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Rest In Pieces was actually a fairly good film. The film itself adds much
late night cheer considering the fact that it was so low budget. The film
starts off to be a little slow moving but it eventually picks up and turns
out to be quite enjoyable. The movie does get a few good laughs, however,
the violence and nudity keeps the audience alert and interested.
The film itself is basically about a young woman and her greedy husband inheriting her deranged aunt's estate. The neighbors treat the newcomers rather unorthodox. You come to find out that the neighbors are actually dead and they just want to convince the main character to commit suicide under the rule of her "dead" aunt. The end of the movie is quite disappointing because no explanation is given. I am not trying to spoil the movie for you but I am warning you. This movie is not for anyone who doesn't enjoy low budget films. In my opinion this movie was very entertaining and you should rent it yourself. Thanks for listening!
I don't know about you, but I would like to see Rest in Pieces come out
on DVD. I agree that this movie is seriously underrated and that maybe
this is the reason.
This movie is definitely a must-have for any avid horror buff. I have Rest in Pieces on VHS. What I really enjoy the most about this fine, suspenseful masterpiece is the music that is played throughout the story. I also enjoy the fact that this movie was made on a highly restricted budget. This does not subtract from a great horror film, but actually adds to its enjoyment potential. You can see the imagination and th ingenuity that was made behind it. You can get a break from special effects and from the Hollywood saturation that is so prominent in so many films, especially the ones of today.
The music and sounds allow for the better movement from the story from one scene to the next. It is very similar to Stanley Kubrick's 1980 production of The Shining. The music allows you to use your own imagination and is so spooky that it actually does a far better job of keeping you on the edge of your seat and be completely entertained. This is why I believe Rest in Pieces should be released on DVD.
I also enjoyed the scenes where Helen is being haunted by visions of her laughing aunt who appears to torment her at various snatches of scenes. Some were peppered with sound effects of when her aunt is speaking to her. I cannot help but laugh, as I can almost see the humor behind it.
I would like to know the piece that was played by the string quartet in the concert scene. It is such a lovely classical piece. If anyone knows the title and the name of the composer, please let me know.
LOL, is this movie for real?
At first I was tempted to dismiss this as Jose Ramon Larraz' attempt at a horror comedy that wasn't quite horrific or funny enough to rate as either. It's more droll social commentary that is perhaps a reaction to WITCHES OF EASTWICK or other high-profile A list horror comedies, but with the catch being that the A list material is being lifted from Euro Horror rather than Hollywood. This isn't a "bad" movie, it's just that the Hollywoodized viewers who have been trashing it are not hip to who is involved, why they should care, and what the point of it all is. See, there are two types of artists: "Hacks" who make work because they are good at it and can make money, and "craftspeople" who have talent and a love for the process of making work. For them the art itself is a by-product of the creative process -- The finished film is only worth whatever other films come after it, or what other art the work results in. The same can apply to basically every trade I can think of except a plumber.
Now back to square one: Jose Ramon Larraz is the fiery, occaisonally brilliant Spanish/British director responsible for VAMPYRES, BLACK CANDLES, WHIRLPOOL, SYMPTOMS and DEVIATION, so don't worry, it has bared tits, sex, shockingly unexpected graphic violence, and a sort of arty flair for visuals that belies the Mastercard budget the film was made with. He is a craftsman who works with film. The movie contains all of the traditional Larraz formula bits such as the creepy house with a former life of it's own, the closed society acting outside of the norms of everyday life, the young woman weaned into the society in a ROSEMARY'S BABY type manner, forced drug usage, barbaric social practices disguised by surface sophistication, a sexy eagerly willing live-in maid, psycho sexual dream imagery, women lingering in steamy baths or showers, characters with dual identities, and the blasphemous corruption of religion to excuse antisocial behavior.
Aside from Mr. Larraz we also get a veritable stable of Euro Horror veterans, at the end of their long careers making dozens of such low budget efforts to be sure but still filled with a joy for making movies that is evident just seeing them on screen, in a movie, together;
JACK TAYLOR: Veteran of more Jess Franco movies than I care to think about, plays an old blind guy with a cane that has a switchblade in the shaft. Steals every scene he is in just by being present.
PATTY SHEPARD: Paul Naschy's Countess Wandessa -- or whatever her name was -- looking downright psychotic as a society matron who carries a meat cleaver with her everywhere. Looking her age for a change but still with that gleam in her eye.
TONY ISBERT: Spanish Euro Horror's answer to Robert Redford, the guy got to do a nude scene with Helga Line and I bet Mr. Redford would give his whole salad dressing franchise up for such a chance. Here he is cast as a sneering Nazi war criminal working as a gardener.
FERDINANDO BILBAO: The Giant from VAMPIRE'S NIGHT ORGY and probably three dozen Spaghetti Westerns Giallo slashers, sort of Euro Cult Cinema's answer to Richard Keil or Andre the Giant. Effectively cast as a Giant.
Yes those are just four members of the cast, but seeing them *TOGETHER* on screen and in character will be a treat for fans of their work. The best part is that they are nearly unrecognizable in their roles: You have to know that Jack Taylor is in the film to know which person he plays, and once you do just his casting in the film earns it the merit to be seen. Same with the others, though the two Americanized leads are about as memorable as an empty box of Kleenex. They are nice I guess, but not the reason to see this, and neither is the plot so I won't bother describing any of it. You've seen that all before.
But Larraz actually did try something "new" for him with the film, which was to go straight ahead and try to make an Americana horror comedy ... in Spain. The cars are all boxy little Euro schnitzel burners with their funny license plates, and the neighborhood the movie is set in shares about as much in common with a California bedroom community as it does with a village of Eskimo igloos. The film has a very strange appearance to it that is closer to a pop art exaggeration than just another stupid horror movie set in Los Angeles, resulting in a visual tension that is best summed up by observing that even the garage door on the house doesn't look quite right.
In the long run this is a movie who's sense of utterly black humor you will either "get" or you won't, and I will give you a pass for not "getting" it if you do not know who any of the people described above are or what they have done. Why not follow their names and that of director Larraz to see what else they have done, track some of those examples down, then come back to this one after you have "The Dracula Saga", DR. JEKYLL VS THE WEREWOLF, WITCHES MOUNTAIN and SCREAM AND DIE! under your belt, which is perhaps one of the objectives of the film: To try and share the rich history of where this movie came from to a bunch of skull-chucked, dim witted American consumers who wouldn't know a Templar Knight from a Chubacabras. REST IN PIECES is an awful movie to be sure but is utterly priceless, stupid, fun, sleazy and empty headed enough to warrant a second or third viewing, and that is often the definition of a cult movie. This one most assuredly is.
Helen (Lorin Jean Vail) inherits an old house and the surrounding property from her Carol Channing look-a-like Aunt. When she and her husband arrive there, they find an odd group of folks living in the surrounding houses. Odd in the sense that they like to kill people and, even worse, don't pay rent! Directed by Jose Ramon Larraz (under the pseudonym Joseph Braunstein), this is a pretty weak horror film that might be notable solely for the horrible lead performance by Vail. She is spectacularly bad, which should be expected as she was an interviewee in THE DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION Part II. There is one creepy moment where the evil group (which features Spanish film vets Patty Shepard and Jack Taylor) slaughter some classical musicians, but not much else. There is also a nice twist in the plot about half way through, but the disinterested direction doesn't help it have the "umph" it should. Which is a shame as Larraz made some atmospheric stuff in the 70s (VAMPYRES, DEVIATION, THE HOUSE THAT VANISHED). Sadly, nothing happens that is nearly as cool as the cover art depicting a rotting zombie bursting through a door.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Young couple inherits a luxurious mansion and a large sum of money from the woman's crazy aunt (who conveniently commits suicide in front of a camera after reading her will), but when they go there to settle down all sorts of weird things start happening, and the woman starts "seeing" her dead (?) aunt everywhere in the house. For a while it looks like we're gonna get the old haunted-house clichés again (lights that turn on and off by themselves, car engines that start by themselves, doors banging, piano music playing when there's nobody at the piano, etc.), but the movie soon goes into another direction altogether, involving the aunt's strange neighbors....The first half of "Rest in Pieces" is kind of sleep-inducing, but the pace picks up in the second half, with some lively gore sequences and good plot twists. Both halves, however, suffer from a muddled script (I still haven't figured out if we're dealing with zombies or ghosts here). The two leads are pretty bad, but most of the villains are appropriately sinister (especially that constantly smiling reverend). (**)
Back in the 70's José Ramón Larraz was the director of some highly acclaimed exploitation masterpieces like "Vampyres", "Symptons" and "The Coming of Sin", but the respect and acknowledgment he obtained over the years abruptly came to an end during the 80's, when his name got linked to reputedly cheesy and insignificant film such as "Edge of the Axe" and this "Rest in Pieces". It's quite a shame Larraz' career died such a quiet death, especially because those two last movies are actually much underrated. "Edge of the Axe" was a grim slasher with a nasty shock ending and particularly this "Rest in Pieces" is an astonishingly pleasant surprise. Admittedly the title sounds silly (albeit enticing) and the still images on the back of the old VHS cover look extremely cheesy (and very 80's), but it's a truly imaginatively scripted movie with a constant macabre atmosphere, unexpected twists, creepy characters and countless of genuinely uncanny jump moments. Add to all that some awesomely gory massacres, gratuitous nudity and a wondrous sense of black humor, and you've got yourself an authentic horror gem of which I can't possibly comprehend why it's so scandalously unappreciated. Being the sole inheritors of a wealthy aunt who committed suicide live on video, a greedy young couple moves into her estate called "Eight Manors" and promptly begin to search for the hidden family fortune. There are, however, six more and highly suspicious behaving tenants on the estate are working against them. It doesn't take too long until Helen begins to spot the eerie images of her nastily grinning aunt everywhere around the estate and she slowly goes insane. The script of "Rest in Pieces" obviously doesn't make too much sense and totally lacks coherence, but who cares when there's zombies, ghosts and mad-raving lunatics!?! I realize I'm probably being too generous here, but this is a seriously amusing film and it's about time someone writes something positive about it.
Enjoyed this horrible horror film mainly because I just wanted to find out what it was all about and since I have been a big fan of Dorothy Malone for many years and enjoyed her performance in the great film, "Inherit the Wind". Dorothy Malone was 62 years of age in this film and showed her age, however, she knew what she looked like and was a true actress and was eager to perform on the silver screen. This story involves a young newlywed couple and the bride inherits her aunt's mansion and all its belongings along with some 8 million dollars hidden the house. The girls aunt, Dorothy Malone committed suicide and had many ghosts hanging around the old mansion and there is plenty of horror with living dead and bodies being chopped up like chop meat. This will make a great Holloween Night Film for a spooky party after Mid-Night. Enjoy.
I actually own a very rare copy of this movie. Its very, very cheesy, bad dialogue, alot of nudity by the main woman, which isnt bad. It does have its creepy moments, but this is like I said on the 1 line summary. Its so bad, its good!
This movie is not good, it's supposed to be horror, but it didn't frighten me at all. It has a great plot (they really thought about it this time), but it's made in a cheap way. Like for example: there's a piece of clothing flying, but you can see that it's held up by the camera man! These things and the bad acting make the horror movie a B movie. I rated it a 4 on 10 because there are much worse horror movies and because it has a great background idea (some chick being terrorized by her dead aunt and the inhabitants of her bungalows).
And oh, what a waste of time. Weak plot, unscary 'scary' moments, and
very little in the way of gore. The collection of characters was the
main thing "Rest in Pieces" had going for it: the blind man, the
preacher, the doctor, the slutty maid, and so on. But what exactly was
going on here? Are these people the thinking, talking, otherwise normal
version of the living dead, similar to the much better (and earlier)
film "Dead & Buried"? Why do they slaughter the string quartet? Is the
doctor a mad scientist who has brought these people back from the dead,
just like the old coroner from "Dead & Buried"? Were we supposed to be
frightened or laugh at the repeated appearances of the aunt's ghost? Do
the resurrected need hypnotism to 'get adjusted' to their new form of
existence, just like they do in "Dead & Buried"? I think I'm starting
to see a pattern here. ..
There are more stupid parts the preacher with his switchblade and the cars in the garage come to mind. In general this movie was just bad. Now that I think about it, the only reason I wanted to see it was the description on the box made it sound a lot like "Dead Alive" (neighbors...undead...kill, kill, kill). I'm sorry I suckered myself into renting this based on that. Don't bother with this one. Watch instead that other horror movie made a few years before this one that was also about people being brought back from the dead to lead almost-normal lives - oh, what was that one called. . .
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