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I was so excited to come across this little gem (well, to me at least). I
$9.99 4 movie DVD set offered by Brentwood Home Video. Since then I have
seen this DVD sold for $14.99 just for the single movie, so I got a good deal. If you are reading a review about such an obscure film then most likely you are a fan of 1970s "Euro-trash". In that case, you will have fun with this movie. If your idea of an obscure horror movie is Freddie Vs. Jason, then you are looking at the wrong reviews. This has everything you would want in a 1970s Euro trash
flick- cheap gore, boobies, and badly dubbed in english; I love this stuff!
So if you are a collector of such fine cinema, then check this one out, I think you will enjoy...
The living head of a minion of Satan put to death centuries ago is
unearthed. A nightmare ensues for a group of people as the head sets
forth to reunite with it's body.
Sadly, most people in this world will never know the immense joy that this film can bring...but for the luckier few of us, this zany little Gothic horror picture delivers the goods with the very best of them. How can one go wrong with cackling disembodied heads, graphic scythe murders, zombie mayhem, and luscious babes roaming the night in their sheerest Frederick's of Hollywood naughties? Grand entertainment, as only the Europeans of the 1970s could create, and an absolute must-see for fans of crazed drive-in culture...there's not a single frame of the film which doesn't look like it was ripped straight from the pages of a Golden-Age horror comic book, and hooray for that.
Rates a solid 7 out of 10 as I see it.
Jacinto Molina, more commonly known as Paul Nasty (err I mean, Naschy) strikes again with this ultra-bizarre and ultra-deranged Spanish exploitation effort. The script of "Horror Rises from the Tomb" is incoherent as hell, there isn't a single interesting or well-written dialog to be heard, acting & directing are both extremely shabby and the supposedly malevolent witches, zombies and other unidentifiable types of monsters evoke more laughs than scares. And yet, despite all these abnormalities (and more ), "Horror Rises from the Tomb" is a vintage and purely entertaining gem of 70's horror cinema! Naschy wrote the oddball script himself and stars as no less than THREE different descendants of the noble French de Marnac family. During the fairly atmospheric opening set in the 15th Century, we witness how a malicious Alaric (Naschy) and his mistress are brutally executed for practicing witchcraft. Several years later, Hugo (Naschy again) invites three of his friends to join him for a vacation at his ancient family estate somewhere in rural France. Quite a lot of awkward and totally irrelevant things occur, but the bottom line is: Alaric de Marnac's decapitated head is still alive in a chest, buried in the large cemeteries surrounding the estate, and its hypnotizing powers turns people into docile yet bloodthirsty zombies. The film is quite bad and pointless, but at least there's always something going on to entertain you. Whether it's the poor make-up effects on the zombies, the implausible sub plots, the sleaze footage brought on by a couple of fine looking Euro-babes or the ingenious little gimmicks, "Horror Rises from the Tomb" is never boring and never makes you regret the purchase. And who can possibly resist the sequences featuring Naschy's separated head commanding his slaves to bring him human sacrifices and to obey his every word? Take my word on it: the head-in-the-chest scenes are priceless! Some of the interior & exterior filming locations are even very enchanting and beautifully captured on camera. Most neutral viewers will probably claim this is the worst film they've ever encountered in their lives, but it's an absolute must for fans of Paul Naschy and essential 70's Euro-horror.
I really want to drum a up a little more enthusiasm for this film than is
evident here. Sometimes it seems like non-genre fans see things like this
and miss out on the subtleties (so to speak.) I saw this with zero
expectations, having purchased it as part of a very inexpensive collection
of old horror 'gems' on DVD. It was my first experience with the work of
cult auteur Paul Naschy, whom I'd read about in the book IMMORAL TALES, and
I was more than pleasantly surprised.
Fans of Jean Rollin, Coffin Joe, the Blind Dead series and Fulci's Gates of
Hell will be glad they took the 90mins. to soak this one
One concept I've always loved is the premise that all the horrible events in a story are the work of black magic, or evil spirits-as this pretty much opens the door to anything, with a minimum of necessary exposition. Horror Rises From The Tomb has great location shots on misty swampland, majestic castles and beautiful long-haired women sleepwalking in see-through nightwear. These are a few of my favorite things. Yours too? I also love the way a red light precedes the every arrival of the evil du Margnac. There is even a brief, but eerily effective zombie sequence.
It's these little touches that a true horror fan will appreciate.
Dark Ages , two witches are condemned for murdering and witchery ; they
are executed by the authorities , as Alaric De Marnac (Paul Naschy) is
beheaded and Mabille De Lancre (Helga Line) is hung , while Alaric
pronounces a curse against their future heirs . Modern time , the
descendants ( Vic Winnner , Jacinto Molina Cristina Suriani )decide ,
subsequently a spiritualism season , go to the castle and lands their
ancestors . Several centuries later , both of whom are relived by
treasure diggers (Luis Ciges) . Then , Alaric and Mabille continue a
murderous rampage .
This terrifying exploitation picture displays creepy horror ,witchcraft, grisly killing, satanism and lots of blood . B-entertainment with a fairly suspenseful and horrifying story in which sorceresses are brought to life undergoing a cruel slaughter . Lots of blood and gore in several images that impacted the viewers for that time . This tale about a group who is attacked by some malevolent living dead begins well and grows more and more until the frightening and ghastly finale . Revolting, horrible scenes and nasty images take place on cannibal scenes , decapitation , a heart pulled up , and bloody murders with ax and scythe .The movie has a bit of ridiculous gore with loads of blood similar to tomato and is occasionally an engaging horror movie full of nasty sequences , witchery , beheading , and several other things . Sensationalistic and exaggerated performance of Paul Naschy or Jacinto Molina , here he plays three characters. This is the first time that appears Zombies in Spanish cinema, exception to Amando De Ossorio's Templar living dead . Good make-up that lasted nine hours each Zombie-session by Julian Ruiz and well filmed in the mansion of Lozoya whose owners were the Naschy's fathers. It packs a colorful cinematography by Manuel Merino and atmospheric score by Carmelo Bernaola .The late Naschy was a good professional , writing, filmmaking and acting about hundred titles , mainly in terror genre. ¨Exorcismo¨ is written by Molina along with 21 screenplays as ¨Mark of Wolfman¨, ¨Night of Walpurgis¨, ¨Vengeance of the mummy¨, ¨Licantropo¨, among them . He directed 13 films as ¨The Cantabros¨, ¨Return of Wolfman¨, ¨The Beast and the magic sword¨ and several others.
This is the first production realized by Profilmes - the Spanish Hammer- whose chairmen , Ricardo Muñoz and Jose Antonio Perez Giner assigned to Jacinto Molina the writing a rapid screenplay , Nashcy wrote it in two days and as was born the ¨Horror rises from the tomb ¨. Ten years later , Naschy goes back with the Alaric De Marnac role in the film titled ¨Latidos De Panico¨ that acted , produced , wrote and directed in thriller style . The picture is regularly directed by Carlos Aured who was a director assistant to Leon Klimovsky ; this is his first movie and he would on filming for Jacinto Molina as the ¨Revenge of the mummy , House of the Doom , and Return of Walpugis ¨ . Rating: 5,5 . The flick will appeal to Jacinto Molina fans and Euroterror buffs .
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Centuries ago, Aleric du Marnac (Paul Naschy) and his female companion
were put to death for a variety of crimes including consorting with
Satan. The pair vowed to get their revenge on the descendants of those
responsible for their deaths. du Marnac was beheaded and his body and
head were buried separately. Switch to the present day (1973) where
Hugo du Marnac (also Paul Nashcy) and his friends discover a buried
chest containing the head of Aleric du Marnac a head that wants to be
reunited with the rest of its body. Through possession and blood
sacrifice, du Marnac is determined to make his body whole.
- The Last Act. I have yet to see a Paul Naschy film that I can wholeheartedly endorse, but Horror Rises from the Tomb comes as close as I've yet seen. The final third of the movie is a nice slice of Euro-horror. It's loaded with lots of juicy horror elements - a reanimated head, a sickle-welding maniac, zombies, a magical talisman, and more. If only the first two-thirds of the movie could have been this good. It's not that the first part of the movie is bad, it's just not as good as the final half hour.
- The Head-in-a-Box. Horror Rises from the Tomb certainly isn't the first film of its type to have a reanimated head, but its definitely handled better than most. Through some nice editing and some tricky camera placements, du Marnac's head comes to life. In fact, most of the special effects (the zombies rising from the swamp or the heart being ripped from the chest are two more examples) are as good as anything I've seen form an early 70s Spanish horror movie.
- Helga Line. du Marnac's twisted, blood-thirsty female companion is played to perfection by Helga Line.
What Doesn't Work:
- Paul Naschy. I've written this before, but I just don't understand Nashcy's status as a cult icon. He's one of the most unappealing actors I've ever seen. As the descendant Hugo, Nashcy lacks anything approaching charisma.
- Dialogue. This may have as much to do with the dubbing as anything else, but some of the dialogue had me going back to see if I had heard things correctly. The best example goes something like this (I don't have the exact quote, but this is close): "Two people have been murdered and we've just dumped their bodies in the lake. We've got to get out of here. We don't want to get involved." Huh?
I've come to realize that Naschy's brand of horror may not be for me. I'll still watch his films in hopes that one day I'll see in him what so many other horror fans have seen. Horror Rises from the Tomb may not be Naschy's breakthrough with me, but it's a movie that I enjoyed and will revisit in the future.
As far as I am concerned, Spanish Horror/Exploitation icon Paul Naschy
truly deserves his cult-status, and I am sure I am not standing alone
with this opinion. I've personally been a great Naschy-fan ever since I
first saw some of his films years ago, and my admiration for this deity
of bizarre Euro-cult becomes greater with each film I see. Sure, his
films are far away from being masterpieces or milestones, but they have
their very own, inimitable style, and for a fan of low-budget Horror
and Exploitation, it does not get a lot more entertaining than it is
the case with Naschy's films. Naschy, who has sometimes also served as
writer and director of the bizarre gems he has starred in (he was
writer and star of this one), is doubtlessly best known for the role of
Werewolf Waldemar Daninsky, whom he has played in thirteen films (so
far). While Waldemar Daninsky was basically a good, kind-hearted guy,
who had the misfortune of being transformed in a Werewolf by a curse
whenever the moon was full, the role of Alaric De Marnac is an entirely
evil one. This "Espanto surge de la tumba" aka. "Horror Rises From The
Tomb" of 1973 is the first film revolving around the satanic undead
knight/warlock Alaric De Marnac, a role Naschy would reprise in
"Latidos De Panico" (aka. "Panic Beats" of 1983). I had seen the latter
before I first saw this original film on the ghoulish knight, and I
must say that while this one is often even more confused and illogical
than its successor, it is also an unspeakably entertaining film with an
In medieval France, the evil warlock Alaric De Marnac (Paul Naschy) is executed along with his beautiful (and equally evil) mistress Mabille de Lancré (Helga Liné). The execution is carried out on commands of his own brother (also Naschy), and before having his head chopped off Alaric vows to come back and take revenge on his brother's descendants. Centuries later, Hugo Marnac (also played by Naschy) decides to travel to his family's old estate with some friends in order to have some fun and do some research on Alaric and Mabille, which - Surprise! - turns out not to be a great idea... The story is often absurd and has several holes, and yet "Horror Rises From The Tomb" is not only interesting as a delightfully bizarre Exploitation gem, but also as a Horror film with an often creepy atmosphere. Paul Naschy shines once again in his roles - I've pointed out my admiration for the man above, but I cannot help and repeat myself - Naschy makes every film more worthwhile and highly entertaining, and he more than deserves to be called an icon of Eurohorror for his accomplishments. The female cast members are entirely beautiful and tend to get naked, sexy Helga Liné and Emma Cohen deserve being mentioned particularly. The film is filled with delightful perversions, bizarre rites and loads of violence and gore (some of the gore effects are very well-made for the obviously low budget). The film also has a very cool organ score, which even increased the fun. All said, "Horror Rises From The Tomb" might not be your type of film if you only like cinema of the "Citizen Kane" kind. To lovers of Eurohorror and Exploitation, however, this is a gem that must not be missed. I've seen it twice so far, and I sure will watch it again occasionally. Highly recommended to all Cult-cinema fans!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Multi-talented Paul Naschy writes the script here (under his real name,
Jacinto Molina) and also performs a dual (triple?) role in yet another
film that tells his oft-visited tale of individuals executed for
witchcraft visiting a curse on the descendants of their accusers.
Naschy in his heyday was known for creative 'recycling' of the same
plot, and the variation here is that instead of a case of werewolf-ism,
we have a pair of re-animated corpses, one of them beheaded, who summon
a minor zombie invasion at one point in the story.
Tortured and executed for practicing the 'black arts', Aleric du Marnac and his wicked mistress, Mabille De Lancré, vow to seek vengeance from beyond the grave. It takes a few centuries, but eventually they manage to get some revenge going when Aleric's decapitated head is unearthed from its burial place. The head, which has held up extremely well after all these years, wills its finders into reuniting it with Aleric's body. Supernatural surgery takes care of the rest, and pretty soon Aleric is whole again, in all of his diabolical glory. Mabille is resurrected too, courtesy of a human sacrifice, and at this point, the lurid promise of the title has been fulfilled. Horror has definitely risen from the tomb.
Horror also rises from the swamp as well, as the plot places the modern-day descendants of both du Marnac and his executioners in a remote villa. When supernaturally-influenced persons commit murder and are murdered, the solution that the survivors come up with is to dispose of the bodies in the swamp and get out of there as soon as possible, so as not to become "involved" (?). Their plans are complicated when the bodies rise later as water-logged zombies and descend on the house "Night of the Living Dead"-style, in one of the movie's best sequences.
The film is very typical of Naschy's films in that the situations are improbable and seem to have been invented on the spot. Indeed, if you explore the production notes you will find that Naschy wrote the script in about 48 hours. Considering that, this movie ain't too bad.
What's important about Naschy and his genre is how it represents a bridge between the Gothic horrors of the classic monster movies and the modern sensibility of realistic violence and gore. Although it relies on a lot of clichés that have been around since the early days of film, "Horror Rises From the Tomb" also has plenty of blood, and if the special effects are sometimes less than convincing, the brutal tone of the violence makes up for it. Although the villains dress in period costumes worthy of a cheap thriller from the 40s, the characters suffer cruel and violent deaths all around, much more shocking than in any Universal film. The Euro sensibility also allows for gratuitous nudity, both male and female, and Naschy himself isn't shy about disrobing.
Those expecting a standard zombie outing will be disappointed, since many of the film's home video marketing makes it out to be something along the lines of Fulci or Romero. It's not that, but if you have an appreciation for European-style exploitation films, you'll probably like this one a lot.
Paul Naschy exchanges his Waldemar Daninsky werewolf persona for that
of medieval occultist Alaric De Marnac (which he would play again,
years later, in PANIC BEATS ) and that of his modern-day
descendant Hugo, resulting in one of his most eclectic scripts taking
in witchcraft, spiritualism, a powerful amulet, a scythe-wielding
killer and a horde of zombies, among others - all of which are rather
jumbled together without much consideration for logic, but it does make
for a colorful and thrill-packed show. However, as is often the case
with this type of film, the languid pace coupled with variable acting
and the awkward dubbing also entails that HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB
comes off as an uneven - but, ultimately, not disagreeable - viewing
The film positively drips with atmosphere right from the opening sequence - set in 15th century France and showing Alaric's execution along with his mistress/associate, played by Helga Line - down to the couple's modern-day come-uppance during the busy climax which takes place in de Marnac's remote estate. Other notable moments include: the seance during which Alaric is invoked by Hugo; the individual scenes in which the evil duo are revived, made possible by discreet use of (rather unsophisticated) special effects but which still manage to get the job done nicely; their stylized seduction of one of the girls who tags along with the latest member of the de Marnac family (who ostensibly travels to the castle in order to prove that his ancestor's evil influence is no more); and, of course, the various gory murders and zombie attacks which pepper the film's running time.
Featured in the cast, a staple of "Euro-Cult" cinema, is a bevy of beautiful ladies who are often seen lounging in various states of undress: Helga Line makes quite an impression as the villainous Mabille, but my favorite remains Emma Cohen (later star of one of Jess Franco's best films, the psychological thriller THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MIRROR ) who exhibits sweetness and vulnerability in equal measures throughout - while also serving as Hugo's requisite love interest - and, by the film's end, is actually the sole survivor (albeit emotionally scarred, as can be witnessed from the final shot) of the mayhem.
This and THE CRAVING (1980; see below) have certainly made me game to check out some more Paul Naschy flicks. What would you experts recommend that I try next?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This macabre movie is a great highlight of Spanish Horror. Helmed by Carlos Aured, assistant director on Werewolf Shadow, Horror Rises From the Tomb is the first of two vehicles in which Naschy portrays one of his favorite creations: the vicious Alaric de Marnac. Inspired by Gilles de Rais (a 15th century serial killer) and the 1958 B-movie classic The Thing That Couldn't Die, Naschy has written a film that contains some of the most indelible moments in his canon. From the opening scene's upside-down decapitation, to the heart-ripping murders of the young innocents by Alaric's malignant companion Mabille de Lancre, who is played to the scrumptious hilt by the great unsung queen of Euro-Horror, Helga Liné (above), Horror Rises From the Tomb is an utter delight. Naschy again plays multiple parts in this film, but it's very easy to tell that he relishes playing Alaric the most, especially when he's just a talking severed head. The scene of Mabille's rebirth is truly disturbing, and one wonders if Clive Barker was thinking of it when he wrote the notorious mattress scene in Hellraiser II. Naschy's sequel, 1983's Panic Beats, is a good film in its own right, though it ultimately didn't make this list.
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