Opinions on León Klimovsky's "La Rebelión De Las Muertas" aka. "Vengeance of the Zombies" (1973) are obviously split. While some regard the film as utter crap, many of my fellow Paul Naschy fans seem to regard it as a particularly bizarre highlight in the Spanish Horror icon's filmography. As a more and more enthusiastic of Paul Naschy, I must say that my feelings on this one are somewhat mixed. On the one hand, "Vengeance of the Zombies" is probably even THE weirdest film I've ever seen Naschy in (and weirdness is a quality his films generally have), and therefore highly recommendable to all his fans. On the other hand, it is undeniable that the film tends to get very tedious in-between, which is rare with Naschy films. While Naschy films are not usually 'good' in a traditional sense, they are almost always vastly entertaining, and have a genuine, inimitable charm. Naschy often wrote the screenplays and stories for his films himself, as he did for this one. Director León Klimovsky is doubtlessly best known for a film that is probably also Naschy's most famous one, "La Noche De Walpurgis" aka. "Werewolf vs. Vampire Women" of 1971, with Naschy in his most famous role of Werewolf Waldemar Daninsky, whom he played thirteen times.
"Vengeance of the Zombies" has an entirely nonlinear structure and mostly makes little sense, but, in many parts the film is just a delight to watch. Naschy fans will be delighted that the master plays a triple-role in this one - as an Indian Guru, a Satanic Voodoo Master, and Satan himself. The film includes countless elements that my fellow cult-cinema fans will love: resurrection of the dead, Voodoo, Zombies, Satan, black masses, and even murders that were clearly inspired by the Italian Giallo. The gore effects are pretty nasty and well-made in this one. Yet the barely existent structure of the film often makes it hard to keep watching in-between the good parts. The film is about resurrecting the dead and using them as Zombie slaves for sinister goals, but it really doesn't make a lot of sense. Watching Naschy in three roles is awesome, although an Indian Guru is probably the least credible role imaginable for him. The female cast is beautiful to look at, especially Romy as the main protagonist, and the Argentinian beauty Mirta Miller, who plays the Guru's Indian girlfriend. The funky soundtrack seems terribly out of place for an occult Horror film like this one, but, then again it underlines the amusing 'camp' factor. "Vengeance of the Zombies" is a hard movie for me to rate. On the one hand it is impossible not to love it for its awesome absurdity. Then again, this is overall the only tedious Naschy film I have seen. Overall, I recommend this film to my fellow Paul Naschy fans; yet I definitely prefer seeing him in the roles of murderous hunchbacks, deranged graveyard personnel, werewolves or satanic medieval knights. My opinion on "Vengeance of the Zombies": 5.5/10
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