Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 5th, 2008
Theatrical Release Date: Spain, April 27th, 1973
Director: Carlos Aured
Writer: Jacinto Molina (Paul Naschy)
Cast: Paul Naschy, Emma Cohen, Víctor Alcázar, Helga Liné, Betsabé Ruiz, Luis Ciges, Julio Peña, María José Cantudo, Juan Cazalilla
DVD released: October 23rd, 2007
Approximate running time: 89 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Castilian and English
DVD Release: BCI/Deimos Entertainment
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.98
Synopsis: A warlock and witch are executed during medieval times. They put a curse on those responsible for their death and their descendants. Flash forward present day a man accompanied by three friends returns to his ancestral home which also happens to be the same place where four hundred years before the Warlock and Witch were executed. Immediately after his arrival at his family’s ancestral home strange things start to happen when those around him disappear or turn up dead.
Horror Rises from the Tomb would reunite Paul Naschy with Carlos Aured who had directed him three previous times The Mummy’s Revenge, Curse of the Devil and Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll. The plot for Horror Rises from the Tomb shows a lot of promise early on that it doesn’t pay off on before all is said and done. Things start to fall apart after Hugo de Marnac and his friends arrive at his family’s ancestral home. One thing that is not exploited enough in this film is the superstitious town’s people who live in a village near the place where Hugo and his friends are staying. The last thirty minutes of the film are rampant with walking dead, murder, bloodshed and nudity. The film’s ending feels rushed and anticlimactic. Surprisingly despite these flaws in the plot the film somehow still retains an odd kind of charm to it.
Visually the film is beautifully shot by cinematographer Manuel Merino collaborations with Jess Franco (The Blood of Fu Manchu, The Girl from Rio, 99 Women, Marquis de Sade: Justine, The Castle of Fu Manchu, The Bloody Judge, Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula, Eugenie… the Story of Her Journey Into Perversion, The Devil Came from Akasava, Vampiros lesbos, X312 – Flight to Hell, She Killed in Ecstasy, The Corpse Packs His Bags, El Doctor Mabuse, Eugénie de Sade) stand out of his best work. Manuel Merino exquisite lighting illuminates the films many superb compositions. The two shots that standout the most are Mabille De Lancré naked hanging upside down from a tree and the housekeepers’ lifeless body dangling over the kitchen table.
The screenplay for Horror Rises from the Tomb was written by its star Paul Naschy who also played multiple roles in the film. Once again Paul Naschy surrounds himself with a bevy of beautiful ladies. Helga Liné in the role Mabille De Lancré as suspected Witch gives the film’s most memorable performance. The other leading ladies include Emma Cohen (Obscene Mirror), Betsabé Ruiz (The Loreley’s Grasp) and María José Cantudo (Back of the Store). The acting may leave a lot to be desired at least there is plenty of eye candy in this film. Ultimately Horror Rises from the Tomb is an entertaining gothic horror film that which stands out as one of Paul Naschy’s more bizarre and exploitative films.
Horror Rises from the Tomb is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. From top to bottom this is the best looking transfer out of all the Paul Naschy films released by BCI. Horror Rises from the Tomb was previously released by Mondo Crash and this new release from BCI is a vast improvement over the previous release from Mondo Crash. Overall it is hard to image that this film could look any better than it does for this DVD release.
This release comes with two audio options Castilian and an English dubbed audio track. Both audio mixes are presented in a Dolby Digital mono. Both audio mixes are more than serviceable with the Castilian audio mix sounding slightly cleaner of the two. Removable English subtitles that are error free, easy to read and follow have been included.
Besides a stellar audio/video presentation this release also comes with an abundance of extras which include the films English language trailer, a stills gallery, the Spanish opening credits sequence (2 minutes), alternate clothed scenes from the original Spanish theatrical release/alternate footage (8 minutes), an introduction with Paul Naschy and liner notes about the production written by Mirek Lipinski. The main extra for this release is an audio commentary with Paul Naschy, Director Carlos Aured and moderator Angel Gomez Rivero. The audio commentary is in Castilian and English subtitles have been included. The audio commentary has a few standout moments in what is otherwise a rather mundane affair. Overall BCI’s Horror Rises from the Tomb is a stunning presentation that should be in every Paul Naschy fans collection.