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Author Topic: Sweet Sound of Death / La Llamada (1965, Xavier Seto)  (Read 1830 times)

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  • Cane Arrabbiato
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Pablo (Emilio Caba) a Spanish medical student, is in love with French student Dominique (Dianik Zurakowska) and dispairs because she must go home to Brittany for a reunion.  Before she leaves, Dominique takes Pablo to a cememtery and has him make a pact with her that whoever dies first will come back to prepare the other for the hereafter.  After driving Dominique to the airport, Pablo experiences a spell of deafness.  When his hearing returns, he finds out that Dominique's plane has crashed.  Before he can discover the identities of the survivors, Dominique calls him and returns to him.  When she disappears again after burning the letter from the airport with the list of survivors, Pablo goes to the airport and discovers that Dominique is listed among the dead.  Suspecting she has returned to Brittany for her own funeral.  Pablo asks for help from one of his professor (Carlos Lemos).  They go to Brittany and attend the funeral.  While Pablo sees Dominique, the Professor cannot.  The Professor goes to Dominique’s family home and is told by the caretaker (Victor Israel) that the Monseau family died out long ago.  Pablo, despite the Professor's suspicions, slips away to the family home for dinner with Dominique's family.

A neglected Spanish horror classic that seems almost like the missing link between the American CARNIVAL OF SOULS and the French A VIRGIN AMONG THE LIVING DEAD, Xavier Seto's deliberately-paced chiller was produced by American Sidney Pink who also produced Seto’s THE SOUND OF HORROR and THE CASTILIAN.  Francisco Sanchez’s wonderful black-and-white cinematography will be eye-opening to those more familiar with his color work on several Paul Naschy vehicles as the camera pans across the wintry Spanish parks, rain-slicked outdoor dance floors, the shadowy but intimate and warm dining room of the roadside inn they stay at, the chilly and desolate cemetery where they make their pact, the misty streets of Brittany, and the high-ceilinged ancient family residence of the Moneau family.  Gregoria Garcia Segura provides a jazz score that strangely fits the film’s collision of the modern and the gothic.  Zurakowska is effective as the possibly dead woman who seems to have embraced death even before the crash but Caba is the focus of the film which is appropriate to a film which undermines the modern and the rational with family tradition and the supernatural.

Originally reviewed in Video Watchdog 27:23 as a Sinister Cinema release which was subsequently removed from their catalogue.  That print had 1.66:1 hardmatted titles and the rest was fullscreen.  Sinister's catalogue mentioned it was from 35mm so it was likely shot open-matte.  Troma now owns the films rights as well as other holdings of producer Sidney Pink.
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