A Canadian archaeological team in Sicily accidentally unleashes vengeful ghosts of five demonic nuns who were murdered 500 years earlier, and the ghosts now set out to kill the group and townspeople alike.
A murdered couple return from the beyond to care for their two young children, as well as seek revenge against their killer, accept their children's step parents, and try to prevent their house from being sold.
In 2072 Rome, Italy, the ruthless CEO of a TV network plots to stage a modern series of gladiator games for ratings while one 'contenstant' learns of a conspiracy behind the true nature of the results.
Excuse me, have you seen two brats? They just stand around dead and their eyes glow red
I'll give you three reasons why "Hansel & Gretel" was on top of my must-see list for several long years in a row, and why I never abandoned my search for a decent copy with English subtitles. For starters, I'm a giant fan of a very small and peculiar sub-genre of horror cinema, namely films that are based on or inspired by fairy- tales. They are rare but definitely do exist, like "The Company of Wolves" (1984) or "Blancanieves" 2012). Secondly, I'm an avid collector of Italian horror and especially during between the 1960 and 1990 this was the finest and most prominent country to produce horror, cult and exploitation classics. Even though numbers and quality were drastically declining as per the mid-80s, this effort still narrowly falls within the golden period. And finally, there's a direct link with Lucio Fulci and – as far as I'm concerned – Fulci was God! Together with Mario Bava and Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci was one of the sole true deities of the (Italian) horror industry. Obviously my concerns increased as the years went by and I still couldn't manage to find a half-decent copy of the film. The fact that "Hansel e Gretel" remained tremendously obscure and little known, even though modern technologies like digital remastering kept spawning movies out of oblivion, was an alarmingly bad omen. If nobody bothers to make it available then it must suck, right?
Well, guess what! I did find it, eventually, and of course it sucked but I nevertheless enjoyed it a lot! The basic premise is brilliant and there are a handful moments of adequate suspense and marvelous gore, but the execution is poor – borderline amateurish, in fact – and the film is literally chock-full of foolish and utterly senseless sequences. Two siblings, Hansel and Gretel, are sold by their wicked stepfather, kidnapped by thugs and transported (strangely enough in two different cars) to a sleazy private hospital. The poor kids' organs are removed to be sold on the black market, while their bodies are simply buried in the garden of a remote farmhouse. By the way, in case you assume the clandestine organ business is run by the mafia or hardcore Eastern European crime networks, you are wrong The evil brains behind the nasty organ business are a family of farmers! Without any type of explanation, the bambini resurrect from the dead with a vengeance and kill everyone at the farm. They don't get their hands dirty, mind you. They merely just stand motionless, while their eyes glow red and their victims die in nasty freak-accidents. A young and ambitious female police detective is put on the case, and she randomly decides to move into the farmhouse during her investigation. Sure, live together with a bunch of deviant criminals; that makes sense! While the corpses keep piling up, the children's ghosts even come to talk to the police woman and naturally she – professional that she is - sympathizes with them. Some of the death sequences are weak, like inflicted heart attacks or drowning, but most of them are vintage Fulci material, with people ending up underneath tractors, suffocating in manure and – inevitably – having their eyeball poked out! Recommend to fans of unscrupulous and exploitative Italian smut, but for everyone else this film shall remain eternally obscure.
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