Castle Sinister (lost early British horror film; 1932)

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Castle Sinister.jpg

Except of the review of the movie from the April 1932 edition of Bioscope.

Status: Lost

Castle Sinister is a 1932 British horror film directed by Widgey R. Newman. It was made as a “quota quickie”, which were B-movies made in response to the Cinematographic Films Act of 1927.[1] It was allegedly shown in Liverpool, London, and Manchester in April 1932 and is 50 minutes in length.[2] It is believed to be one of the earliest examples of a British horror movie featuring a "mad scientist" type character, in addition to being one of the earliest British horror films.[3]


What little is known about the plot of Castle Sinister comes from reviews from the magazines Bioscope and Kenitograph Weekly. According to a review from the April 1932 edition of Bioscope, Castle Sinister appears to be a mad scientist movie set in an old castle. The review states that the movie is:

"The story of a young man's adventures in a large country mansion with a scientist who is engaged in forwarding his theory that rejuvenation by the transfer of certain glands is more than a possibility. A girl is, of course, involved to supply the necessary love interest, and a misshapen creature, victim of the scientist, supplies the thrills."[4]

Another synopsis was given by the Kenitograph Weekly, stating that:

"Ronald Kemp, visiting a remote castle, is pressed by his host, a professor, to stay the night. In the course of it, Ronald meets Jean, who entreats him to help her father, who is kept under observation by the professor. This intercourse is watched by an ape-like monster, who jealously attacks Ronald. Jean summons the professor to help; instead he threatens to use Jean for his experiments in brain grafting. The monster then attacks and kills the professor. Jean’s father is freed, and she and Ronald join him in leaving Castle Sinister."[5]


Castle Sinister was received poorly by critics at the time. Bioscope stated that Castle Sinister was so "theatrically stages, poorly mounted and lighted and acted with such amateurism that it never for a moment convinces."[6] The Kenitograph Weekly was equally as kind, stating that the film might appeal to an "uncritical audience."[7]


No footage, trailers, stills, or even posters of Castle Sinister are known to survive, and little information exists.

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