Judge Dylan Charles thinks every movie could benefit from more Paul Naschy.
"You and your descendants will suffer the worst tragedies and in one of your bloodlines, we will find our revenge!"
Back in medieval Europe, somewhere in France, an evil sorcerer (Paul Naschy, Exorcism) and his wife (Helga Line) are found guilty of vampirism and werewolfism and the like. Before they're tortured and executed, they place a curse on the descendants of the judges who condemned them. The judges lop off evil Paul Naschy's head and then we flash-forward to present day, where the descendants of the judges who condemned them are all friends. Beset by strange visions, Maurice Roland (Victor Alcazar) and his good buddy Hugo de Marnac (Paul Naschy) decide to go rooting around Hugo's property to find the treasure of the evil Paul Naschy. The good Paul Naschy and Maurice find more than they bargain for when they unleash the ancient evil head of evil Paul Naschy.
Actually, this story sounded a bit familiar to me. There's another movie called The Thing that Couldn't Die, which is also about an evil sorcerer whose head is lopped off and is then brought back to life centuries later. However, that movie didn't have quite as much nudity. Or gore. Or zombies. Or Paul Naschy. In fact, aside from those basic plot elements, there's very little that's the same between the two. Forget I brought it up.
Paul Naschy has been called The Spanish Lon Chaney and in Horror Rises from the Tomb, it's fairly apparent why. Paul Naschy plays not one, not two, but three separate roles. Granted, one is little more than a cameo of sorts, but the other two are main characters. One moment he is the be-bearded evil man-witch Alaric de Marnac, skulking about and undressing women with his eyes (literally). And then he's the smug and skeptical Hugo de Marnac, who doesn't have a beard.
Mr. Naschy clearly enjoys the massive part he plays in Spanish horror and he gleefully takes on the role of Alaric. Helga Line is more staid and less flamboyant as the Alaric's wife, and they are effectively creepy.
But, as a horror movie, there's a lot lacking here. While it's a lot of fun, it's not very scary. What gore there is, is marred by the wonderful red paint that they use as blood. The characters are lacking anything approaching depth (one is the artist, one is the doctor, one is an evil bloodsucking warlock, etc). Which sister just got offed by Alaric? Does it matter? Not really.
Odd little plot points are brought up and then dropped again just as quickly, such as the two car thieves. They steal Hugo's car and then are dispatched by random townsfolk. It's all padding leading up to the deviltry and evil basically, insuring the movie doesn't dip below 80 minutes.
That's not to say you can't enjoy Horror Rises from the Tomb. Everyone involved takes on the project with gusto, which makes watching the proceedings enjoyable to watch.
There are a bevy of extras. There are the Alternate Clothed Scenes, which are all the nude scenes, sans nudity. This manages to rob Horror Rises from the Tomb of whatever punch it had. The audio commentary isn't so much audio since all involved speak in Spanish, so non-Spanish speakers are forced to read the commentary, a fairly painful process. Which is a shame since there's a lot of nifty information from Paul Naschy and the director Carlos Aured.
There's also a wealth of photos on the disc, from posters to other marketing materials used to promote the movie.
Deimos has put together a neat little tribute to this entry in Paul Naschy's oeuvre. Horror Rises from the Tomb is good clean fun.
Well, it's not very clean, there's an awful of naked lady in there.
And it's not really good.
But it is fun.
And that's what's important.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Deimos Entertainment
• Audio Commentary with Paul Naschy and Director Carlos Aured. Moderated by Angel Gomez Rivero
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