest films in this set. Though receiving top billing, Christopher Lee (credited as “Cristopher Lee”) is barely in it at all. The overall film is painfully boring and uninteresting, even when all of the headache-inducing chaos finally occurs late in the story. Matters aren’t helped by the fact that Lee has been overdubbed by another actor, which is a cinematic sin unto itself since his voice was one of his finest qualities. The director, Giuseppe Vegezzi, never made another film, and Challenge the Devil became a mostly obscure oddity over the course of the next several decades. It now survives as an artifact of Italian cinema, but also because of Lee’s presence in it.

In 1964’s Crypt of the Vampire (AKA La cripta e l’incubo, Terror in the Crypt, or Crypt of Horror), Lee is Count Karnstein, a wealthy and reclusive man who grows more and more concerned that a possible curse laid down by his witch ancestor may befall his daughter, Laura (Audry Amber). He sends for researcher Klauss (Jose Campos) to dig through his family history and confirm the truth of the matter. Meanwhile, Laura befriends the beautiful Ljuba (Ursula Davis), and as the two grow closer, the threat of death begins to creep into their lives. Directed by Camillo Mastrocinque, who at the time was mostly a comedy director, the film moves slowly but offers fine performances and genuine atmosphere within the dark, dank walls of Karnstein Castle. The story is based upon Carmilla, which has been adapted several times, particularly by Lee’s chief employer, Hammer Productions. The Karnstein Trilogy (The Vampire Lovers, Lust for a Vampire, Twins of Evil) exploits the overtly sexual side of horror cinema, but Crypt of the Vampire merely alludes to it, particularly in the relationship between Laura and Ljuba. Though the film went straight to TV in the US, it had a theatrical run in the UK as Crypt of Horror.

Next is 1962’s Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace (Sherlock Holmes und das Halsband des Todes), Christopher Lee’s German-language debut as the world-famous detective (he would go on to play him again two more times on TV). Lee and director Terence Fisher (Horror of Dracula, The Curse of Frankenstein) reteam once again for this Curt Siodmak (The Wolf Man) adapted tale of Holmes taking on professor Moriarty (Hans Sohnker) with the help of his loyal friend, Dr. Watson (Thorley Walters, another Hammer alumni). Though The Valley of Fear was used as a basis for the plot, the film wound up using only minor elements from it. None of the actors were given the opportunity to dub their voices in the English language version, including Lee. But fortunately, this time around at least, his replacement isn’t that bad. It also helps that Lee is quite adept at handling the role. The plot itself is pretty standard Sherlock Holmes material, aside from the unique ending, but it’s executed well with Fisher at the helm (who had already made The Hound of the Baskervilles at this point). Once again, the film went straight to TV in the US, but was released theatrically in the UK and Germany.

Theatre Macabre, which aired on Polish television from 1971 to 1972 (and very briefly on American television around the same time), is an anthology TV show with Christopher Lee handling hosting duties in the vein of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Based upon various stories by Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Louis Stevenson, Oscar Wilde, and others, the show has a uniquely old-world European Tales from the Darkside flavor to it. Lee introduces each story with ironic wit, complete with props and costumes. Like many anthology TV shows, some episodes are stronger than others in terms of storytelling. Severin Films has collected together 24 of the show’s surviving episodes, but missing are the episodes Lord Savill's Crime and The Cask of Amontillado, which are presumably lost. Since the show has been unavailable for many years, it’s barely even recognized on IMDB. Today it’s an interesting relic of Christopher Lee’s time in Europe, perhaps more so in some ways than his film output, and it’s a treat to be able to view it finally.

Last, but not least, is 1967’s The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism (AKA Die Schlangengrube und das Pendel, The Blood Demon, The Snake Pit and the Pendulum, or Castle of the Walking Dead). The murderous Count Regula (Lee) is tried for his crimes of killing twelve young women and is sentenced to be drawn and quartered. Before his execution, he vows vengeance. Many years later, a young lawyer named Roger (Lex Baxter), his client Lilian (Karin Dor), her friend Babette (Christian Rucker), and the wayward monk Fabian (Vladimir Medar) make their way to his castle after receiving invitations. There they meet the Count’s assistant (Carl Lange), who reveals that his master will soon be returning to life, having discovered the secret to immortality. When he does, the Count chooses Lilian as his next victim, leaving Roger and Fabian to try and rescue her. Fairly straightforward with similarities to Dracula, the film was released in English and German at different lengths around the world, though many US viewers saw the film in its truncated form during the 1980s on home video. It’s a film that oozes atmosphere with great visuals, yet many will likely complain about the severe lack of Christopher Lee for the majority of the running time, as well as the odd pieces of upbeat score at seemingly inappropriate moments. Severin Films had previously released the film as part of an exclusive bonus disc in their Hemisphere of Horrors boxed set, but now the film is presented here in much better quality.

Castle of the Living Dead is included uncut from a 4K scan of the original camera negative. It’s a mixed black-and-white presentation, but it’s a mostly positive experience. It’s littered with temperature fluctuations, delineation issues, unstable contrast from shot to shot, exposure issues, and minor instability and scratches. However, the source is in great shape and most of these issues are inappreciable at times. Everything is clear and sharp without ever appearing washed out or cloudy. While it has obvious flaws, the overall experience is a worthy one.

Challenge the Devil, never before available on home video, has been scanned in 2K from the original camera negative. It’s a much more even black-and-white presentation with tighter grain levels and sharper detail, particularly in the shadows. White the contrast is more balanced throughout, minor temperature fluctuations do crop up. Blacks are blacker and whites are whiter, with more ideal gradations in between. Scratches, cracks, and speckling, as well as mild instability, are leftover as well.

Crypt of the Vampire has been scanned in 2K from a 35 mm fine grain master print, carrying its original Italian title La cripta e l’incubo. It tends to be a somewhat flat presentation with mild crush in the shadows. However, the source is strong with excellent clarity and moderate grain. Contrast levels are even throughout with accurate gradations. Mild streaking is visible on the print itself, which lasts for the entire presentation, but it never feels intrusive. Other damage includes obvious instability (mostly early on) and speckling. Thus far, it’s one the more even presentations from back to front.

Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace has been scanned in 2K from the German negative. Judging by the quality, this is likely sourced from the original camera negative. It’s a consistently stable and clean presentation outside of optical transitions. It’s sharp with tight grain and good contrast. Only an occasional cracked frame and mild speckling remain. Another black-and-white presentation, gradations are exemplary. Shadow detail is terrific as well.

Theatre Macabre has been sourced from 2K scans of the original camera negatives. All offer nice presentations, but with a variety of flaws leftover. Some episodes are cleaner and in better shape than others with a wide assortment of dirt, scratches, and occasional reel change markers on display. Color reproduction is also problematical, but the majority of each presentation offers bold hues and warm skin tones. Black levels waver due to inconsistent contrast, meaning blacks can appear blue at times. However, brightly-lit outdoor scenes are far more forgiving when it comes to all of these issues, generally the best-looking of all the footage.

The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism is sourced from a 4K scan of the original German negative, presented here with the title Die Schlangengrube und das Pendel. It’s an excellent presentation with moderate grain and high levels of fine detail in both bright and dark scenes. The color palette is rich with bold swatches of red, blue, and green. Skin tones are mixed, but seem to be inherent as the rest of the film’s colors seem even. Blacks are deep with good contrast and everything appears stable, with only minor speckling throughout. Only one scene features extensive leftover damage, and it’s only for a few frames. It’s by far the best presentation of this release.

Castle of the Living Dead features audio in English 2.0 Mono DTS-HD Master Audio with optional subtitles in English SDH. It’s extremely narrow and a tad quiet with mild hiss. Dialogue exchanges—dubbing after the fact—are clear and discernible. Sound effects and score struggle a bit for amplitude, but the score tends to be the most aggressive.

The audio for Challenge the Devil is included in Italian 2.0 Mono DTS-HD Master Audio with optional subtitles in English, which play automatically when starting the film. Though a narrow track by nature, it’s slightly more spacious than most. The dialogue has an echo to it at times since the characters are in a large castle. The fast-paced 60s jazz score has a nice presence to it, and sound effects have decent impact. There’s a mild hiss and a faint crackle throughout, but it’s an otherwise fine track.

Crypt of the Vampire includes audio in English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio and Italian 2.0 Mono Dolby Digital, both with optional subtitles in English SDH (note that when selecting the Italian version, the subtitles do not play automatically and must be selected manually). The English track is a cleaner and slightly more robust experience for the most part. Early on, dialogue struggles with a bit of distortion, but straightens out as the film moves along. Sound effects and score have definite push to them as well. The Italian audio is comparatively flatter with mild hiss.

Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace is presented in either German or English 2.0 Mono DTS-HD Master Audio with optional English subtitles for both tracks. The English track is straight down the middle, the most narrow track thus far in this set. It’s clean with decent fidelity and good presence for the score. Sound effects also have a nice boost to them. The Italian track is much wider with far more fidelity, but more obvious hiss. In short, both tracks definitely have their own aural personalities.

Theatre Macabre features audio in English 2.0 Mono DTS-HD Master Audio with optional subtitles in English SDH. Like its video counterpart, the audio for each episode of the show is offered in an assortment of qualities. Most of the episodes are flat and narrow, some more quiet than others with various levels of amplitude. Dialogue, dubbed into English, is mostly discernible. Instances of hiss and distortion rise and fall from episode to episode, meaning that you never know what you’re going to get with the audio. However, none of the episodes are unintelligible.

The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism is presented in English and German 2.0 Mono DTS-HD Master Audio with optional subtitles in English SDH. The English track offers excellent dialogue reproduction, a strong score, and impactful sound effects. It’s also wider than most single channel-sourced tracks, especially for the films in this set. Minor hiss and at least one dropout early on are evident, but it’s an otherwise pleasant presentation. The German track is flatter with much more evident hiss and crackle. Dialogue exchanges are fine, just not as muscular.

CASTLE OF THE LIVING DEAD (FILM/VIDEO/AUDIO): B/B-/B-
CHALLENGE THE DEVIL (FILM/VIDEO/AUDIO): D-/B/C+
CRYPT OF THE VAMPIRE (FILM/VIDEO/AUDIO): B-/B/B-
SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE DEADLY NECKLACE (FILM/VIDEO/AUDIO): B/B+/B
THEATRE MACABRE (FILM/VIDEO/AUDIO): B-/B/C-
THE TORTURE CHAMBER OF DR. SADISM (FILM/VIDEO/AUDIO): B-/A-/B

The following extras are included on each disc:

DISC ONE: CASTLE OF THE LIVING DEAD (BD)

  • Audio Commentary with Nathaniel Thompson and Troy Howarth
  • Audio Commentary with Kat Ellinger
  • From the Castle to the Academy (HD – 51:58)
  • The Castle of the Mystery Man (HD – 13:26)

In the audio commentary with writers Nathaniel Thompson and Troy Howarth, they discuss how difficult the film has been to see, the various people involved with the production, the film being an example of an Italian Gothic, how it seemed to go straight to TV in the US, various cast and crew histories, fairy tale allusions and the tone, Donald Sutherland’s multiple roles, the practice of post-dubbing in Italy, the score, Christopher Lee’s career, Paul Maslansky’s career, the look of the film, Warren Kiefer’s career, and Michael Reeves’ “involvement” with the film. In the audio commentary with writer Kat Ellinger, she talks about Michael Reeves, other Italian Gothic films, the perpetuation of behind the scenes stories before the internet, carnival Gothic stories, the Italian film industry, similarities to Dracula, playing with genre expectations, excerpts from Christopher Lee’s biography, shooting on location, Donald Sutherland’s career, passive women in horror films, and necrophilia in Italian films. In From the Castle to the Academy, producer Paul Maslansky talks about his background in music and the military, becoming a producer, working on Jason and the Argonauts, meeting Warren Kiefer, getting Castle of the Living Dead underway, casting the film, discovering Donald Sutherland, working with Lee, shooting on location, the film’s production and aftermath, befriending and working with Michael Reeves, working for United Artists, problems on Race with the Devil and Return to Oz, preparing Police Academy, and an overall reflection of his career. In The Castle of the Mystery Man, author Roberto Curti discusses writer/director Warren Kiefer’s background and how he became to be believed as nothing more than a fabrication or a pseudonym. Not included from a French DVD release by Artus Films is The Evil Castle documentary, the film's trailer, and a still gallery.

DISC TWO: CHALLENGE THE DEVIL (BD)

  • Dance with the Devil (HD – 35:33)
  • The Importance of Being Giorgio (HD – 16:21)
  • Trailer (HD – 3:10)

In Dance with the Devil, Roberto Curti returns (this time in his native language of Italian) to discuss the life and career of one-time director Giuseppe Vegezzi, the short story that the film was based upon, and how the film was made. The Importance of Being Giorgio is made up of two separate interviews with Giorgio Ardisson from 2009 and 2014. The late actor broadly discusses his career in a series of outtakes.

DISC THREE: CRYPT OF THE VAMPIRE (BD)

  • Trailer (HD – 3:56)

This trailer features the film with the title Terror in the Crypt.

DISC FOUR: SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE DEADLY NECKLACE (BD)

  • Audio Commentary with Kim Newman and Barry Forshaw
  • Tony Dalton Interviews Terence Fisher (HD – 12:35)
  • Tony Dalton on Terence Fisher (HD – 26:48)
  • German Trailer (HD – 3:11)

In the audio commentary with writers Kim Newman and Barry Forshaw, the two avidly talk about the film and defend against its detractors. They discuss the stories about the film’s director, the history of the Sherlock Holmes character, Christopher Lee and Thorley Walters, Lee’s European run of films, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s estate and film rights to the characters, the pronunciation of Moriarty’s name, Curt Siodmak’s contributions, culture changes in relation to the characters, the attention to detail, Terence Fisher’s career, other versions of Sherlock Holmes, Hans Sohnker as Moriarty, the dubbing, expressionistic touches, the longevity of Sherlock Holmes, Holmes’ fighting background and disguises, memorable plots, deathtraps, the confrontation between Holmes and Moriarty, the look of the new transfer, camp voices and accents, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s background, unbelievable plot elements, sequel potential, and the film’s ending. Tony Dalton’s interview with Terence Fisher is audio-only. They discuss his work film by film, including The Curse of Frankenstein, Horror of Dracula, The Mummy, Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Dracula: Prince of Darkness, The Devil Rides Out, and Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell. In Tony’s follow-up interview, which was recorded via Zoom during the pandemic, he talks about meeting Terence Fisher on the set of Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell, getting to know his family after his death, writing a book about him, his career, working at Hammer, and various Hammer films and beyond.

DISC FIVE: THEATRE MACABRE (BD)

  • Intro (HD – 1:49)
  • First Love (HD – 25:46)
  • The Man Who Demoralized Hadleyburg (HD – 25:38)
  • The Tortures of Hope (HD – 25:36)
  • Mateo Falcone (HD – 25:43)
  • The Vampire (HD – 25:42)
  • The Swashbuckler (HD – 25:46)
  • The Actress (HD – 25:39)
  • The System of Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether (HD – 25:41)
  • The Rajah’s Diamond (HD – 25:42)
  • The Nose (HD – 25:48)
  • Tell Tale Hearts (HD – 25:40)
  • Markheim (HD – 25:41)

The Intro is a promotional piece shot on the set of Theatre Macabre for the program itself, explaining what it is and what it entails—likely for possible foreign distribution.

DISC SIX: THEATRE MACABRE (BD)

  • The Barrel Organ (HD – 25:44)
  • The Canterville Ghost (HD – 25:44)
  • Decameron (HD – 25:42)
  • A Matter of Conscience (HD – 25:41)
  • The Husband Under the Bed (HD – 25:50)
  • Pavoncello (HD – 25:40)
  • A Song of Triumphant Love (HD – 25:46)
  • The Postmaster (HD – 25:44)
  • A Terribly Strange Bed (HD – 25:40)
  • The Fatalist (HD – 25:39)
  • Resurrection of the Offland (HD – 25:41)
  • Boarded Window (HD – 25:38)

DISC SEVEN: THE TORTURE CHAMBER OF DR. SADISM (BD)

  • Audio Commentary with Nathaniel Thompson and Troy Howarth
  • Audio Interview with Karin Dor (HD – 25:22)
  • Drehorte: Film Locations 1967-2020 (HD – 7:41)
  • Theatrical Trailer (Upscaled SD – 3:13)
  • Teaser Trailer (HD – 1:11)
  • Die Schlangengrub-Die Burg Des Grauens Super 8 Short (Upscaled SD – 16:44)
  • Die Schlangengrub Des Grafen Dracula Super 8 Short (Upscaled SD – 16:03)
  • Poster Gallery (HD – 8 in all)
  • Behind the Scenes Still Gallery (HD – 30 in all)
  • Restoration Gallery (HD – 14 in all)
  • Easter Egg (HD – 1:50)

In the audio commentary, once again with Nathaniel Thompson and Troy Howarth, they discuss how they became familiar with the film, the prologue sequence, each version of the film’s score, alternate versions, the cast and crew, Carl Lange playing two roles, various and confusing titles for European horror films and the film’s place within that milieu, the fairy tale aspects of the film, the look of the film, Peter Thomas’ score, the style of the film, the film’s content in comparison to other similar horror films, post-dubbing, Christopher Lee’s Krimi films, his other non-horror films and TV shows, other Pendulum-related films, building tension into the ending, and director Harald Reinl’s career. The audio interview with Karin Dor is in German with English subtitles and is a career overview of the actress. Drehorte features Markus Wolfe comparatively showing us the filming locations. Besides the German theatrical trailer, the teaser trailer is more of a showcase for the film’s restoration by M-Square Classics and UCM.ONE. The Easter egg can be found by pressing left when Teaser Trailer is selected, which will bring up a small title card for the film. Clicking it will reveal an alternate opening credit sequence for the film with the title Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism. Die Schlangengrub-Die Burg Des Grauens (The Death Pendulum Castle of Horror) and Die Schlangengrub Des Grafen Dracula (Count Dracula’s Pit of Snakes) are German language Super 8 digest versions of the film. The still galleries mostly consist of pictures of the film’s restoration in progress. Not carried over from the Legend House DVD release is the audio commentary with Chris D. and Wyatt Doyle, and the Gore Beat: Euro Trash Title Mania featurette. Not carried over from the German M-Square Classics Blu-ray release is an audio commentary with Gerd Naumann, Christopher Klaese, and Matthias Kunnecke; a reconstruction slideshow; four archival German TV reports; and 18 tracks of Peter Thomas’ score on a separate CD.

DISC EIGHT: RELICS FROM THE CRYPT (BD)

  • Horror!!! (HD – 16:29)
  • Behind the Mask: Christopher Lee Remembers Boris Karloff (HD and Upscaled SD – 35:05)
  • 1976 Belgian TV Interview with Christopher Lee (Upscaled SD – 54:38)
  • Colin Grimshaw Interviews Christopher Lee (Upscaled SD – 16:23)
  • David Del Valle Interviews Christopher Lee (HD and Upscaled SD – 27:16)
  • Monsters and Vampires: The Film Books of Alan Frank (HD – 18:11)
  • The Crypt Keepers (HD – 35:01)
  • O Sole Mio/It’s Now or Never with Optional Commentary (Upscaled SD – 3:52)
  • She’ll Fall for Me with Optional Commentary (Upscaled SD – 4:31)
  • Interview Outtakes from To the Devil… a Daughter and Theatre of Death (HD – 19:16)
  • University College Dublin 2011 Q&A (HD – 18:19)

Relics from the Crypt is a catch-all of various behind-the-scenes materials and interviews pertaining to Christopher Lee and his career. It’s worth noting that this disc supports a Play All option, meaning that you can watch everything straight through if you so choose. Horror!!! is a 1964 Swiss documentary short by Pierre Koralnik about various horror film creations, featuring exclusive interviews with Boris Karloff, Roy Ashton, Roger Corman, Vincent Price, and Christopher Lee. Boris talks about the make-up for Frankenstein’s Monster and we get a glimpse behind-the-scenes on the set of The Masque of the Red Death and The Gorgon. It’s presented mostly in French with English subtitles. Behind the Mask is sourced from an unfinished 1991 piece by Ian Rough. The original tapes are unfortunately lost, so a timecoded version had to be used. Lee discusses Karloff at length, including his career, his admiration for him, his friendship with him, and their shared love of the craft of acting. Next is a Cinescope recording of a 1976 Belgian TV interview with Christopher Lee by Selim Sasson. Following that is another interview with Lee by Mark Caldwell and Colin Grimshaw in 1975 during the filming of To the Devil... a Daughter. Next is an interview with David Del Valle who speaks about meeting Christopher Lee for the first time. He goes on to read excerpts from his interview with him, and then we’re treated to a 1985 audio interview with him. In Monsters and Vampires, pioneering horror film historian Alan Frank (author of the world-famous Horror Movies: Tales of Terror in the Cinema, among others) is interviewed, sharing his memories of his career and how he did what he did. The Crypt Keepers is a making-of featurette devoted to the making of Crypt of the Vampire. It features interviews with writer Ernesto Gastaldi, writer and assistant director Tonino Valerii, and film historian Fabio Melelli. O Sole Mio/It’s Now or Never and She’ll Fall for Me are music videos for song duets between Lee and Gary Curtis, featuring optional audio commentary by the latter. The interview outtakes for the To the Devil… a Daughter and Theatre of Death DVD releases featuring Christopher Lee were conducted by David Gregory in 2001. Finally, the Q&A comes from an appearance by Lee at the University College Dublin Law Society who honored him with an Honorary Life Membership in 2011.

DISC NINE: CASTLE OF THE LIVING DEAD SOUNDTRACK (CD)

  1. Il Castello Dei Morti Vivi (Titoli) (1:39)
  2. Esecuzione Ed Apparizione (2:53)
  3. Il Conte Drago (2:23)
  4. Il Castello Dei Mori Vivi (Ripresa) (1:47)
  5. Presenze (2:45)
  6. Orribile Segreto (1:52)
  7. Amore Nel Terrore (1:24)
  8. Una Spinetta Nella Notte (1:27)
  9. Corpi Pietrificati (3:56)
  10. Misteri Della Cripta (2:52)
  11. Tenebroso (1:49)
  12. Gli Orrori Del Conte Drago (2:43)
  13. Occhi Diabolici (2:57)
  14. Marionette Vive (1:35)
  15. Nostalgia E Tensione (1:26)
  16. Atmosfera Infernale (3:34)
  17. Mainero Maledetto (3:30)
  18. Senza Via Di Fuga (3:32)
  19. Epilogo Minuetto (2:02)
  20. Il Castello Dei Morti Vivi (Finale) (1:16)

Also included in this set is a 98-page booklet entitled Christopher Lee: The Continental Connection by Jonathan Rigby. In it, he details Christopher Lee’s career across Europe and beyond. It’s also stuffed with many behind-the-scenes photographs, promotional stills, posters, and lobby cards. Each disc is housed in separate black amaray cases, aside from the CD soundtrack and Relics from the Crypt discs which are housed next to the Castle of the Living Dead and Challenge the Devil discs respectively. Relics from the Crypt is also provided a small card detailing its content, which is tucked away inside next to it. All of this material is packaged within a rigid slipcase in which the top can be removed to access what’s inside. All in all, it’s a beautiful set.

After their Al Adamson: The Masterpiece Collection and The Dungeon of Andy Milligan boxed sets, both of which are incredibly exhaustive, it’s hard to imagine Severin Films being able to top themselves. However, they’ve managed to do so with The Eurocrypt of Christopher Lee Collection. It’s a jam-packed release with not just interesting and entertaining films, most of which have been rarely if ever available, but also a bevy of amazing bonus content. Highlights include all of the audio commentaries, the Castle of the Living Dead soundtrack, the first-ever release of Theatre Macabre, the Paul Maslansky interview, and the Horror!!! and Behind the Mask shorts. This is an amazing release and it belongs on any self-respecting horror fan’s shelf. Highly recommended!

The Eurocrypt of Christopher Lee Collection (Blu-ray Disc)

- Tim Salmons

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