Horror Rises from the Tomb (1973)

aka El espanto surge la tumba

Article 3644 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-22-2011
Posting Date: 8-6-2011
Directed by Carlos Aured
Featuring Paul Naschy, Emma Cohen, Victor Alcazar
Country: Spain
What it is: Witches and vampires and walking dead

A practitioner of the black arts puts a curse on his executioners. Years later when his descendants set out to find his remains, he begins acting out his vengeance.

Paul Naschy was such a fan of the classic monsters that I often wish I liked his movies better than I do. Granted, I’m usually catching poorly-dubbed cut prints of varying condition when I watch them, and they’re simply not going to work as well because of the sense of cheapness they project. Like many of his movies that I’ve seen, this one just doesn’t pick up much in the way of horror momentum; there’s lots of scary scenes, but there’s no decent story flow and there’s a tiresome sameness to a lot of the scenes in the movie. His movies would be really hard to follow if they weren’t built on such familiar elements; the witch/warlock cursing his executioners storyline is fairly common, the idea of matching up the head of the sorcerer to his body has popped up before (specifically, in THE THING THAT COULDN’T DIE), and the living dead sequence is just another nod to a certain George Romero movie. There are a couple of special effects sequences that work fairly well, but, as in many Naschy movies, certain individual moments work although the movie as a whole doesn’t. Still, I’m willing to bet a good complete print with subtitles would improve things.

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