It’s been an interesting year for fans of the darkest diva, who celebrates her 70-Something birthday this month.

February brought news of Steele’s involvement in a new feature film by director Jonathan Zarantonello, entitled The Butterfly Room. Zarantonello’s film casts Steele in the role of Ann, a lonely lady who lives with her memories and her butterfly collection. Ann however has many macabre secrets, and this author for one can’t wait to find out just what they are!
The Butterfly Room features a memorable cast including “scream queens” Heather Langenkamp and Camille Keaton.
Release date to be announced.

For those with an interest in Steele’s back catalog, 2010 saw a number of screenings in cinemas around the globe. Of note, L’armata Brancaleone (For Love and Gold), Lo spettro (The Ghost), Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2 and La maschera del demonio (Black Sunday). The latter two in festival appearances; FELLINI! A Complete Retrospective, at the National Museum of Singapore, and ‘Immortal Seduction: the Vampire Movie’, at the Art Gallery New South Wales, Australia.

On the smaller screen a highlight of 2010 was Steele’s appearance on Mark Gatiss’ wonderful, and very personal, A History of Horror on BBC4. Interviewed by Gatiss, Steele spoke enthusiastically of Black Sunday, Pit and the pendulum and Shivers. Steele appears in two of the three episodes, though for this author more Barbara Steele and less 70s US horror would have been welcome!
The first of the three A History of Horror episodes: Frankenstein Goes to Hollywood. is due to screen again on Thursday, 30th December 2010 at 01:10 (UK time) on BBC Four.

A History of Horror, Barbara Steele and Mark Gatiss. ©BBC 2010

A History of Horror, Barbara Steele and Mark Gatiss. ©BBC 2010




In June came Dark Shadows – The Night Whispers, an Audiobook featuring Steele in a small role along side John Karlen and Jonathan Frid. The audio drama is based on the classic ABC-TV series which was later revived in the late 90s with Barbara Steele in the role of Dr. Julia Hoffman.
In the Audiobook Frid takes the role of Barnabas Collins, a part he last played in 1971.
The audiobook is available on CD or by direct download from Big Finish.

Dark Shadows - The Revival Series soundtrack

Dark Shadows - The Revival Series soundtrack

Remaining with Dark Shadows, July saw Screen Archives Entertainment release a two disc special edition of the Dark Shadows Revival Series soundtrack by Bob Cobert. Available for the first time on compact disc, the album includes new versions of several original themes and a color booklet with rare photographs. More information and sample tracks.

The Boneyard Collection, a horror anthology by Edward L. Plumb and L.J. Dopp received some publicity too. Steele filmed a sequence for this independent film back in 2007. Unfortunately no cable or art house release seems to have materialised. Let’s hope The Boneyard Collection surfaces in 2011.


In the DVD arena releases of note included Fermante Il Mondo… Voglio Scendere! (Stop the World, I Want to Get Off!), Lo spettro (The Ghost) and Piranha on Blu ray.

A film recalled by Steele herself, the somewhat off beat and decidedly obscure, Fermante Il Mondo… Voglio Scendere! is a welcome debut to DVD from General Video, Italy.
Made in 1968, the film provides a wonderful snapshot of chic 60s fashion and decor.
The print from General Video appears crisp and vibrant, and likely an improvement over the VHS video releases available prior to this DVD.
Such a pity no English subtitles are included!

Barbara Steele in Fermate Il Mondo... Voglio Scendere!

Barbara Steele in Fermate Il Mondo... Voglio Scendere!


Artus - Le Spectre du professeur Hichcock

Artus - Le Spectre du professeur Hichcock

Lo spettro (The Ghost) also gained a European release. Published under the French title Le Spectre du professeur Hichcock, the Region 2 disc from Artus Films promises an improved viewing experience over existing public domain titles and the official Region 0 Alpha Video disc.

The Artus disc, which offers an English language track is thought to use the same source material as Retromedia’s well regarded 2004 Region 1 release.
Some reviewers however have noted a preference for the older disc.
For a DVD comparison of these two DVDs visit DVD Freak.

Shout! Factory - Piranha Blu ray

Shout! Factory - Piranha Blu ray

2010 also saw Joe Dante’s killer fish feature Piranha make it onto Blu-ray disc. Aside from Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2, this is possibly the only Barbara Steele Blu ray available. The disc features a sharp, well received anamor­phic trans­fer and includes a fascinating com­men­tary track by Dante and producer Jon Davison. Publisher Shout! Factory have also released Piranha on DVD.

The Shout! Factory discs are without a doubt the best way to see this cult 70s horror – go buy!