Gothic Steele: An Angel for Satan (1966)

January 28, 2022 | By

Between 1960-1968, Barbara Steele appeared in 10 Gothic thrillers during her tenure as one of Italy’s major horror stars, but after migrating to the United States, her career downshifted to a more eclectic mix of TV and feature films, but it is her work in Italy for which she remains a genre icon, and one of cinema’s most alluring faces.

An Angel for Satan / Un angelo per Satana (1966) is also one of her least-seen films outside of Europe, yet it features one of her best performances as a young heiress who returns to her childhood estate, and the possibility that sudden personality shifts may be attributed to a cursed stature which her guardian had ordered dragged up from the murky lakefront waters to be restored by a young sculptor.

Folded into the puzzling story is a handsome artisan smitten by the heiress in good girl mode, and the townsfolk and servants soon to be afflicted by her quixotic personality. Director Camillo Mastrocinque specialized in comedies and made just a few horror films, but his approach is exquisitely classical in spite of embracing the story’s bawdy visuals and the sadistic behaviour of its heroine.

Severin’s Blu-ray is a lovely presentation, and features two strong commentary tracks, and a rare short film which doesn’t appear in Steele’s filmography. I’ll dig back and post a follow-up review of The Long Hair of Death (1965), also from Severin, but coming next is Agusti Villaronga’s 99.9 (1997) from Cult Epics.

Thanks for reading,



Mark R. Hasan, Editor

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