The tomb of the dead women

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German title The tomb of the dead women
Original title Devils of Darkness
Country of production United Kingdom
original language English
Publishing year 1965
length 82 minutes
Age rating FSK 16
Director Lance Comfort
script Lyn Fairhurst
production Tom Blakeley
music Bernie Fenton
camera Frank Drake
cut John Trumper

The Crypt of the Dead Women (original title: Devils of Darkness , alternative title: Das Teufelsritual ; Talisman ) is a British horror film from 1965 by Lance Comfort . It was produced by Tom Blakeley . The main role was played by William Sylvester .



Count Sinistre is buried in the cemetery in a small village in Brittany. An engagement party is taking place nearby. Sinistre, a vampire , flies out of his grave as a bat. He bites Tania, the bride, who dies because of it. After she is buried, Sinistre takes human form. He lets Tania rise from the dead and makes her his bride and servant.

Main storyline

The writer Paul Baxter is on vacation with Anne and her brother Keith in a village in Brittany . When Keith finds two coffins on a cave excursion, he is attacked from behind and murdered by Count Sinistre, a vampire . When Keith's body is found shortly afterwards, Sinistre is also at the scene and comforts Anne.

While walking with Sinistre on a river bridge, Anne notices that his reflection cannot be seen in the water. Sinistre then kills her, losing a talisman. Paul learns of Anne's death and finds this talisman on the bridge. After the autopsy of Keith and Anne's bodies, he is told that they have died in accidents. Paul doesn't want to believe this and decides to send the bodies to London, where they should be examined again.

Count Sinistre holds an occult ceremony with his servants . He demands the replacement of his talisman. Paul meets model Karen Steele at a party. The two talk and get closer. Later that evening, Sinistre surprised Karen at her apartment. He bites her neck because he wants to make her his new bride. When Paul calls Karen the next morning, he can't reach her. Paul learns from the newspaper that the bodies of Keith and Anne disappeared without a trace on the way to London. So he goes to Dr. Robert Kelsey, to whom he reports the events. Robert then tells him that there are rumors in the village about occult rituals and a demon that could be related.

During the night Sinistre paints a picture of Karen lying lightly on a bed. Sinistres bride and servant Tania walks into the room and becomes suspicious. She sends Karen away. Sinistre tells Tania not to worry.

Meanwhile, Paul finds out about occultism and black magic in the library . He decides to borrow a book about talismans, but is refused because it is very rare and is not lent. Later he finds the picture of Karen, which he takes to his hotel room. The next day, when Paul went to the library, the book suddenly disappeared without a trace. Tania stole it, removes the page about Count Sinistre and tries to burn it. However, when she learns that Sinistre wants to make Karen his new bride, she takes the page out of the fire and secretly burns a cross on Karen's back so that Sinistre can no longer marry her. She slits the painting of Karen open with a knife and blood runs out. Then she leaves the book page and disappears.

Paul finds the page and takes it to the police. He tells Inspector Malin about the book. On this Tania left a note that Karen was kidnapped by Sinistre and that she is in a bar. Together they storm the bar. A trap door leads to a dark crypt where Count Sinistre is holding a wedding ceremony with his servants and Tania. Tania shows Sinistre the cross on Karen's back, whereupon lightning strikes the fireplace and the whole room burns. The tomb collapses and all of Sinistre's servants, including Tania, are slain by boulders. Paul and Inspector Malin save Karen. The fleeing Sinistre burns down to the skeleton in front of Karen's eyes .


Tom Blakeley became a film producer like his father John Blakeley . In 1962 he turned the Planet Films label into a production company. Together with Bill Chalmers and director Lance Comfort he made several films of different genres, such as the crime thriller The Drawn (1963), the horror film The Crypt of Dead Women (1965) or the science fiction film Insel des Schreckens (1966).

Cut pads

On July 1, 1964, the film was submitted to the British Board of Film Classification , which was disturbed by a scene in which a scantily clad woman is dancing with a snake. The proposal to shorten this scene was accepted.

Theatrical release

It wasn't until September 1965 that the film finally found its way into English cinemas, but without a premiere. Usually it was shown in a double pack with other films, such as B. The curse of the fly (1965) or Mondo di notte - World without shame (1963). But at least with success. Leslie Berens , managing director of Planet-Filmverleih, was delighted with the magazine Daily Cinema about an "excellent deal" given a "considerable number of venues". While The Devil's Ritual had already started in the USA in May 1965, it was first performed in Germany on August 30, 1968.


"Simple-minded horror tale garnished with a little sex."

"Somewhat solidly staged, content-wise naive 60s cowl horror that knows how to entertain with the additional vampire theme."

- Frank Trebbin :


The Titan Video label released Die Gruft der toten Frauen on VHS in Germany for the first time in the uncut version with a release from the age of 16 under the title Das Teufelsritual . The label Mike Hunter released the film in a version cut by approx. 2 minutes on VHS, once with a black insert and once with a white insert under the title Crypt of the Dead Women . On August 21, 2008 EMS released the film for the first time in Germany in the series Der phantastische Film under the title Die Gruft der Toten Frauen in the uncut, restored version on DVD .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Info ( Memento of the original from July 22, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. on  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. Booklet of the first edition of the German DVD from EMS
  3. The Tomb of the Dead Women. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  4. Frank Trebbin: Fear sits next to you . 1st edition. Schönwalde 1998, ISBN 3-929234-03-3 , p. 820 . Review on page 251
  5. ^ Entry on the German video cassette from Titan Video in the online film database
  6. ^ Entry on Mike Hunter's German video cassette (black insert) in the online film database
  7. ^ Entry on Mike Hunter's German video cassette (white insert) in the online film database
  8. ^ Entry on DVD from EMS in the online film database