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Desperate to retrieve a winning lottery ticket, a greedy baron unearths his father's corpse. An enormous jackpot is his reward, but not without a price: his face is frozen permanently into a hideous grin. He enlists his fiendish one-eyed servant to help him lift this horrible curse, but their schemes fail. Finally, he turns to a noted neurosurgeon - and his wife's former lover - to cure him.
William Castle's tribute to the gothic horrors of the 1930s is a ghoulish spin on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by way of Eyes Without a Face. The mysterious Baron Sardonicus (Guy Rolfe) lives in a lonely Central European castle, hiding his face behind a mask and his sadism behind aristocratic manners. Neither remains hidden for long as he pressures a London doctor (Ronald Lewis) into working miracles on his hideously disfigured face. Oskar Homolka steals the film as the Baron's loyal, long-suffering servant Krull, who wields surgical knives and slimy leeches in his reign of torture. Castle, less a stylist than a showman, has little feeling for mood but knows how to stage a shock and spring a gimmick, and this film features a doozy: the audience-participation "Punishment Poll," hosted by Castle himself in a clever (if improbable) break before the film's satisfyingly devious finale. --Sean Axmaker
Spoiler alert - don't read this if you want plot surprises.
The nasty doc and his wife don't get along well. Read more
One of William Castles' BEST! Great story, great ending. I can remember seeing it in the theater and being issued a polling card for the ending of the movie.Published 15 months ago by Ronald oleksiak
My poor wife, who has to put up with watching my collection of B-horror movies from the mid 50s to mid 60s from time to time should really be the judge on this one. Read morePublished 15 months ago by RAM
I don't know why this film hasn't attracted more attention. The writing is out of this world good. The acting is the same. It's as perfect as any film you'll see. Read morePublished 16 months ago by hugh parker
a doctor receives a letter from a woman who he knew years ago. she is married to a man who wears a mask to hide his disfigured face and needs the doctor's help for her husband. Read morePublished on July 24, 2013 by sjlennon
I had seen this movie as a young girl and that's in the 50's and this was well done, for those days. Read morePublished on July 1, 2013 by Joan Vincent
I am very pleased with this DVD, especially because it was produced by William Castle. He put a lot of his own personal heart and soul into all the work he did.Published on June 22, 2013 by Kenneth M.