The Reincarnation of Isabel (1973)


The movie The Reincarnation of Isabel (1973), also known as Black Magic Rites, is a horror film directed by Renato Polselli. The story revolves around a group of vampires who keep the body of a witch, Isabella Drupel, in a castle cellar. They require virgin blood to resurrect her. In the late-1300s, the beautiful and innocent Isabella is tortured and burned at the stake for supposed witchcraft, in front of her lover who swears revenge. Several hundred years later, the well-off Jack Nelson and his niece, Laureen, celebrate the latter’s engagement at their newly-acquired and fully renovated castle, unbeknownst to them that in the château’s dank cellar, evil occultists participate in ancient black magic rites, sacrificing youthful virgins. What are their intentions? Is Laureen next in line? 12

The cellar of the local cursed castle is where Satanists are cutting out the hearts and drinking the blood of virgins in order to keep alive their Great Mistress Isabella. They currently await “the 25th moon”, when Isabella (chained to a wall and with a big hole in her chest) will be able to fully reincarnate in another body3

Neither the stories about the castle being the site of the Inquisition, nor the heartless village virgins being found all over, nor the fact that some odd occultist and his servant are also living in the castle, phases Jack Nelson, the castle’s new owner. In fact, one of the first things Jack does is to throw an engagement party for niece Laureen who is marrying a local boy, Richard Brenton. Jack doesn’t care about the castle’s notoriety because he is actually Count Dracula, and he’s been waiting 500 years for the day when his beloved Isabella will return to him. He doesn’t care about the occultist either, because it was he who helped remove Isabella’s body from the stake all those years ago. In fact, many of the male guests are also vampires who have been awaiting Isabella’s return, and most of the female guests are reincarnations of the same girls who were shouting “Burn the witch!” all those years ago when Isabella was suffering[1]


  • Mickey Hargitay as Jack Nelson
  • Rita Calderoni as Isabella/Laureen
  • Raoul Lovecchio as Occultist
  • Christa Barrymore as Christa
  • Consolata Moschera
  • William Darni as Richard Brenton
  • Max Dorian as Doctor
  • Marcello Bonini Olas as Gerg
  • Cristina Perrier as Glenda
  • Stefania Fassio as Steffy
  • Gabriele Bentivoglio as Priest
  • Vittorio Fanfoni
  • Anna Ardizzone
  • Marisa Indice


The movie was considered lost for decades until it appeared in 1998 on an Italian video in a 55-minute-long version. It was later released to home video by the British home video label Redemption under the titles The Reincarnation of Isabel and Black Magic Rites [2]


  • “The amazing thing about The Reincarnation of Isabel is that it makes absolutely no sense even though one of the characters takes a good five or ten minutes to explain everything for us! And I don’t believe the sometimes sketchy translations of the subtitles are to blame. ” – 1000 Mispent Hours


1000 Mispent Hours

Grindhouse Database

Last updated byCody Meirick on November 5, 2023