Among the jewels of the rich store of Czechoslovak fairy tale motion pictures are two stylish undertakings from director Juraj Herz marked by a fondness for classic horror stories: Panna a netvor (The Virgin and the Monster) and Deváté srdce (The Ninth Heart) both from 1978. The two films, with cinematography from cameraman Jiří Macháně and music from composer Petr Hapka, shared a budget and partially drew on the same scenery Vladimír Labský created the sets at Barrandov film studio; in the same year they were also used in the shooting of two other films, namely Tajemství Ocelového města (The Secret of the Steel Town, 1978) and Kočičí princ (Cat Prince, 1978).
The story, very much cohering around the sensation of horror, relates the tale of a wandering student who must watch over a beautiful princess who is under the spell of an evil sorcerer longing for eternal life. This is a visually captivating picture that attracts us with its close atmosphere as well as fine performances from Ondřej Pavelka and Julie Jurištová. Juraj Kukura proved a success in the role of elegant wizard Aldobrandini.
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