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Universal Horror Collection Vol 6 Main

Universal Horror Collection: Volume 6 - The Black Castle Blu-ray Review

Written by ZigZag

Blu-ray released by Scream Factory

Universal Horror Collection Volume 6 Large

Directed by Nathan Juran
Written by Jerry Sackheim
1952, 82 minutes, Not Rated
Released on August 25th, 2020

Starring:
Richard Greene as Sir Ronald Burton (aka Richard Beckett)
Boris Karloff as Dr. Meissen
Stephen McNally as Count Karl von Bruno
Paula Corday as Countess Elga von Bruno
Lon Chaney Jr. as Gargon
John Hoyt as Count Steiken

Universal Horror Collection Volume 6 01 Universal Horror Collection Volume 6 02

Review:

When two of his best friends disappear following a confrontation with Count Karl von Bruno, Sir Ronald Burton fears the worst. He arranges to participate in a hunt on the Count’s property under the alias Richard Beckett. Beckett seeks proof that his friends were here and hopes to bring the Count to justice. Upon arrival, he meets the lovely Countess Elga von Bruno and believes she may be a willing ally, as her marriage is anything but happy. Also at the castle we meet the eccentric Dr. Meissen, who appears secretive and conflicted. The Count welcomes Beckett to the hunt and shows off his caged African leopard as the top prize of the day. Elga disapproves of the event, finding it cruel to the animal.

Beckett snoops around the castle and gets caught by Elga, with whom he takes a chance and confides his suspicions of her husband’s murderous deeds. She agrees to help, but someone lurks in the shadows and overhears his secret. After the hunt Beckett makes an easy exit from the castle the following morning, but soon receives word that the Countess is in danger and he must return immediately. By now, the Count has been informed of Beckett’s deceit and is prepared to punish his actions. The castle is full of danger, including a dungeon, a pit of hungry alligators and an intimidating brute named Gargon, who lives to serve the Count.

The Black Castle is something of a departure for the studio that gave us a decade of classic monsters. There are no supernatural creatures or spirits to contend with this time, just a cruel aristocrat and his minions. Directed by Nathan Juran (The 7th voyage of Sinbad), the film does offer some impressive atmosphere, rich with the stark lighting and all the imposing shadows that come with the territory. Genre fans will happily welcome familiar faces Boris Karloff (The Black Cat) and Lon Chaney Jr. (Man Made Monster) in the supporting roles of Dr. Meissen and Gargon respectively. Richard Greene (Tales from the Crypt) stars as Richard Beckett and does well in the role of hero while Stephen McNally (Black Gunn) is equally impressive as his foe, Count von Bruno. Paula Corday (The Body Snatcher) is also appealing as the determined Countess Elga. This is more of a mystery/thriller than a straight-up horror vehicle, but it does contain some genuinely creepy elements to be sure.

 Universal Horror Collection Volume 6 03 Universal Horror Collection Volume 6 04

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