Editor’s note: The hosts of Horror Movie Podcast are always impressed by the knowledge and insights of our listenership in the emails and voicemails that we receive, as well as in the comments here at HorrorMoviePodcast.com. Once again, we’ve asked our listeners to participate in our 31 Days of Halloween by contributing written reviews. This review was submitted by a long-time listener and friend of the show Mark Cunningham, who goes by the screen-name “Red Cap Jack” … You can read “Red Cap Jack’s Ranting Lunacy” blog at redcapjack.blogspot.com and follow him on Twitter @RedCapJack.
Title: Horror Rises From the Tomb
Original Title: El Espanto Surge de la Tumba
Writer: Paul Naschy
Director: Carlos Aured
Paul Naschy is the undisputed King of Spanish horror and a favored actor in the extended horror community. The Werewolf Versus the Vampire Woman is a horror host staple and was my first introduction to the legends of Waldimar Deninsky, Naschy’s signature character. I loved the film, and wanted to see much more. Luckily, Naschy leaves behind a legacy of character performances that include serial killers, hunchbacks, mad scientists, and all sorts of blood thirsty mad men.
Horror Rises from the Tomb introduces the evil Alaric De Marnac; a sorcerer and worshipper of dark powers. He and his lover are executed for their crimes and heresy but vow revenge on the descendants of his prosecutors. We flash forward to the modern era, the Mid 1970’s at the time of the film. The descendants of the cult perform a séance that summons the soul of the wandering du Marnac and sets into motion a series of events that will see him rise from the grave. Naschy is cast in two roles, both as the descendant of du Marnac’s brother and as the evil sorcerer himself. The film is wrapped in the European countryside, where the chill fall weather sets a perfect ambiance to the creepy atmosphere of the story. These are the gothic location movies that make horror “fun” to begin with. Creeping shadows old world architecture, sprawling hills, and that sense if dreading in the people if the region.
The blood drips, splashes, and flows from jagged wounds as de Marnac exacts his revenge. There are hints of vampirism, dark displays of sorcery, and even the rise of several zombies to do their masters’ evil bidding. Superstitious villagers, hostile weather, and a lack of modern amenities also contend to end the lives of our main characters. Damsels in distress, powerful talismans, and a convoluted solution that includes an act from “one who is pure of heart” give the protagonists a fighting chance against the evil forces around them. This is classic good versus evil, and du Marnac is as chilling and enthralling a villain as they come.
I attempted to watch the film in its native Castillian with sub-titles, but the sound quality came off with a tin quality that hurt my ears a little on the DVD release I found. I switched back to its English dub, when change had a better sound quality in my opinion. I still read the sub-titles, which were actually fairly excellent and never blended with the background like so many other movies. As with many films of the time, the voice acting is a little weak and lacks some of the passion or emphasis of dialogue going on at the time. It’s an otherwise excellent film well worth a dark evening or matinee afternoon home on the couch with your own favorite beverage and a light snack.
7.5/10/ and a strong recommendation for fans of 70s style gothic horror.
– Red Cap Jack
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