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Horror Rises From the Tomb / El Espanto surge de la tumba (Carlos Aured, 1972)

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Paul Naschy, Emma Cohen, Vic Winner, Helga Line


Alaric Du Marnac and his evil follower, Mabille are executed by decapitation for their alliance with the Devil and despicable crimes against humanity. Before Alaric is killed, he places a curse on the descendants of his brother Armand and another relative, Andre Roland. Centuries later, Hugo Du Marnac and a group of friends interested in his lineage, partake in a seance to speak with his long dead kin. They learn of the location where his decapitated head has been buried and dig it up. For Alaric to live again, his head must be rejoined with his body. Mabille, his wicked lover, is also resurrected and the two apostates unleash their revenge on the descendants of Marnac.

As in many of his other movies, Naschy plays multiple roles essaying three here. Naschy plays Alaric, Armand Du Marnac, the brother of Alaric and Hugo, the disbelieving descendant of Alaric. During the seance, odd things happen and Hugo passes them off as parlor tricks. His main interest in locating his devil worshiping relation is the rumored buried treasure. As in his other movies, Naschy shows little interest in his human performances reserving his vivacity for his non-human or demonic roles.

Calos Aured returns again after directing Naschy in three other pictures (among them BLUE EYES OF THE BROKEN DOLL 1973 aka HOUSE OF PSYCHOTIC WOMEN and VENGEANCE OF THE MUMMY 1973, one of Naschy's goriest movies) in what would be a redressed version of half a dozen other Naschy vehicles-devilish villains executed swearing vengeance only to surface in modern times and a special talisman being the only means of destroying them.

There are some good scenes here such as one involving Hugo's relative, Maurice Roland, a painter. He has a nightmare in which he sees Alaric in his dream. He awakens and immediately paints a portrait of the warlock holding up his head (the scene is a bit funny as the canvas is seen with messy brushstrokes then seconds later it's a perfectly detailed painting of Alaric). Suddenly, blood begins to pour down onto the canvas. The image of Alaric appears above and laughs maniacally until Maurice destroys it. The image vanishes.

The murder of Chantel is quite violent even though you don't really see much but Aured handles it well enough. Another striking scene has Hugo and company robbed by some ruffians until some violent thugs come to their rescue. They kill the two robbers. One is shot in the head and has his ear cut off while the other is hanged in front of them.

The resurrection scene contains some subtle necrophilic overtones but the scene itself is kind of lazy in execution. There's no ritual or special rites involved in reuniting Alaric's head with his body. The mesmerized followers simply place the head against his corpse within his coffin and voila, Alaric walks the earth again. Another scene that is a bit of a letdown is a sequence involving a number of corpses rising from a swamp to attack Hugo and Elvira. The scene is seen from afar and you're not sure what has happened until they show up on Hugo's doorstep. The zombies are effective enough and look like they stepped off the set of HORROR EXPRESS between takes.

Then, around 68 minutes in, something you don't expect happens but I guess it was necessary for what must have been a very short shooting schedule. The destruction of Alaric is kind of abysmal as instead of having him stabbed with the talisman, it's simply thrown at him bouncing off his shoulder causing his body to smoke. Elvira goes over and places the amulet on his forehead by which his neck begins to bleed causing his head to once again leave his body.

Although the film is bloody, you only see the aftermath most of the time (save for one shot of Line ripping through a man's chest to tear out his heart) but there is plentiful nudity on display. In fact, there's probably more nudity than blood. Helga Line is especially stunning in her flimsy gown and gets down with some tame lesbian groping of one of her intended victims. The other female cast members get naked one or more times throughout the picture as well.

HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB was previously released in the US on Charter Home Entertainment. EDDE Entertainment also released an uncut VHS of lesser quality in the early 90s as MARK OF THE DEVIL 4: HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB and Crash released a DVD a few years back which had 3 versions of the film but none of them looked as good as this version. The film looks better than it really should as like most of Naschy's movies, it's average but enjoyable if you take it for what it is. Not nearly as well done as some of Mexico's golden age of horror cinema nor a fair number of 60s Italian horror, it nonetheless provides a lot of exploitation value and as Naschy himself points out in his intro, it's not to be taken seriously.

Stephen Grimes:
There's a mention of the medieval French city Carcassone in this which is where i'm currently living,think it's supposed to be set in this part of southern France :'(


--- Quote from: Stephen Grimes on 11 Dec 2007 - 08:21 ---There's a mention of the medieval French city Carcassone in this which is where i'm currently living,think it's supposed to be set in this part of southern France :'(

--- End quote ---

There's a nice old monastery featured throughout that lends a BLIND DEAD feel. Is this still standing if this is the same place?

I'm liking BCI/Deimos's treatment of the Spanish horror flicks, I'll continue getting them as long as they're doing a good job at releasing them.  I'll have to agree though, most of these are pretty mediocre, although I particularly enjoyed Night of the Werewolf and got a thrill out of hearing the Stelvio Cipriano Tentacles score over the intro credits.

Stephen Grimes:

--- Quote from: IL COMMISSARIO on 11 Dec 2007 - 16:13 ---There's a nice old monastery featured throughout that lends a BLIND DEAD feel. Is this still standing if this is the same place?

--- End quote ---
No they didn't film it in Carcassone itself,it's just mentioned at the start right before the beheading and hanging at the tree.It is based in southern France along with a few other Naschy films like INQUISITION and i think WEREWOLF SHADOW but whether they did film here i don't know,saying that they could have done as we're not far from the Spanish border and the Franco regime back then in Spain wasn't keen on these kind of films.


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