Spanish horror is a strange beast. Decades ago you could slap a few nude women and a couple of zombies, vampires or witches in a flick, and it would be an instant classic. Whatever happened to those days? I personally miss the wild and trippy colors that would play randomly while some dudes in grey make-up chased down well shaped vixens through a badly crafted graveyard.
There does, however, seem to be a rise again in the popularity of the Spanish horror genre. Over the past few months a number of cult classics from Spain have been finding new homes on the DVD market. One of the companies to take up the call for these features to get the digital treatment is Deimos, also known as BCI Eclipse. The label is looking to bring two Spanish cult films to store shelves this August — Paul Naschy’s Exorcism (Exorcismo) and Night of the Sorcerers (La Noche De Los Brujos), which was directed by Amando de Ossorio. Anyone who has ever seen a movie in the Blind Dead series should easily recognize Ossorio’s name.
Both films have been remastered from the original negative in high definition and look to be priced just around $19 apiece. Not a bad price for the uncut versions that come with plenty of bonus features. Hell, sometimes we don’t even get that kind of treatment with new release movies.
Out of the two, Exorcism gets the biggest number of special features including Castilian and English audio tracks, an introduction and interview with Paul Naschy, U.S. theatrical trailer, alternate “clothed” versions of the nude scenes used for the original Spanish theatrical release and a gallery of advertising material.
Don’t be fooled by the name Exorcism. This isn’t just some film that came along to make money off of Friedkin’s The Exorcist. Paul Naschy wrote Exorcism sometime before the 1973 classic, but he had a hard time finding a studio to fund his version. After The Exorcist hit it big, things just started rolling, and suddenly Naschy had no issue getting his story on film.
Need further proof that this is no rip-off? In a quaint English village, gruesome crimes are being committed. The townspeople are terrified, and yet nothing has changed on the surface of this English country setting. Or has it?Paul Naschy stars in and writes (as Jacinto Molina) the terrifying story of a beautiful aristocrat (Maria Perschy) who has fallen victim to a bizarre illness while her sister is beginning to think herself possessed. The horrifying crimes have the police baffled–until they stumble upon a satanic cult operating under their very noses. What they uncover is an evil the likes of which had never been depicted on-screen before.
Amando de Ossorio’s Night of the Sorcerers isn’t quite as full of extra goods, but come on, this guy gave us Tomb of the Blind Dead! That alone makes up for the lack of meaty extras. What we get are Castilian and English audio tracks, alternate scenes, U.S. theatrical trailer and a gallery of still photos.
What does Amando have in store for us? In 1910 Africa, a brutal ceremony takes place in Bumbasa, starting with the whipping, defiling and beheading of a European woman. The ceremony is interrupted by British soldiers and the natives are killed, but the ceremony is completed and a new evil is born – the victim’s head comes to life and she screams, exposing her new vampire fangs. Decades later, a group of explorers arrive near the same location for wildlife study. All is tranquil until nighttime comes and distant drumming draws one of the female members of the group to investigate. Thus begins a nightmare is re-awakened – of zombie natives and vampire women, prowling the moonlit jungle in search of fresh blood.
Vampire chicks and zombies?! Fuck yeah! The only bad thing is that we have to wait until August 21st for these two DVDs.
As soon as they pop up at the Evilshop, we will let you know!
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