Castle took a rare venture into period horror for this 19th century-set chiller about a baron who inhabits a remote castle in far-off Gorslava, and whose eerie mask hides a ghoulish mystery. Veteran fantasy-horror writer Ray Russell (The Premature Burial and “X” – The Man with X-Ray Eyes) adapted his own short story for the screen, with Ronald Lewis playing an English surgeon with a penchant for massage who has the unenviable task of treating the sinister Baron Sardonicus (Guy Rolfe). The supporting cast includes the great character actor Oskar Homolka (I Remember Mama, Funeral in Berlin) as Krull, the baron’s brutish servant with a fondness for leeches. For this Gothic, fog-drenched chiller, Castle created the “Punishment Poll,” which supposedly gave audiences the chance to choose between two different endings to decide the Baron’s ultimate fate, although only one ending was actually produced.
1961, 90 minutes, black and white, 35mm | Produced and directed by William Castle; written by Ray Russell, based on his short story "Sardonicus"; with Oscar Homolka, Ronald Lewis, Audrey Dalton, Guy Rolfe, Vladimir Sokoloff.