Horror Rises from the Tomb

January 28, 2014 at 2:08 am (8 Heads, Horror Rises from the Tomb) (, , , )

Horror Rises from the Tomb – 1973 – Spain

In the bleak hills of medieval France, soldiers behead a warlock and hang his mistress. Leap forward to modern Paris. Aristocrats have a séance and channel the warlock’s ghost. On a lark, they find and unearth the warlock’s severed head, freeing his malevolent spirit. At the head’s bidding, folks are mesmerized to perform bloody murders and sexual Satanic rituals.

Paul Naschy wrote Horror Rises from the Tomb and stars as both the protagonist and warlock. The warlock is apparently based upon the Gilles de Rais, a French knight and serial killer of children. Typical of Naschy, Horror Rises from the Tomb is graphic and exploitative. Vibrant red gore pours and foxy women lounge in slinky sleepwear. Corpses shamble, beating hearts are devoured, and someone screws a bloody corpse. There is full frontal nudity and every character but one is messily killed. It is thrilling, perverse stuff.

Of course, Horror Rises from the Tomb is cheap and utterly lacking logic. Yet somehow it exudes classy gothic ambiance. The premise is classic. The aristocrats are stranded at a manor amid desolate swamps and mountains. The electricity is out and they are menaced by supernatural forces. The film was shot at Naschy’s home in Spain’s Lozoya valley. The house and its catacombs have an austere atmosphere, furthered by layered cinematography. Is anyone surprised that Naschy lives in a spooky mansion?

Fans of Naschy know to expect violent, sexy, decadent horror. And he does it so well. Naschy is a charismatic protagonist and despicable warlock, but regardless of role, his aura is magnetic. Horror Rises from the Tomb is Naschy at his depraved best.

Rating: 8/10 Shrunken Heads. Not to be confused with Terror-Creatures from the Grave (1965).

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