Centuries ago the authorities
put to death a warlock and his mistress for the crimes of eating human
flesh, drinking blood, and worshipping the devil. But before the
sentence is carried out the warlock declares that he will return for
his revenge and that the ancestors of those who put him to death will
unwittingly help him return. Not only that but after helping his
return he will kill them in revenge of their ancestors actions.
The setting then shifts to modern day where an artist is seeing the
image of a strange man, whom we the audience know to be the warlock.
After some of the artists friends attend a sťance where the sprit of
the warlock is contacted they all head out to an isolated villa to spend
some quiet time (and to search for the warlockís body). Unwittingly
they find the warlockís severed head and set his spirit free.
The warlock begins his bloody revenge and brings back his mistress.
Soon only a couple are left, but can they stop him before it is too
Iíve become a huge fan of
the trashy, sleazy, European horror films of the 60s and 70s.
One of the most reliable filmmakers of the bunch that were making these
movies is the great Paul Naschy. He scores again with the film
Horror Rises from the Tomb. The story follows a familiar formula
of a past evil that returns to take itís revenge on the world.
In this case it is a warlock who returns for revenge on the ancestors
of those who killed him. There are parts of the plot that
feel forced and the movie can be slow at times. But in spite of
the flaws the movie manages to squeeze in vampirism, magic spells, and
zombies during its runtime. Not only that but the story also is
filled with sex and lots of female nudity, which is expected and helps
to give the movie itís sleazy feel. Honestly if you are sitting
down to watch one of these movies and are worried about the plot then
I think you are missing the point. With the exception of Naschy
the cast isnít that impressive. The acting ranges from overacting
to wooden. It is also pretty clear that many of the female actors
were cast simply because of how they look in the nude and not because
of their acting abilities. After watching the movie I canít
really argue with that decision, and again to me when I sit down to
watch a film like this I donít worry about performances.
Of the Naschy films that Iíve
seen this one looks the best. The scenes are well light and framed.
Some of the earlier films from him are too dark and hard to follow at
times, so this is an improvement. I was disappointed in the gore
in this movie, or the lack of it. All of the kills are off camera,
and with the exception of a decent severed head there isnít anything
special here. I would also recommend that unless you are totally
against subtitles that you watch the film with them. The dubbing
for this movie is terrible and can ruin some of the fun.
Again Iím a fan of Naschy
and the sleazy movies from Europe. This may not be everyoneís
cup of tea, but I dig it.
-John "El Juan" Shatzer