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Old April 16th, 2012, 02:46 PM   #1

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Uncle likes the Horror Films


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Having read mixed reviews from screeners the past several months I had become wary about the film I had previously been anxiously awaiting. For one thing the cast was very intriguing: Tom Noonan, who was so effective as the deluded killer in 'Manhunter' and Mary Woronov who you might remember from Deathrace, Eating Raoul, or any number of wacky films from the 8o's. I was not disappointed, I assure you, they both were excellent in this film too, dripping with dread and weirdness. Another aspect which intrigued me was the premise of the film, the poster art and the title. As for the premise, lets begin,

A young college girl answers an ad for babysitting, makes a call from the phonebooth and as she hangs up it rings. For her. Already things are a bit unsettling. I did say phonebooth, because the movie is placed somewhere in the 80's, a time when 70% of Americans believed in abusive Satanic cults, we are told. Other than a couple errors in speech, the film does a good job of creating the 80's without resorting to silly clothes like from a John Hughes movie. Ti West, the director, get's points for that. We soon find out, at the house (which is very spooky looking) that she was lied to and that the very tall and very odd man (Noonan) wants her to watch the elderly mother instead. He and his wife are very anxious to leave and observe the lunar eclipse which is happening in a couple of hours. We know this is important because we are told about it several times by this point. She is weirded out and wants to leave but he offers her $400 to stay and watch the old lady. By now we know that bad things are going to happen. She seems afraid of that as well and quickly gets scared...but she needs the money badly...

To say more would be a spoiler, I suppose, so I'd just say that the film builds slowly from this point to a very horrific and satisfying conclusion. I don't think anyone will be surprised by the events since they do remind one of any number of similar films. Like I said, this is a slow build up of tension and not a splatter film or torture film. It does have doses of each though. It also manages to not be silly or unbelievable. Well maybe a little if you want to a quibble. The movie isn't trying to offer explanations or versions of reality or settling the questions we all have about the occult. It's just telling a story and tells it very well. Thank the director for no shaky camera or night vision. At times I thought of' Halloween' and Laurie Strode, sometimes 'Rosemary's Baby' and even once of 'Darkness'. But I consider it a good thing that those films were brought to mind, because of their quality. For me, one of the years best.
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Old April 16th, 2012, 02:52 PM   #2

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Horror Rises From the Tomb was the first Naschy film I ever saw, way back in the day. It was on vhs and faded and also cut. Still, because of the rarity of euro-horror at the time it really hooked me. The story is somewhat a mish mash of ghosts, resurrections, zombies and vampirism. It was the first appearance of Count Alaric De Marnac, the warlock. (he was seen again in the film Panic Beats). Naschy wrote the script in one day with the help of amphetamines and it is surprisingly coherant, considering.

De Marnac and his evil mistress are executed for their 15th century crimes against humanity such as, murder, black magic, satanism and cannibalism. As they die a curse is spoken against the descendents of their executioners ending with "I will return!" Sure enough, in 1972 a descendant of Alaric goes with friends to his country estates to look for the bodies of the infamous pair after being intrigued at a seance with friends. As you can guess, the two are resurrected and murder and the occult break forth. The film is stamped with the usual Naschy style, he plays dual characters and doesn't try to evoke sympathy for either. He has his way with events and with the ladies, to hell with the consequences.

A few years back the film was finally released on dvd over here but it was a cropped but uncut print with washed out colors that disappointed because included , was a nice wide-screen print that was cut of nudity and some bloodshed. It seemed like a tease. BCI fixed that with their release which is uncut, wide-screen and very vivid. It definitely makes the film step up in enjoyment. Even so, it has not retained the magic it once did for me because of the several better Naschy films I have seen. Is it good? Yes, I recommend Spanish horror fans see this one.
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Old April 16th, 2012, 02:58 PM   #3

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This is especially for you Euro horror fans. Released in 1988, directed by Italian Gianfranco Giagni and filmed on location in Budapest. The film immediately references it's title when Professor Alan Whitmore awakens from a nightmare about being locked in a closet with a large spider, as a child. He often flashes back to the nightmare when things get weird in real life. He is involved in a project named "Textus", which involves a worldwide investigation of some ancient religion hithertoo unknown. He is sent to Budapest to meet a Professor who had been sending revealing information about the inscriptions he found but has fallen silent, without further correspondence. When Alan arrives in Budapest it seems everyone he meets is trying to dissuade him from meeting with Professor Roth, including his wife. She claims that Roth has suffered a nervous breakdown and must have his injections now. When they meet, Roth quickly gives Alan some photos and a small plaque with inscriptions. He talks crazily about 'webs' and 'vortex's' and then a small black ball crashes through the window. Alan looks out to see a swing, empty, eeriely swinging. When he turns back Professor Roth is gone...

The Spider Labyrinth quickly involves one in it's mysterious and paranoid atmosphere. Everyone seems to be listening in on Alan's conversation or leaving when he appears. Silence prevails in a crowded cafe and even the streets of Budapest are strangely empty. The theme of the labyrinth creatively runs through the winding avenues and oddly placed courtyards of the city and in the underground caverns that wind back on themselves and are strewn with the dead and cobwebs. The ancient spider cult and it's mysteries are revealed through gory and stylish murders inflicted by a demonic, spiderish killer who's wild flaming hair and brutal teeth remind one of all the scary witch dreams one had as a child.

The camera work and stylish shot selection are really of the best quality and there is no cgi to be found. A top quality film, this one and really should be seen.

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Old April 16th, 2012, 09:30 PM   #4

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If you like Euro horror films, then I'm sure you'll have see the films made by Lucio Fulci?
What did you think of his "Gates of Hell trilogy" (The House by the Cemetery / The City of the Living Dead / The beyond) ?
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Old April 16th, 2012, 10:46 PM   #5

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I don't like horror films much, but I did enjoy An American Werewolf in London, because it had quite a lot of humour in it. The bit where the werewolf is trying to get himself arrested by shouting out rude things about British people - 'Prince Charles is a faggot, Winston Churchill was full of ****' etc, is very funny.
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Old April 17th, 2012, 12:25 AM   #6

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Quote:
Originally Posted by unclefred View Post
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Horror Rises From the Tomb was the first Naschy film I ever saw, way back in the day. It was on vhs and faded and also cut. Still, because of the rarity of euro-horror at the time it really hooked me. The story is somewhat a mish mash of ghosts, resurrections, zombies and vampirism. It was the first appearance of Count Alaric De Marnac, the warlock. (he was seen again in the film Panic Beats). Naschy wrote the script in one day with the help of amphetamines and it is surprisingly coherant, considering.

De Marnac and his evil mistress are executed for their 15th century crimes against humanity such as, murder, black magic, satanism and cannibalism. As they die a curse is spoken against the descendents of their executioners ending with "I will return!" Sure enough, in 1972 a descendant of Alaric goes with friends to his country estates to look for the bodies of the infamous pair after being intrigued at a seance with friends. As you can guess, the two are resurrected and murder and the occult break forth. The film is stamped with the usual Naschy style, he plays dual characters and doesn't try to evoke sympathy for either. He has his way with events and with the ladies, to hell with the consequences.

A few years back the film was finally released on dvd over here but it was a cropped but uncut print with washed out colors that disappointed because included , was a nice wide-screen print that was cut of nudity and some bloodshed. It seemed like a tease. BCI fixed that with their release which is uncut, wide-screen and very vivid. It definitely makes the film step up in enjoyment. Even so, it has not retained the magic it once did for me because of the several better Naschy films I have seen. Is it good? Yes, I recommend Spanish horror fans see this one.
I remember this one. Naschy, Franco, Rollin, Fulci, Argento, Bava...the Euro horros have always been fun.
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Old April 17th, 2012, 12:32 AM   #7

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I love horror films...you can usually tell the good film from the crappy ones after about the 1st 10mins of watching it.
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Old April 17th, 2012, 01:24 AM   #8

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I love horror! I grew up watching Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Child's Play, Gremlins, Universal horror like, Dracula (1931) with Bela Lugois, Frankenstein with Boris Karloff, to the Exorcist, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, to Hammer Horror films...and YAY!

It's the least look upon genre, but one of the most entertaining!
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Old April 17th, 2012, 08:18 AM   #9

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Many of you probably remember watching Elvira late at night as she hosted and narrated scads of scary films way into the early morning. Here she is again as she hosts a dvd series called Elvira's Movie Macabre. The two films on this disk, released by Shoutfactory, are Devil's Wedding Night and Legacy of Blood.

Devil's, is a euro horror/exploitation film rarely seen in the usa and only found on cut vhs' or dvdr. At last we now have a widescreen uncut dvd release. The film is offered in two versions: With commentary by Elvira, as she periodically fades into the screen to zing one liners and make racy comments about the movie, and also without Elvira.

I find Elvira makes the movie fun and feels really nostalgic and takes me back to my youth as I watched the scratchy, racy movies late at night. The movie has not been restored and has all the scratches and pops that Tarantino tried to simulate in Grindhouse. This is real Grindhouse fare.

Two twin brothers are off to Dracula's castle to try and recover a legendary ring. The same ring that inspired Lizst in his famous opera, The Ring of the Nibelungen. At the castle, the Countess is encountered, played by the lovely Rosalba Neri, who is believed by local villagers to be a vampire that, every 50 years at the virgin moon, kidnaps five virgins and sacrifices them in a bloody ritual. The brothers, not aware of the Countess' history, try to trick the Countess by switching their identities in an attempt to steal the famous ring that she is wearing. Of course, this happens during the time of the Virgin Moon.
In this film, lot's of blood and naked lovelies grace the screen and add up to one fun night of evil exploitation.

Legacy of Blood stars the late, great John Carradine as the recently deceased patriarch of a $137,000,000 estate. His heirs and servants must stay at the mansion compound for five days to recieve their inheritance. You know what happens next as the bodies pile up and the mystery builds. Nice 60's late night horror that fits right in with this wonderfull and fun series.

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Old April 17th, 2012, 08:20 AM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vintersorg View Post
If you like Euro horror films, then I'm sure you'll have see the films made by Lucio Fulci?
What did you think of his "Gates of Hell trilogy" (The House by the Cemetery / The City of the Living Dead / The beyond) ?
I'm all about Fulci, The Beyond and Zombie are two of the best horror films out there.
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