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The new BCI DVD of "Horror Rises From The Tomb" is a revelation. Fully uncut and in widescreen, the movie has never looked so good. Sadly, while it glows in the glory of stunning picture and sound, the film itself comes up a bit short. But that's not to say it isn't fun. The story involves a medieval warlock named Alaric and his lover who are executed and buried for their evil crimes. In the present day, two couples, one of whom is a descent of the original wizard, decide to search for the bodies and dig them up (for reasons I cannot quite remember), which of course leads to dire consequences for all. What initially impressed me was the stunning prologue, beautifully filmed on a windswept plain somewhere, but this was immediately followed by a shift into the present day where two modern, beautiful, swinging couples spend far too long having dull conversations and generally wasting running time before the evil ancestor is finally dug up and (surprise, surprise) rejuvenated. Before the re- appearance of the warlock, the film sags miserably, so don't be surprised if you find your attention wandering. I have seen this film twice and on both occasions I lose interest in the film totally during this part.
Things get going again around the halfway mark and things benefit by the appearance of Naschy (again) as Alaric and the statuesque Helga Line as the revived mistress. But the film never really kicks into top gear, and I think this leaden first half is partly to blame. Paul Naschy does his best as usual but none of the four main characters are interesting, and the blonde woman in particular is an appallingly bad actress. And if you're expecting lots of gore filled action, you might be disappointed.Read more ›
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This Spanish horror film from 1973 shows a lot of promise but fails to deliver the type of movie experience one would expect on the basis of its title. For a number of reasons, I was quite unable to really connect with the story and found myself rather bored at times as the movie progressed. There's just no atmosphere at all here; I don't care about the characters or what happens to them because they simply do not seem real. Our story begins in 15th century France with the execution of a warlock and his mistress. After being called every name in the book (warlock, demon, vampire, Satan worshipper, etc.), the warlock curses his killers just before his head is divorced from his body. His vow to return has to wait four centuries to be realized. Paul, Maurice, and their best girls attend a séance, and Paul asks the medium where he can find the reputed warlock's head and body (which are supposedly buried somewhere on his property). The four friends decide to test the medium's power by searching for the remains in the locations she indicates, so they journey deep into the woods to a remote chalet. The group somehow grows to six people at some point thereabouts, and some pretty bad things begin to happen after a buried chest is discovered. This chest, of course, contains the head of the long-dead warlock, and he soon begins resuming his old ways of making people do his bidding by starting intently at them. Zombies emerge from a swamp, and the housemates in the chalet begin to disappear or fall under the evil influence one by one. Once the warlock gets his feet back under him (literally), he starts popping up everywhere to seduce or kill people. Even though our list of heroes declines steadily over the course of the film, the whole thing gets rather tedious.Read more ›
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Horror Rises but no for long13 Dec. 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
The new BCI DVD of "Horror Rises From The Tomb" is a revelation. Fully uncut and in widescreen, the movie has never looked so good. Sadly, while it glows in the glory of stunning picture and sound, the film itself comes up a bit short. But that's not to say it isn't fun. The story involves a medieval warlock named Alaric and his lover who are executed and buried for their evil crimes. In the present day, two couples, one of whom is a descent of the original wizard, decide to search for the bodies and dig them up (for reasons I cannot quite remember), which of course leads to dire consequences for all. What initially impressed me was the stunning prologue, beautifully filmed on a windswept plain somewhere, but this was immediately followed by a shift into the present day where two modern, beautiful, swinging couples spend far too long having dull conversations and generally wasting running time before the evil ancestor is finally dug up and (surprise, surprise) rejuvenated. Before the re-appearance of the warlock, the film sags miserably, so don't be surprised if you find your attention wandering. I have seen this film twice and on both occasions I lose interest in the film totally during this part.
Things get going again around the halfway mark and things benefit by the appearance of Naschy (again) as Alaric and the statuesque Helga Line as the revived mistress. But the film never really kicks into top gear, and I think this leaden first half is partly to blame. Paul Naschy does his best as usual but none of the four main characters are interesting, and the blonde woman in particular is an appallingly bad actress. And if you're expecting lots of gore filled action, you might be disappointed. A lot of the effects in the film are pretty bad, and many are just "materializations" or hypnosis scenes done with coloured lights. There is a bit of gore, most notably an amazing scene in which Helga Line tears a man's chest open with her fingernails and pulls his heart out (!), and there are a few other fun bits, such as the return of some of the recently murdered victims as undead attackers. This had the potential to be a great highlight of the film, as the dead bodies seem to reside in a lake during the day and rise at night, and the make up for them is truly ghoulish. Unfortunately it's treated in a very throwaway fashion, and because the plot is so weak it doesn't really make that much sense, but at least the film is a bit more exciting during the short sequence when they attack a house. Proof that this scene is wasted is clear from the amount of promotional material that uses images of these zombies, in particular the girl on the cover of this BCI DVD cover - a gruesome sight that you'll sadly have trouble spotting clearly in the film itself
As the film plods onwards, too much time is spent on the warlock's rather dull ability to hypnotize some characters and make them his slaves. This is obviously a very cheap effect as they just have to walk around menacing each other blankly, although in the case of the hopeless blonde actress it's a positive bonus, as her performance improves immensely once she stops talking! There's also a very weak idea involving an amulet that can repel the evil wizard, and once this is found he switches rather drastically from indestructible to a complete pushover and the film winds up rather rapidly from this point onwards. For all these reasons I find the film ultimately rather unsatisfying, which disappointed me because having only the previously released poor copies of it, I thought the BCI version was going to reveal it's full glory, but it actually achieved the opposite and showed it up as a rather ineffective mish mash of different ideas. There are some great shots and images but the plot and script pretty much undermine all the good visual atmosphere.
The BCI version comes with both Spanish and English soundtracks, but the Spanish one sounds very tinny compared with the full bodied English one, so I stuck with that one, which of course never helps! There's also some bonus material in the form of a gallery and a great collection of alternate "clothed" sequences for a lot of shots, but the main feature itself contains the full nudity versions of all these scenes, so you won't have to feel you are missing anything with the main version! Plus it has that fantastic cover.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A superb DVD release of an obscure film21 Oct. 2004
- Published on Amazon.com
First of all, I am the type of person that likes to view rare and obscure horror flicks, hence why I bought Horror Rises From the Tomb on a whim. I was totally surprised by the DVD when it arrived. First of all, its a two disc set with three versions of the movie! The first disc contains the international uncut version in Full Screen and a version called the "Clothed" version in Widescreen. The "Clothed" version is easily the best looking of the three version and looks really crisp for a 30+ year old relatively unknown film. Unlike the "uncut" version, the "clothed" version actually contains alternate sequences that have many of the nude women "clothed", and also contains some alternate edits to cut down on the nudity. The "uncut" international version contains all the gore and nudity, but the negative doesn't look near as good as the "cloth" version. It's still easily worth having. The second disc contains yet a third version of the film which is a full screen transfer fo the U.S. cut release. This is easily the worst as it cuts out all the nudity and gore and the negative looks absolutly terrible. There is also a slew of extras included on the second disc including still gallaries, trailers, and bios. All this came housed in a double keep case that slipped nicely in a cardboard slipcase. I was totally blown away that such an obscure film would get released so nicely on DVD, since more popular movies by bigger distributors usually are unleashed in bare bone releases. If your a fan of rare Euro horror flicks such as Tombs Of The Blind Dead and The Beyond, then you will not be disappointed by this DVD release. If Child's Play 3 and Freddy Vs. Jason are what you consider to be difinitive horror films, then Horror Rises From the Tomb won't be your cup of tea.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A review from a Naschy fan18 Jan. 2008
- Published on Amazon.com
HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB (HRFTT, from here on out) is one of Paul Naschy's superb entries in European horror. It is a totally, 100% unique brew that was created in a feverish night of speed and no sleep...and it does indeed show! Naschy, known more for his Waldemar Daninsky werewolf pictures, creates another iconic character that has more in common with the classic Universal horror film of the 30s and 40s than with other Euro-horror films of the era (the 70s). No, there are no black-gloved mysterious killers stalking women through Italian (or, in this case, Spanish) streets. Here in HRFTT is a Alaric du Marnac, a warlock who dabbles in a bit of this and that (vampirism, black magic, necromancy, cannibalism, etc) who was influenced by the real Frenchman, Gilles de Rais -- a purported child murderer and who knows what else for sure. Truly, du Marnac is about as evil of a character you will ever find in any horror film of the last 50 years; no sense of conscience, he exists purely for the seeking of pleasure for himself and his mistress, Mabille du Lancre (played by the beautiful Helga Line). Naschy plays du Marnac with such sincerity and charisma, he seems to have channelled the magic of Karloff, Lugosi and Chaney while still making this character his own. The other actors should be commended as well, including Line, Emma Cohen and Vic Winner; all give superb performances for what many might just write off as another cheesy Euro-exploitation movie.
I don't want to give away too much about the film itself, since it really is unique. But, I will say this film involves just about every evil, dark thing imaginable -- thanks to Naschy's fevered mind during the creation of the script. You'll see everything from plain old carjackings all the way up to the living dead to odd colors to mist floating around so many scenes, not to mention the evil-doings du Marnac was known for.
The print used by BCI/Deimos is incredible. It blows away all other versions ever seen, probably even theatrically speaking. The colors blaze out of the screen, the details are so crisp it truly is amazing. The sound is lovely too; the score is very unique, almost like an organ score from an older silent film (though, more experimental). It features two language tracks (Eng & Span) plus a wonderful commentary track from Paul Naschy and Carlos Aured. The extras are various as well -- trailers, alternate scenes, stills, and insightful linernotes written by Mirek Lipinski.
This entire line of BCI/Deimos' Naschy & Spanish releases really raise the bar for Euro-horror releases. BCI/Deimos should be awarded honors for taking these films seriously and giving them the royal treatment.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Super Gory and a must for Paul Naschy films31 Dec. 2008
- Published on Amazon.com
Another Paul Naschy Spanish horror. This time it is a super gory witchcraft horror. This one delivers the gore and nudity like no other Naschy movie. You will need a strong stomach. Naschy is a devil with a woman who gets naked a lot and rips out,cuts,and eats hearts,necks,etc. He is brought back to life (he was killed many years earlier in the opening scene) from his ancestor(also Naschy) & a few friends. Not to be a spoiler but all the heroes surprisingly died in this. Somehow whats left of our heroes are able to beat Naschy the Devil - but Evil seemed very triumphant here. There are several versions on DVD, BCI Deimos has the best print, it is uncut, with all the nude scenes and gore intact. Better transfer than Mondo Macabro uncut transfer. The music sounds like a General Hospital soap opera. BCI Deimons is the release to get. I would say check this out if you like Lucio Fulci films,like Paul Naschy movies and The Blind Dead series and you have the stomach for this one. It is a good movie, but pretty damn gory.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Naschy's Masterpiece17 Jan. 2005
- Published on Amazon.com
Horror rises from the tomb is one of the greatest Spanish horror films to date. I recommend watching the uncut european version that this DVD collection provides. All of Naschy's horror films are reminicent of the old Universal and Hammer horror films, except they usually have more gore and nudity. Horror rises from the tomb is no exception.