Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Emma Cohen, Helga Liné, Cristina Suriani, Vic Winner, Jacinto Molina a.k.a. Paul Naschy
Directed by Carlos Aured
Distributed by Deimos Entertainment
1972. It was a good year. Here in the States films like Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things, Blacula, Gargoyles and The Last House on the Left were just getting out to the horror loving masses, and if that isn’t enough it was also the year that yours truly emerged from my vaginal lounge thus beginning my plan for eventual world domination through a series of tubes. Yep, there was a lot going on in the good old U.S. of A, but shit was happening overseas as well. Paul Naschy was busy building a legacy of horror that could rival that of Vincent Price or Boris Karloff. It was this same year that his black magic laden zombie classic, Horror Rises from the Tomb was unleashed, and it still stands as a true benchmark in Euro horror history.
The film starts out in fifteenth century France. The evil warlock Alaric de Marnac (Naschy) and his devil whore mistress have been sentenced to death for their “crimes against humanity“. Not ones to go out without a fight, the gruesome twosome hand down one hell of a malediction on their executioners and their eventual descendants. Fast forward a few hundred years to the Seventies and we’re introduced to Hugo de Marnac (also Naschy). He and his friends discover Alaric’s head (which was severed from his body and buried in a different spot) in a chest that was hidden on their land. Once found the evil noggin sets out to possess people, hold blood sacrifices, and of course raise the dead as a means to have his head reunited with his body thus making him whole again. BRILLIANT!
Naschy pulls down triple acting duty on this one and even penned the story himself. The man was a veritable horror work horse in his day! Horror Rises from the Tomb has it all — copious amounts of nudity, gobs of gore, ghostly seances, eviscerations, beheadings, zombies, and tons of Euro-atmosphere. What’s not to like? I’ll tell you what … Getting to all of this goodness comes at a bit of a price. In between the good stuff there’s just a little too much exposition here and there. This at times throws the film’s pacing way off and is bound to even bore some viewers. Stick with it though … the pay offs are badass!
Speaking of pay offs the extra material on this disc does its fair share of shining. Things are kicked off with an audio commentary by director Carlos Aured and star Paul Naschy which is moderated by writer and long time friend of Naschy, Professor Angel Gomez Rivero. Though there is an obvious language barrier at times, this commentary never fails to be fascinating and honestly quite engaging. All parties involved have a true love for what they do and, man, that comes through in any language. From there we get the usual supplemental suspects found on these Deimos releases — alternate clothed footage used for the film’s Spanish theatrical release, the Spanish credit sequence and a huge still gallery featuring everything from behind-the-scenes photos to posters and advertising from around the world. Pretty comprehensive for a flick from overseas that’s thirty-five years old.
Whether your a fan of, or are just discovering the work of Paul Naschy, Horror Rises from the Tomb is an absolute must see! Dim the lights, pump up the sound, grab your party favors (whatever they may be), and have the fuck at it!
4 out of 5
3 1/2 out of 5
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