Satanas de todos los horrores (1974)

aka Satan of All Horrors
Article 2450 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-17-2007
Posting Date: 4-27-2008
Directed by Julian Soler
Featuring Enrique Lizalde, Enrique Rocha, Carlos Lopez Moctezuma
Country: Mexico

A man visits the home of his beloved, and finds her under the sway of his strange brother in a crumbling mansion.

I was caught off guard by this movie, as I didn’t know my print was going to be in unsubtitled Spanish, but, heck, it’s not like I haven’t been here before. Still, I had some help; the titles indicated that it was based on something by Edgar Allan Poe, and it didn’t take much thinking to figure out that the source was “The Fall of the House of Usher”. Granted, that particular story tends to lend itself to talkfests, and, sure enough, there’s lots of talk in this one, and when it’s in a language you can’t understand, it’s even worse. Still, the movie tries to jazz things up, though I’m not sure I care much for the changes; an evil manservant is thrown into the mix, as well as a dose of black magic dabbling and demon summoning. There’s also a plot twist that I’d probably understand better if I knew what the dialogue was saying, but I’ll not reveal it in case it would be a spoiler; it certainly caught me off guard. However, I really like one aspect of this one; it’s the only version I’ve seen that really emphasizes the crumbling state of the house itself; there are cracks in the walls, and the whole house shakes on occasion. There’s an especially memorable sequence involving a picture on a wall. Throw in some rats and decaying corpses to add to the fun. Really, as far as watching foreign movies in their original language goes, this was one of the more benign experiences I’ve had.



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