Horror Rises From The Tomb (1973)

DVD Cover (Brentwood)
Genres: Haunted House Film, Horror, Supernatural Horror
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Carlos Aured Carlos Aured
Paul Naschy Paul Naschy
Emma Cohen Emma Cohen
Víctor Barrera Víctor Barrera
Helga Liné Helga Liné
Cristina Suriani Cristina Suriani
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5.6 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: November 04, 2004
There's at least four versions of this movie floating around; the U.S. version which is heavily edited, the "Clothed" version which is even more heavily edited, the U.S. Uncut which isn't quite uncut, but the closest you'll get without watching it in Spanish, and of course, the original Spanish version. This review is for the U.S. version, unfortunately.

France, 1454. We witness a warlock by the name of Aleric De Marnac (Paul Naschy) and his mistress Mabille DeLancré (Helga Liné) being sentenced to death for being witches, vampires, werewolves, Satanists, and cannibals. Indeed, you didn't read that wrong... these two people are all of the above. They swear that they'll get revenge on the people that are executing them, and then they're slaughtered off, with Aleric getting decapitated and his mistress being hung upside down from a tree. How being hung upside down would kill a person is beyond me, but I suppose this silliness could be the result of an edit. Jumping ahead, we now found ourselves in modern-day (1973) France. Hugo (Paul Naschy in his second role of the movie) and his buddy Maurice (Víctor Alcázar) have just been reunited with their girlfriends Paula (Cristina Suriani) and Sylvia (Betsabé Ruiz), who were away in Germany for some reason. After spending about two minutes with the ladies, another couple stops by to chat it up with everyone. The third couple mentions that they're heading to a séance, which leads Hugo to go into a rant about how these séances are only used to swindle people out of their cash. The couple invites our four heroes to tag along, as it may change their minds about the reality of the supernatural. The six decide to go, and Hugo brings up the idea of trying to get in touch with the warlock and his mistress, who just so happen to have had their remains buried on his property. The séance is a success, with the medium getting messages from Aleric, who reveals the location of his body and head, which were buried separately. Hugo still doesn't believe it, claiming that the medium had this information ahead of time, so they decide to check to see if the body and head are buried where she said they were. This leads both Aleric and his mistress to be resurrected, and allows them to get started on the revenge that they swore they would have.

First up, a word of warning about this film. If you have any intentions of seeing it, make sure to get the DVD that is linked up above on this page. This is the only American version that is mostly uncut, which should be enough reason to be the desired version anyway... however, it goes one step further with this particular film. Instead of merely cutting out a few seconds of boobs and gore here and there, the cut version decides to completely eliminate entire scenes, which leads one to be highly confused as to what's going on and why.

As an example, Aleric puts Maurice under his spell, and forces him to kill Hugo. Maurice is about to shoot Hugo, and then... we cut on over to Maurice chatting it up with a lady-friend, talking about how he was under Aleric's spell and regrets killing his best friend. How did he break the spell? Thanks to the great editing techniques, I couldn't tell you.

With all of the editing madness aside, this storyline had the potential to at least be around the average level in terms of entertainment, but the movie just moves along much too slow for my tastes. There's way too much talking, rehashing what's going on, explaining things to other characters, explaining the same things to characters who were off taking a piss, etc. While I'm sure that the gore and breasts would have helped keep things slightly interesting, it really wouldn't have been enough to push this film to even the average level. It's not all bad, though. Watch for a surprise flock of zombies near the end, which are very effective in regards to the makeup jobs and the way they're handled. It's too bad that these same zombies saw a torch and hauled ass, never to be seen again, but they were nice up until that point. It's been said that there were some great gore effects here, including a heart being ripped out, guts spilling out of a corpse, and numerous decapitations, but I couldn't speak on those seeings how they were completely removed from the version I viewed. The most violent scene included in this version was a man holding a sickle up to a womans throat and pulling it to the side, allowing a few drops of blood to flow.

Overall, the movie was pretty bad. While I'm sure that the gore and boobs would have helped my enjoyment of this movie, I don't think it would have done much for the final rating. 2/10.
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