The Castle of the Carpathians

The Castle of the Carpathians. Tajemství hradu v Karpatech.


Today I saw it again: my most beloved Czechoslovak movie, made in 1981, directed by Oldřich Lipský. The comedy was inspired by the great Jules Verne’s novel, book 37 in the Voyages Extraordinaires series. The parody of the classic horror films is set in 1897, the year the Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula was published.

The tenor Count Felix Teleke von Tölökö (Michal Dočolomanský) and the opera diva Salsa Verde (Evelyna Steimarová) are imprisoned in the forbidding castle of Baron Gorc from Gorc, an obsessed opera fan (Miloš Kopecký). The villagers from High Werewolfville, truly colorful characters, are convinced that the devil occupies the mysterious castle.

The opera houses, costumes and composers are at the center of the romantic plot. The film embodies unusually funny, but also coherent structure based on an intricate series of allusions to the ancient Orpheus–Eurydice myth.

Higly recommended: the bizzare inventions of the crazy professor, mad scientist Orfánik (Rudolf Hrušinský) – his TV or recording machines are all crafted in opulent art deco style with attractive shapes.

Simply put, this is one of the funniest movies ever made in the middle of Europe. A genuine classic, and its nonsense plot is part of its unique charm. You must see this definitive pulp horror comedy before you die!

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