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In France, the former Countess Moncorn comes to the Haussemont Castle posing of the medium Claire Grandier for a séance with her telepathic friend and scientist Professor Gruber. They are welcomed by the Duke de Haussemont, who recognizes her. There is an interruption in the séance and the Duke invites Claire and Gruber to stay in his castle and offers his basement for the professor to proceed in his experiments. However Claire has an agenda, since she holds a grudge against the Haussemont family that she blames that was responsible for the suicide of her beloved husband Phillippe to acquire his properties. Claire uses the Book of Astarov associated to the ability and knowledge of Professor Gruber to reanimate a corpse controlled by Gruber seeking revenge against the responsible for the death of Phillippe. But her scheme gets out of control. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Who can resist a movie that boasts a Gothic castle, a mad scientist, Satanism, a bald monster, lots of naked women and a sexually frustrated dwarf? The film concerns Medium Claire Grandler who harbours a long standing grudge against the De Hassenmont family, for driving her husband Philip to suicide (shown in impressive blue tinted flashbacks). With the help of a textbook mad scientist, she befriends the Baron De Hassenmont by holding a seance with alarming results. Paranoid that he'll be `spied upon by unseen creatures' the Baron invites the pair to stay on at the castle, where they construct a Frankenstein style monster, a dwarf who Claire rescued from a lynch mob also helps out. It's a film full of memorable images such as the zombie monster lumbering around the Baron's castle, and the Baron's busty maid being strangled and brought back from the dead. Don't even question why anyone doesn't notice anything peculiar about the pasty face zombie maid with a tourniquet around her neck croaking `I'm not feeling well'. The undead maid also supplies the most outrageous moment in the film, when her handyman lover, not aware of her situation tries to come on to the ghoul with really nasty consequences. The film also boasts a cast to die for- at least to any knowledgeable fan of sleazy Euro movies. Look out for Eurocine thespians Silvia Solor and Oliver Mathot (both later reunited for the trashy Cannibal Terror) as the mad medium and mad scientist respectively. Rounding off the cast are Jose Ruiz Lifante (Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue's creepy photographer) and Paul Naschy regular Maria Silvia. The real surprise here has to be Silvia Solor who obviously had a ball playing eyeball rolling psychotic Grandler. Looking like a cross between Vampira and Yootha Joyce its clearly her show and her contribution is a real revelation for an actress who rarely gets a chance to shine in secondary roles like in the aforementioned cannibal atrocity and Juan Fortuny's Crimson. HOWEVER WHO IS DIRECTOR/ SUPPORTING ACTOR GEORGES GIGO? This young man of Spanish horror cinema even affords himself a bizarre cameo in the film as a fashion designer. His `avante garde' fashion show scene is worth the price of admission alone, including an all in one dress that makes a poor model look like a giant banana. Unfortunately Gigo's cinematic talents seem to have gone unrecognized. Given very little exposure at the time, it should have had audiences going wild in the aisles but when it wasn't just ignored the reviews were far from positive. As a result Gigo's only other work seems to have been a number of listless `S' rated pornographic films produced in Spain after General Franco's death. The film has resurfaced quite a few times recently, a widescreen version was screened on a French adult channel which strangely removed all the sex scenes and some 20 minutes of footage. An American public domain tape (called the Wicked Caresses of Satan) in uncut but terribly cropped and dark looking, robbing the film of its `a hundred lava lamps' approach to lighting. It was shown on UK TV as The Devil's Kiss, in widescreen and uncut, although without a title credit. Outrageous, audacious, unique and well worth tracking down, the film is one of the best and formerly long lost examples of the endearing and unfortunately short lived Spanish horror boom, and a genre effort unlike any other.
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