Katarsis (1963)

79m, 87m
35mm film, black and white
mono, Italian

An Italian horror film directed by Giuseppe Veggezzi using the pseudonym Joseph Vegh.

Plot Summary

Six young people find themselves at an apparently abandoned castle where they meet a man who claims to have sold his soul to the devil to keep the woman he loves forever young.


Directed by: Joseph Vegh [real name: Giuseppe Veggezzi]
I Films della Mangusta
Producer: Fernando Cerqua
Written by: Joseph Vegh [real name: Giuseppe Veggezzi]
Director of Photography: Mario Parapetti
Additional Photography: Angelo Baistrocchi
Editor: Enzo Alfonsi
Music: Berto Pisano
Sound Recordist: Salvatore Gaetano
Costume Designer: Francesco Attenti
Make-up: Giovanni Amadei
Art Directors: Andrea Crisanti, Giuseppe Ranieri

Christopher Lee (Mephistoles)
George Ardisson
Bella Cortez
Ulderico Sciarretta [real name: Ulderico Sciaretta]
Lilly Parker [real name: Lilli Parker]
Anita Dreyver [real name: Anita Dreyer[
Mario Zacarti [real name: Mario Zakarti]
Adriana Ambesi
Eva Gioia
Piero Vida (Padre Peo Remigio)
Ettore Ribotti [real name: Ettore Ribotta]
Sergio Gebello [real name: Sergio Gibello]
Pasquale Basile
Sonia [real name: Sonia Scotti] (Sonia, the singer)

Production Notes

Christopher Lee told Robert W. Pohle Jr and Douglas C. Hart for their book The Films of Christopher Lee that “the film was made in two halves – there were two separate films made and I was supposed to be in one film. It was a very peculiar film, shot in and around Rome. In Catharsis I play the old Faust and in Faust '63 I play Mephistoheles.” He repeated the claim in his autobigraphy Tall Dark and Gruesome (reprinted in revised form as Lord of Misrule), noting that “In its efforts to find itself, the film forked into two films, the sequel being Faust '63.” There was no Faust '63. Lee was clearly misunderstanding the film's production history and somehow remembered a “phantom” film.



  • The Dark Side no.216 (2021) p.4 – illustrated note (The Dark Side horror news by Allan Bryce)


  • Euro Gothic: Classics of Continental Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.132, 136
  • The Films of Christopher Lee by Robert W. Pohle Jr and Douglas C. Hart p.92