Movie #1: Ladrones de Tumbas (Grave Robbers)
Thoughts: Pretty good Friday the 13th inspired supernatural slasher film, with a bit of Freddy thrown in. Following the old "these people bury their relatives loaded down with gold" theory, a group of 20 somethings dig up a grave and find a long forgotten crypt beneath it. While there's plenty of gold, there's also a big dead Satanist buried there who not only wants his stuff back, but to finish his job of impregnating a virgin with Satan's baby. As he works towards his goal people are picked off one by one, more than often off camera than on. Kind of curious how his chosen victim could be considered a virgin since she seemed to be happily married and her husband didn't look the type to just, you know, one day get around to...you know. But it's none of our business and who are we to doubt. Once it gets past the killing the campers in the woods bit it starts to get more interesting, Good climax, good setting and some nice atmosphere really helps.
Movie #2: El Cementerio del Terror (Cemetery of Terror)
Thoughts: Also apparently known as Zombie Apocalypse, which is far more an exciting of a title than it deserves. One thing I hate about horror movies that feature pre teen kids as the focus of all the horror is that the film makers will rarely have anything bad happen to them. I mean, not that I want to see a bunch of kids get killed, buy you know they're not going to kill off any of the kids so you know nothing is really ever going to happen. And this movie did nothing to break that tradition. (I think the remake of the Blob has been the only film to surprise me along these lines) A group of, again, hip 20 years olds have a party in a deserted house and find a satanic book. Being Halloween and with their girlfriends not ready to put out yet they steal a body from the police morgue, take it to the cemetery and start reading from the book. Of course this isn't just ANY old corpse, it's a Michael Myer's clone, right down to the frantic Doctor who the Police will not listen to when he says the guy was more than just an average serial killer. Soon the partiers are dead and some kids are being chased through the cemetery by all the other dead people who have been brought back to life. Nicely filmed and the horror movie stand by Hugo Stiglitz plays the Doctor but over all, just fair.
I think I might have seen your first movie, but just can't remember it. But I have seen the second title. Though, all I remember is Hugo Stiglitz driving around for half the movie with his shirt unbuttoned most of the way. Fun stuff though.
Movie #1: Faceless
This is the most unFranco Franco film I have ever seen. Coherent, lack of nudity, name actors? How can this be and more importantly how have I never seen this movie before? This was a great movie all around, the story, acting and gore were all top notch. Needle in the eye scene is almost up there with Zombie's splinter in the eye. Brigitte Lahie and Caroline Munro in the same movie? Adolescent me would have been in heaven, actually adult me enjoyed it as well, lol. I dug this movie so much I immediately went on ebay afterwards and picked up a set of Spanish lobby cards.
Movie #2: Lorna the Exorcist
This is more the Franco I am used to, a cool little story about selling out to the devil filled with nonsensical plot, lots of sex scenes and the ever lovely Lina Romay. Franco always seems to really get the most out of his location when shooting to build up point of reference and give a trippy atmosphere. The casino on the water's edge really worked well in this film. A young Romay was excellent in this film especially the maniacal laugh at the end. She is usually the one thing you can always count on as being good in a Franco film. Franco films are usually hit or miss with me, but this is two in a row now that I enjoyed from him.
Movie #3: Night of the Sea Gulls
Luckily while traveling in Hong Kong I packed enough movies that wold fall under this month's mission, so why not watch all the Spanish ones I have right now. Yes yes I know, for shame I have never seen this movie before, especially since I love the Blind Dead series so much. As long as the Blind Dead are riding their horses there is not much that can disappoint me in one of Amando De Ossario's films and this one is no different. Looks like the beginning of the movie when the Templars get their eyes burned out was reused from the second Blind Dead film. One thing I did not care for too much in this film was the outside night scenes by the ocean all seemed to be filmed with a haze over the lens, I like to see my Blind Dead nice and crisp. The end when they collapse and the blood pours out of theirs eyes was a nice touch. All in all another fine film to end the Blind Dead series.
Movie #4: Dracula vs. Frankenstein aka Assignment Terror
I watched this at the end of March, but what the hell it was the last Spanish film I brought with me. Unfortunately what could have been a fun little movie was a very poor DVD transfer where a lot of stuff is too dark to see and as a surprise it looks like this was an entry in Paul Nashy's Daninsky series, but instead of being a main character he was only secondary. It was like someone was making a monster movie and just put his character in cause he happened to be on set that day. Always cool to see a movie combine all the monsters, this one had Dracula, Frankenstein's monster, the Mummy and Waldemar Daninsky's werewolf, oh and the mad scientists and space men as well. Someone really needs to clean this movie up and give it a proper release.
Boy Damien...you did double duty on this mission!
FACELESS is a great movie for first time Francos. Like you said, great cast, and plenty enough to keep everyone happy.
I know I've seen LORNA, but it was way too long ago, so it is a bit foggy. Need to put that on the re-watch list.
A Blind Dead movie....how could you go wrong?
Being the huge Naschy fan that I am, it is hard for me to praise ASSIGNMENT TERROR, other than say it is a great all-star monster line up. But like you said, an uncut print that has been remastered, needs to be released.
Name: Craig J. Clark
Movie #1: Licántropo (Francisco Rodríguez Gordillo, 1996)
Thoughts: I used this month's mission as an excuse to watch one of the few Paul Naschy/Waldemar Daninsky films that I hadn't seen yet. (The Beast and the Magic Sword and Tomb of the Werewolf are both still out there, but even if they were readily available to me, neither of them would have qualified.) This one gives him yet another origin story and a new occupation as a bestselling novelist who has a wife and two children -- and apparently no idea that he sprouts fur and fangs every full moon and kills people. (If his lycanthropy has lain dormant all that time, there's no explanation given for why it has suddenly been activated after so long.)
As far as Waldemar is concerned, he's merely suffering from periodic chest pains and nightmares, which his comely doctor assures him will go away as soon as he stops overworking himself, a view echoed by his lawyer wife. There's little chance of that happening, though, when a rash of brutal murders breaks out, stumping the police. Meanwhile, there's a subplot involving Waldemar's teenage daughter, whose friendship with a horror aficionado is not looked kindly upon by his father, the local pessimistic priest. Then there's the ghost of a gypsy chief, who appears to Waldemar to warn him about his curse and later to his doctor when she begins reading up on lycanthropy.
Disappointingly, Gordillo keeps Waldemar's furry form out of frame for far too much of the running time. In fact, el Hombre Lobo doesn't get his first, altogether too fleeting, closeup until the film is nearly half over. (And the second one is just as brief.) Perhaps the greatest crime of all, though, is the CGI-aided transformation in the final reel, which I should have realized was a distinct possibility, but somehow I had hoped that they would have stuck with the old ways. Then again, when an actor is nearing retirement age (as Naschy was at the time of filming), they're less apt to want to spend hours upon hours in a makeup chair.
Movie #2: The Hanging Woman (José Luis Merino, 1973)
Thoughts: My main interest in this one was due to the presence of Paul Naschy in the cast, but he only has a supporting role, which he makes up for by playing a greasy-haired necrophiliac gravedigger named Igor who has the run of a network of well-lit secret passages. Movie roles don't get much more memorable than that. The film's actual star is Stelvio Rosi, who plays the nephew of a count who has died and left him his entire estate -- a state of affairs that doesn't sit too well with the countess, who dabbles in black magic. Other interested parties include the count's business partner, a professor who has a fully stocked laboratory in the basement, the professor's daughter, who would do almost anything to ensure that he'll be able to continue his experiments uninterrupted, and the insolent butler, who is dismissed after getting into a fistfight with Rosi. Then, of course, there's the requisite police inspector, who gets involved when the count's daughter turns up dead, hung by the neck outside the cemetery where he has just been buried.
As befits a horror film from this period, there is a fair bit of gratuitous nudity (all female, of course) which the director doesn't even attempt to justify. He also throws in random story elements (like Naschy's penchant for collecting women's underwear) that have next to nothing to do with the main plot. Speaking of which, an alternate title for this film is Terror of the Living Dead, which makes sense since the professor's experiments run to the reanimation of the dead. Once Rosi uncovers the truth, though, he has a hard time convincing the authorities. "Your story about the walking dead will never stand up," the inspector says, skeptical to the last.
Movie #3: It Happened at Nightmare Inn (Eugenio Martin, 1973)
Thoughts: In contrast, there's nothing too outlandish going on in this film. Just a couple of spinsters who take it upon themselves to relieve their guests of their lives when they're judged to be morally deficient. The first outsider who suspects that something is amiss is tourist Judy Geeson, who was supposed to meet her sister at the inn and becomes suspicious when she's told that her sister has moved on. And her suspicions are confirmed when two more young women go missing -- one for making a spectacle of herself in the village and the other for apparently having a baby out of wedlock -- prompting her to do some poking around in the wine vats in the basement.
Unlike the two sisters, who are more than willing to jump to conclusions based on little evidence, it's difficult for me to judge how effective this film is since the version I saw was edited down to the point of incomprehensibility. There's an 83-minute cut released under the title A Candle for the Devil that apparently represents Martin's original vision, but until I can see that I'll have to mark this one as inc
I remember being so excited when news of a new Naschy werewolf flick was being made. But then feeling so down when I finally got to see it. But we still have his other ones to remember him by. And I would avoid TOMB as long as you can. Ugh...
I remember being disappointed with HANGING WOMAN, only because as you mentioned Naschy wasn't in it that much. But still a fun entry in the Spanish horror.
I would definitely still seek out that uncut version of CANDLE FOR THE DEVIL. I really enjoyed this movie, though it is more subdued than most of the Spanish horror of that time. But does have a very important message of that time period as well, with the way society was changing after being repressed for so long. I really enjoyed this one.
Las Ratas no Duermen de Noche (Rats Don't Sleep At Night) - How could I fulfill this mission and NOT include a Paul Naschy flick? To do any less would be immoral. And actually, I didn't watch Rats Don't Sleep At Night, but a different cut of the movie entitled Crimson, which is an X-Rated cut of Rats Don't Sleep At Night. Except that after watching it, I wondered what the X-Rating was for, and after some research found out that I was watching a "cut" version of Crimson! D-A-M-N!!!
Anyway, this movie was still great! Paul Naschy (credited here as Paul Nash) plays Surnett, a jewelry thief who, after one of his comrades in crime bungles a job, gets mortally wounded in a shoot-out with the police. Having a bullet in the head is no small problem, and after consulting a doctor who refers them to his mad scientist friend, the only way to save Surnet's life is via brain transplant. So, Surnett's "friends" head off to kidnap and murder The Sadist, Surnett's most hated enemy, and after cutting off his head with a train (yes, a train), they transplant part of The Sadist's brain into Surnett's head. But during his recovery, Surnett begins to experience all of The Sadist's perverted desires, and meanwhile, the Saidst's gang is hunting them down . . ..
After finding out that I had bought and watched a cut version of this film, I am no longer so disappointed in the movie's teasing and lack ofhorror, but what I have seen is more than enough to send me in a frenzy to find the uncut version! Great film! Long Live Paul Naschy!
El Orfanato (The Orphanage) - Laura and her husband move back into the orphanage where Laura grew up with their adopted son Simon. Simon has a number of imaginary friends, and is also quite sick and needs daily medication. They plan to turn the place into a special home for children, but after Simon's disappearance, their plans fall apart. Months pass, and Laura cannot find her son. After inviting a medium into her home, she discovers that the orphanage has a dark history that she never knew about, and she needs to follow the clues to find her son..
This sounds like just another ghost story, and in some ways, that's exactly what this is. But as for right now, my words fail me when I attempt to say how powerful this movie is and how deeply it affected me. It was flawlessly made, beautifully shot, and the story-telling style is superb. It takes an old method of building up the suspense and letting the atmosphere and the circumstances create the real horror. If you want to see something special, this is the movie to watch.
To be honest, and this is coming from a die-hard Naschy fan, I don't think there is ANY version or cut of CRIMSON that is entertaining. Yes, it is one of his films so all of us fans have to get through it. But yea....not the best entry in his filmography.
But now THE ORPHANAGE...WOW! I just LOVE this movie. So glad to hear you feel the same way. I remember seeing this in the theater and just being overwhelmed at how good it is. If anybody out there hasn't seen it, get a copy. Don't read anything about it, just watch it. It is incredible.
Steve Sapsford Reporting for Duty
Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (1974)
Now this one may be stretching the rules a little bit. Let Sleeping Corpses Lie is actually a Spanish-Italian Joint set in the UK released in 1974 and boy, does it show.
This movie is drenched in 1970s goodness. Flair pants, knee-high boots, bad hair, full beards, and it even had a streaker in the opening sequence!
The movie opens with our hero George (Ray Lovelock with the most irritating British accent ever) taking a motorcycle trip to Windermere to work on a house that he has purchased. At a gas station, our heroine Edna (Cristina Galbo) accidentally damages George’s motorcycle so he demands she drive him to his destination. After some passive-aggressive banter the two are headed on a journey into the unknown…. well, zombies actually.
George promptly gets lost and breaks the man code by asking for directions from some men who are using an experimental device from the government that uses ultra-sonic sound to cause insects to become aggressive and fight each other to the death. As is the case with such things, unintended consequences ensue and the dead are brought back to life to hunt and kill the living (I hate it when that happens).
If you can get past the cheese and the George’s whining this is actually a pretty good movie. It’s much better than most of the zombie pabulum that is propagating all over the direct to video market today. Considering that it was made nearly 40 years ago, it still holds up fairly well (except for the bell-bottom pants and Peter Frampton hair styles).
George’s Fine Whines & Sarcastic Lines
“Don’t bugger me about!”
“Well you’ll take me there just the same won’t you, it’s the least you can do, right?”
“I’ll drive; I mean we don’t want to go all the way in reverse, do we?”
“Look darling, you don’t have to worry. I mean I’m not going to jump you or something.”
“When we all die, only the scientists will survive” (ED: works for me!)
Bonus: Here’s some of the cool vehicles I spotted in the movie – a Triumph TR4, a Norton Atlas motorcycle, a Morris Mini, a Lotus Elan Sprint, & a Landrover Series IIA.
Movie #2 (and #3)
[Rec] & [REC]2
If you have seen Quarantine (the American remake of REC) you need to see the original. If you have not seen Quarantine; skip it and go straight to REC, it is vastly superior in every respect. In either regard, do not bother even considering thinking about pondering the possibility of watching Quarantine 2. It is utter crap.
I’ve never been a fan of the “found footage shaky cam” style (Blair Witch, Cloverfield) but with REC & REC2 it works. The two movies fit seamlessly together so from now on I’m going to refer to them as RECS. The final scene of REC is the opening scene of REC2.
The plot is fairly straight forward - From IMDB:
“A television reporter and cameraman follow emergency workers into a dark apartment building and are quickly locked inside with something terrifying.”
That something terrifying starts out as a highly contagious mutated form of rabies that causes its victims to attack and infect everyone. Not really zombies, but close.
As RECS progresses, we learn a little more and it becomes apparent that there’s (to quote Bugs Bunny) deviltry afoot.
In my opinion, the major flaw of the American version was the abandonment of the religious / spiritual / occult aspects of RECS.
The acting was excellent, the action was non-stop, the effects were very effective, and the frights were plentiful.
RECS is one (or two) of those movies that makes you jump AND makes you think.
You picked some great titles here, my friend. Especially LET SLEEPING CORPSES. That really is a must see classic. The gore in the film is just amazing, as well as the new twists and traditions that he creates here that we've never see in another zombie film since. Well worth anybody's time...on multiple occasions as well!
The first time I seen [REC], I had no idea what the movie was about. So when the sh*t hit the fan, it completely caught me off guard. And I loved it. Like you, I hate the shaky cam look and way of movies, like the ones you mentioned. But yes, here and in the sequel, it does fit and didn't bother me. I did like the first one better than part 2, if only because it was really a continuation of the first movie. Almost like it was just one long movie that was cut into 2 parts. But still worth seeing both. And looking forward to part 3 as well.
Agreed, I don't think [REC]2 stands as well on its own. However, the way the filmakers edited the movies, watching [REC] immediately followed by [REC]2 is like you said. It's like watching a 3 hour movie - and a good one at that. I'm hopeful that [REC]3 can maintain the level of quality.
Thomas Lee Jr.
first movie:HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB
Thoughts: This was my first Paul Naschy film I've seen hard to believe but true I highly enjoyed this film I found that Paul's love for Universal horror was very influential to him I saw him not rip off the style of Bela's Dracula but paying homage to him. I also enjoyed a part in the film when we saw just his dead Naschy made sure his head did not move, his eyes moved, his mouth moved but his head did not move even when his head was been move from the mantle to his body and the shots of Naschy head and not the fake head Naschy made sure his head did not move. I found this nice for when I seen other films when a head is the only thing left the actors (I'm not caring about sex) they still moved their head no matter how hard they tried not too. I found enjoyable not bad but not too bad ( above average). My problem with foreign horror films is dubbing I know a few Americans have problems with subtitles I do not but dubbing the people who do the voices for the film talk to bland not true emotions if I had heard them talk In their native tongue.
Second film" THE HOUSE THAT SCREAMED
At first my thought was a basic soft porn film I mean a all girls reform school from the 1800's and all the girls are sexually frustrated. you get no nudity only bare backs form these girls. next a major film flaw. a 16 yr. old boy gets trapped in a vent but we don't see how he got out or how he be friends one of the girls. what I did like was the slow motion kills they showed on screen.
and the way they made you think the head school teacher is the killer and finding out it was her son because he made a woman just like her. she was not the killer but she was the monster. these are my films and my thoughts hope they helped in a small way thank you
Thomas...Welcome to the front lines!
Thrilled to hear you took in your first Naschy film and enjoyed it. HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB was also my first taste at Naschy and it made fall in love with this guy's work right away.
HOUSE THAT SCREAMED is a great little Spanish film that has a very heavy Italian influence. Hard to find, but well worth watching.
1) Horror Rises From the Tomb (1972)
"I'll be back." says Paul Naschy (the first Terminator perhaps?) Evil Paul Naschy gets his head chopped off centuries ago and vows to come back in the future and get revenge. He possesses people in 1972 and then kills them. Actually pretty good film. Disturbing, creepy, good fun.
P.S. Paul Naschy = chick magnet.
2) Ghost Galleon (1974) A.K.A, Horror of the Zombies
Following is my version of the script -
Tagline - On a ghost ship- not even Sergio can hear you scream.
1st girl: "Remember that movie where we ran around in bikinis and high heels on a ship?"
2nd girl: "Yeah, yeah, yeah - good times."
1st girl: And all those fake looking skeleton/zombies chasing us around and chanting and don't forget that spooky music that was kinda cool sounding and someone should have oiled all those hinges on the doors."
2nd girl: "Why did we do that again?"
This one really didn't hold my interest (except for the bikini scenes and the one flesh-eating zombie scene) both of which saved the movie from total hatred.
Another soldier checking out Naschy's HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB. As I mentioned above, this was my first Naschy and just loved it. Tons of great fun in there.
There are parts in GHOST GALLEON that I do like, but it did seem to be a bit much to make a whole movie around. Probably my least favorite of the series. But...still worth watching.
Direct from the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival. (Gotta love it when someone programs your Kryptic Army Assignment for you...)
Juan of the Dead (2011) (1st viewing) d. Brugues, Alejandro (Cuba/Spain)
Calling this a Latino Shaun of the Dead is both a spot-on assessment yet a dangerously reductive one, because in the same way that Edgar Wright’s capturing of the London suburban slacker culture proved to be Shaun’s secret weapon, so too does writer/director Brugues immerse the viewer in the pulsing poverty stricken Cuban streets, lending it an unexpected authenticity. Alexis Díaz de Villegas stars as the titular reluctant hero, and don’t be surprised if his superlative turn here – equal parts slapstick clown and noble patriarch – doesn’t launch him into the Hollywood stratosphere a la Simon Pegg. Brugues and cinematographer Carles Gusi paint a leached, anemic landscape, one already dead on the surface, but underneath there is a vibrant array of characters that choose life, whether it be in the face of slow economic death or staggering undead hordes. Packing a surprising emotional wallop, an apolitical viewpoint and side-splitting splatter, Juan is a worthy addition to any walking dead canon. A must see.
Paranormal Experience (aka XP 3D) (2011) (1st viewing) d. Vizcanio, Sergi (Spain)
Five medical school students of varying degrees of obnoxiousness embark on a extra credit field trip to an abandoned mining town supposedly haunted by the spirit of a vicious psychotic doc. It's your standard run-of-the-mill supernatural slasher, with some fair gore effects (and some less successful CGI ones), all done with a Spanish accent and in 3D (the preferred medium of slasher flicks these days, it seems). Not bad, but no need to rush.
As Luck Would Have It (2011) (1st viewing) d. de la Iglesia, Alex (Spain)
Another superb black comedy from the Spanish master of the format, bursting with lively, unique characters and an ingenious central scenario. Unemployed former advertising star Jose Mota (there are constant references to his “spark of life” Coca Cola campaign) is already having a bad day when he fails to get hired by a former friend and discovers the hotel where he and wife Salma Hayek honeymooned has been demolished to make way for a museum. But through a bizarre series of events, the former publicity hound finds himself in a media-magnet life-or-death situation, one that could revive his career even as it threatens his mortality. Another don’t-miss effort from de la Iglesia, following last year’s crazy clown mindfreak, The Last Circus.
Game of Werewolves (aka Lobos de Arga) (2011) (1st viewing) d. Moreno, Juan Martinez (Spain)
I’m sure this catchphrase will be used time and again once writer/director Moreno’s love letter to the Universal classics, Paul Naschy and 80s practical effects makes its way into the public consciousness, so I’m going to seize the opportunity that comes with having seen it first: “Game of Werewolves does for lycanthropes what Shaun of the Dead did for zombies.” There, now I feel better. But in all seriousness, there is much here to favorably compare with Edgar Wright’s instant undead classic: It is first and foremost a situational, character-based comedy – not a spoof – dealing with ordinary characters trapped in extraordinary, supernatural circumstances. In this case, writer Gorka Otxoa returns to his home village coincidentally on the 100th anniversary of the gypsy curse laid upon it. Things get hairy in a hurry, with nary a CGI wolf nor cuddly Twilight boy toy in sight, and the heads roll as fast and furious as the belly laughs. Highly recommended, and one I’ll be rooting for over the next few months to make its way in the world.
Extraterrestrial (2011) (1st viewing) d. Vigalondo, Nacho (Spain)
From the creator of Timecrimes comes this amusing diversion about a couple (Michelle Jenner, Julian Villagran) waking up after a one night stand unable to remember each other, the night before, or when the hell the giant UFOs showed up around the globe. Following his turn as the “sad clown” in Alex de la Iglesias’ The Last Circus, it seems like character man Carlos Ereces is turning into a hot ticket, having shown up already in Game of Werewolves and here as the creepy amorous next door neighbor nursing a yen for luscious Jenner. Very funny comedy that focuses much more on the human interactions than the potential alien threat.
Definitely want to check out JUAN when I get the chance. And really bummed I missed out on GAME OF WEREWOLVES. But it sounds you got more than your share of Hispanic Horror!
Jay Di Santo
Movie 1: REC
I thought this movie had its moments. I am glad that I did not see Quarantine before I saw this one. One of the scary things about it is that it looks something that could happen with a virus or something.
Movie 2: The Others
This one stars Nicole Kidman. It was however written and directed by a Spanish-Chilean director. This one had a different approach to somehow show what "ghosts" might be dealing with.
Hey Jay -
Really enjoyed REC when I first seen it. Completely blew me away, mainly because I had no idea what the movie was about. So nice when that happens.
I remember seeing THE OTHERS in the theater when it first came out and really enjoying it. Loved the ending.
Movie # 1
Fragile: Directed by Juame Balaguero
Calista Flockhart stars as a nurse, hired on for the night shift at Mercy Falls children's hospital. The building is very old and is in the process of being closed down, a handful of children are waiting to be transferred to a more modern facility. In the mean time Mrs. Indiana Jones and the children have to deal with the mechanical girl, a vengeful spirit that haunts the dilapidated second floor.
With it's use of a vengeful ghost as the antagonist, Fragile is similar in tone to the J- horrors like Ju-on and Ringu.
Fragile is aptly titled as there are minds, spirits ,bones and buildings that are all very glasslike and can break at any time. The characters are sketched out to the point where you are still wanting to learn more, but enough has been drawn for you to care for their outcome.
Other than starring as Ally McBeal and being the wife of Han Solo, I havn't seen much of Ms. Flockhart. As nurse Amy she gives a wonderful performance and it looks like a genuine connection between her and the children. The entire cast contributes a fine performance, but for me the century old hospital stole the show. It looked stupendous and added a much appreciated gothic atmosphere. With creaks and moans bellowing through the empty halls this is a place where one feels unwelcome. The mechanical girl herself is a disturbing character, too bad we couldn't spend more time with her.
Fragile does have some decent creepy moments concerning broken bones, wooden blocks and a bed sheet which can make your skin crawl, if you put yourself in the right frame of mind. But directed by one of the two who brought us the excellent REC and REC 2, I was expecting a little more.
Movie # 2
The Sadistic Baron Von Klaus : Directed by Jess Franco
I was beginning to get a little concerned, over an hour into a Franco film and no out of focus shots, no over use of the zoom lens and most disappointing no nudity.Technically this is one of his better films that I have experienced, with it's stunning black and white photography which only adds to the gothic atmosphere that is already present with the use of castles, towers and dungeons.
In the town of Holfen, beautiful young women are being brutally murdered. The superstitious townfolks believe it's a 17th century curse placed by the Baron Von Klaus before succumbing to his death in the swamps surrounding the castle. The local police inspector and a crime magazine writer are concentrating more on the Baron's decendants. Mrs. Von Klaus tells her son of a secret key that leads to a dungeon. She makes him promise to destroy the dungeon and never to return to the castle.
Franco handles the direction admirably as there is quite a lot happening in this film, his choice of lighting, props, sets and his love of jazz music contribute greatly to the tone that is set. Franco creates a tremendous amount of tension and suspense in one scene especially using nothing more than jump shots of a pendulum clock and creaking floor boards.
You know an actor has done his job well when he presents loathesome characters.I found many of the characters to be unlikable, but these were obvious red herrings to throw the viewer off. For some reason a pair of vagrants were used to bring a comedic underline to the story, which I did occasionally find funny but interrupted the over all darker mood that had been set. There is a couple of plot devices that I believe could have been handled better, but over all this Franco film gets my recommendation.
And yes , by the time the film comes to an end , Franco manages to squeeze in some vintage sleaze courtesy of a whip and heated swords.
I can't say enough about Balaguero, and especially his film FRAGILE, which is probably my favorite of his. Always a sucker for good old fashion ghost story. Glad to hear you got to see this one and enjoyed it.
I think a lot of people would be surprised at some of Franco's earlier work, and how good it could be. He really had some incredible films in his career. Just hard to find them sometimes.
(El Espanto Surge De La Tumba) Horror Rises From The Tomb - A devil worshipper, Alaric De Marnac, is executed along with his mistress in the fifteenth century, but not before he places a curse on his brother and all his descendants. In modern day, his descendants return to find his resting place, and in doing so, Alaric is revived, and starts killing people.
This movie was good, not great in my opinion, but good. Excellent acting, it had a great story and a great plotline, but it seemed like it was held back a little. It was like the movie itself was too dry for the acting, if that makes sense. My favorite scene was when that gang was hanging that criminal; I enjoy seeing that backwoods justice ocasionally, and I did enjoy the zombies, too. This movie did pretty much have everything you would enjoy in a horror movie. In my opinion, though, the copious amounts of nudity began to annoy me. I don't mind that odd pair of breasts, but when it's nothing but that, it gets weird. This was my first Paul Naschy film, and I rather enjoyed it.
La Noche Del Terror Ciego (Tombs Of The Blind Dead) - The Knights Templar are excommunicated, hung, and have their eyes eaten by birds after it is revealed that they are engaging in black mass and satanic practices involving blood sacrifices. Now, they come out of their tombs at night, and hunt the living by sound to continue the drinking of human blood.
I thought that this was a great movie. The monsters were excellently done. I didn't like the fact that they traded logic for effect, but it was well-acted. My favorite scene was at the end, after the girl runs the entire distance to the train, and then won't stand up, making the young man drag her into the train, allowing the Blind Dead to board. Pretty bad. I didn't like the rape scene, but who does? Great movie.
Glad to see you took in a little Naschy in this mission. HORROR RISES is one of my favorites of his.
As for the BLIND DEAD, hopefully you'll check out the rest of the films in the series. Granted, they are very similar, but still entertaining.
Name: Ray Ray
Movie # 1: Santa Sangre
Thoughts: A very surreal vision from Alejandro Jodorowsky that would really only qualify as horror because of the final third of the film. I found it a very effective and multi-layered little peek into the psyche of a serial killer. "The elephant is dying" ranks right up there with Yeats' immortal "the centre will not hold." I did, unfortunatly, see the R-rated cut from Netflix, so I'm not sure what, if anything crucial, I missed. Probably just a few seconds of Orgo's acid-destroyed groin.
Movie # 2: Romasanta (listed on Netflix as Werewolf Hunter)
Thoughts: It wasn't intentional for this film pairing to have a common theme as I was completely unaware that this was another serial killer procedural, but that's what I got. Julian Sands is excellent, and the film is easy on the eyes, but the dialogue felt way to contemporary American for my tastes. There are some who compare this movie to Brotherhood of the Wolf, but I found it to be more in the vein of The Honeymoon Killers or From Hell, but not as effective as either. I was also unimpressed with the fade-in/fade-out technique used during the transformation sequence. The Howling and An American Werewolf in London are over 30 years old, people! Get it together!
Had the chance recently to see this is the theater, which was pretty **** cool. Definitely my favorite of Jodorowsky's work.
Also seen ROMASANTA quite some time ago, but don't remember caring for it too much. I know it was suppose to be based on a real case, the only documented one about lycanthropy or something like that. Good cast, so I really did expect more.
Your Name: Erich C. Polnow
Movie #1: Horror of the Zombies (part 3 of "The Blind Dead")
Thoughts: I didn't enjoy this one as much as the previous 2 installments. I didn't understand why they were on a boat in a different dimension. And If they explained it; it must have been a blip that I missed entirely. The characters in these films are not very likeable or intelligent. And it lacked some of the gore or background story that the others have. Plus, I didn't get the end. I thought they escaped. Not terrible. But not even close to par with the previous ones. Felt 3 steps back instead of one forward.
Movie # 2: Night of the Death Cult (part 4 of "The Blind Dead")
Thoughts: Back to basics! A little background, another sacrifice, and some more reused footage. They changed it up a bit here; but not too much. I guess you can't hold up continuity too much in these films; but if you look at it as if a bunch of separate stories all about the same cult and different groupings of said cult; it doesn't spoil the sequel idea. Pretty enjoyable with a solid dose of blood, guts, and boobs. (The only reason I mention it; [other than the fact that I like blood, guts, and boobs...] is because those were some other elements of the third one that seemed to have gone missing.)
Hopefully you didn't watch those back to back? As much as I love those movies, I wouldn't recommend those back to back. Years ago, once I had finally tracked down all four movies on video, I watched all four back to back. By the time that third one started, I was so tired of the slow motion footage it **** near killed me! But I got over that and really enjoy these movies. The atmosphere is great and de Ossorio created a great monster mythology here.
I will say that GHOST GALLEON is probably my least favorite of the series. And really enjoyed DEATH CULT, even though it is very, very similar to the original film. All in all, they are fun and definitely notches in the belt any horror fan should have.
Movie #1: Tintorera
Thoughts: Um. Sex in horror films is fine by me, but just don't forget you're a HORROR FILM OKAY?! Serious lack of shark attacks in this one, unless you want to see attacks on sharks.
Movie #2: Slugs
Thoughts: Oh baby! Now this is what I want in a movie about killer slugs: gore, blood, worms exploding from people's faces, a guy named Mike Brady, boobs, gore, and blood. Giggety!
I figured TINTORERA would be a little tough, but knew that SLUGS would more than make up for that. Why that movie doesn't get more love I have no idea. But glad to see you enjoyed it.
And thanks for the photo! Now if I can only get the rest of these guys....
So, about Anguish... Huh. This was one weird *ss flick. I really had no idea what to make of it after the stupidly long and bizarre "bird on the loose" scene in the beginning... And even more so as the film continued on. Zelda Rubinstein's character was so obnoxious, which kinda pains me to say. I really dug the whole film within a film aspect, in concept though, not in execution. And sh*t got way too arty for my taste. I appreciate the unconventional approach to the slasher film, but just didn't cut it for me. Eh, get it? "Cut" it... Slasher... Oh, never mind.
The Abandoned (2007)
Let's get this out of the way; this film looked great, and had great production quality. It was really a solid film in those aspects. However, everything else suffered. The story was pretty mediocre, and I found it slightly confusing, too (which kind of makes me feel stupid because it wasn't that the plot was all that complex). The acting was rough at times, and scenes went on far too long. Didn't know it was one of the 8 Films To Die For when I went into it, but it seems to fit with most of the other films of the series I've seen (aside from a few exceptions, primarily Frontiers and Mulberry Street).
Wow...got to disagree with you on both of these movies. I just LOVED ANGUISH. Weird, strange, bizarre...still loved it.
And I seen ABANDONED in the theater for the 8 Films thing and I really enjoyed it. Yes, it is a slow burn, but I really enjoyed it. Granted, I don't think I've seen it since...maybe when it hit DVD...but I still liked it.
But I do agree that most of the films from that series were pretty lacking, except the ones you mentioned. LOVE MULBERRY STREET.
Movie #1 Tombs of the Blind Dead-I have been wanting to see this series for a long time, and I finally had the chance this month! Tombs of the Blind Dead was pretty awesome. The Knights Templar looked so cool. I love how they even made their horses look dead. I couldn't believe one of the main characters just jumped off a train and stayed the night where the buried ruins were. I would never do that personally, but it made for an interesting plot. The end was great, but I don't want to give any spoilers.
Movie #2 Return of the Blind Dead-I was kind of confused at first. I thought we had 1 and 2 mixed up, but it was right. The movie starts out showing the knights being burned at the stake for witchcraft and murder. This movie gave a lot more back story on the knights which I thought was pretty interesting. I love how they reused the footage from the first movie of the knights rising from their graves. The group attacking the town was a great scene. I did not care for the ending, though. It wasn't as good as the first movie.
I swear in every movie a character always steals one of the blind dead's horses. I had a good laugh about that.
Wow...there must have been a lot of Blind Dead roaming the Polnow house this month.
Glad to see that you got through the first two Blind Dead films, which really are probably the best, even though they do tend to use the same plot, not to mention footage.
But you got through some classics here. Well done.
DRACULA'S GREAT LOVE (1974)
I've heard a lot about Paul Naschy for years, but I think this is the first time I've watched any of his films. This was a slightly warped (hey...boobs!) Dracula film. Several things were confusing as hell, but I don't want to bring them up and spoil anything. Actually, the plot in general was a little confusing. And the editing was (hey, boobs again!) choppy as hell, but overall (hey, more boobs!) I liked it. I did find it odd that for a vampire film, I think there were more bared breasts than bared fangs.
FRANKENSTEIN'S BLOODY TERROR (1968)
Who came up with these American titles? Another convoluted plot. Vampires, werewolves...but oddly no Frankenstein or his monster. I can't explain that. I liked this one too. It was a ton of fun. Except for the brief vampire ballet thing near the end. I have no clue about that.
Rest assured, I will definitely be seeking out more Naschy films, boobs or not.
Who's this Naschy guy?
As big of a fan I am of Naschy, his take on Dracula could have been better...as far as his performance. He just didn't fit the part. But the rest of the movie is pretty **** good. Oh yeah...BOOBS!
But FRANKENSTEIN'S BLOODY TERROR is has always been one of my favorites since that was Naschy's first real movie and the first appearance of his werewolf character. And the reason for the lack of Frankenstein in here was because that the producers needed a Frankenstein picture that they had already sold to their distributor but didn't have one. So they bought the rights to this Spanish film, put in that animated beginning with the history of WolfStein, re-titled it, and sent it on its way. The rest is history!
And yes...definitely keep checking out more of his movies.