Thursday, April 7, 2022

head the ball.

Rewatched this last night.

Well that was short and to the point.

Horror Rises From The Tomb (1973).
Dir: Carlos Aured.
Cast: Paul Naschy, Emma Cohen, Helga Liné, Cristina Suriani, Julio Peña, Montserrat Julio, Betsabé Ruiz, Elsa Zabala, María José Cantudo, Juan Cazalilla and Vic Winner.

Bloody Hell my spellcheck has had a breakdown after that.

It's sometime in the late Middle Ages in a playpark somewhere in France (played in this case by Madrid doing a passable impression of a shit-covered French field) where a pair of French nobletypes -  Armand du Marnac (Naschy, nuff said) and his pal Andre Roland (Winner from Count Dracula's Great Love) are busy leading a group of soldier types who are in turn taking a black-clad duo to their deaths via an old cart pulled by cows.

Obviously the films budget would only stretch to two horses and the stars have those.

Turns out that the two prisoners are Armand’s brother, Alaric (Naschy again but this time in a comedy beard) and his girlfriend Mabille de Lancre (Liné, who appears in this blog so often I really should just name it after her and be done with it) both of whom have been convicted of not only crimes against fashion but also of cannibalism, blood-drinking, drawing penises on pictures of the mayor, buggery, false promises of 350 million quid to the NHS post Brexit and human sacrifice.

Which is nice.

After cursing his brother and his descendants Alaric is quickly beheaded (mainly so as you don't see the cut 'tween Naschy and the shop window dummy with a hastily painted balloon head) whilst Mabille is stripped naked, hung upside down by her ankles and whipped a bit to a spooky organ soundtrack.

Maybe she's born with it?

With all this breast-based scene setting out of the way we're off to 70s sunny Paris (or at least a wee bit of Naschy's holiday Super 8 footage) where dumpy descendant Hugo du Marnac (yup it's Naschy yet again) has just popped round to tell his artist friend Maurice (Winner back for more) that his girlfriend, the council estate Elle Fanning Paula (Experiencia prematrimonial’s Suriani), has returned from Germany and is staying with Hugo's squeeze, the frightbrowed Silvie (Return of The Blind Dead and The Loreley's Grasp star Ruiz) and that the boys have been invited round for some Aldi booze based fun.

Unfortunately Silvie has also invited the séance obsessed, professional oldsters  Gail (The Blood-Spattered Bride's Julio) and Sean (Satanik's Peña) over for the evening and they soon dominated the proceedings with chat pertaining to the spooky psychic medium Madam Irina Kormorova (high Scrabble scoring Zabala from your granddad's bed) and her ability to converse with the dead.

Sean and Gail suggest that they all go and see her and the gang excitedly agree.

Maurice however being sensible (and having a painting to finish) declines the invitation and goes home for a tearful wank and a Pot Noodle whilst the rest of the gang grab their jackets and head of to Kormorova's house.

Obviously being a legit psychic she'll know that they're coming.

In both cases.

"Hands on mah table!" - Trump's nightmare.

Hugo, being skeptical about all things paranormal (so it's a good thing he hasn't taken a look at his wig in a mirror then) cheekily suggests that Madam  Kormorova should attempt to contact the spirit of the aforementioned Alaric du Marnac in order to find out if it’s true that his head and body were buried in separate graves on the family estate.

You'll not be too surprised to find that Alaric does indeed appear and not only confirms the facts of his burial but also gives the precise location of where both body and head will be found.

Meanwhile, Maurice too is receiving a visitation from the vengeful spirit in the form of a possessed painting session that climaxes in him producing a picture of Alaric holding his severed head.

Shocked at how shite the actual piece is Maurice quickly destroys it.

I made this.

As you can probably guess the next day our groovy foursome excitedly pack their bags and begin the long drive over to Hugo’s ancestral estate.

Being a Paul Naschy movie tho' nothing is that simple (or logical) so it's not long before the group are attacked by bandits on the road (obviously bored by the lack of British beef to burn) giving our hero a chance to show off his fighting skills before a local lynch-mob arrives and kills the ruffians to death.

Most upsetting tho' is the fact that the bad men have totaled Hugo’s car, forcing him to buy (in the films most exciting scene) what looks like a cheap Chitty Chitty Bang Bang knock off in which to complete the journey.

And this my friends is the kind of thing that made people vote leave*

Finally arriving at the estate Hugo and co. are greeted by Terry Gaston the family butler (giant atomic monster Cazalilla) and his dishy daughters, Elvire (button nosed uber-babe Cohen, who later found fame as Gallina Caponata - the Spanish counterpart to Big Bird in their version of Sesame Street) and Chantal (Cantudo, who's bound to have been in loads of stuff but I can't bother checking) who busy themselves taking the luggage upstairs whilst gazing dreamily at Hugo.

But then again who wouldn't?

"Hello madam....Do you require any scissors sharpening?

As dawn breaks Hugo - alongside Maurice, Gaston and a couple of local ne'er-do-wells are busying themselves digging for Alaric's remains, well the plebs are - Hugo is just standing around like a club-footed catalogue model smoking a fag.

Suddenly Maurice is struck by a bizarre premonition of where Alaric (or at least bits of him) is buried and hurriedly starts to dig up the tomato patch soon uncovering a rusty box that's just about the right size for a human head.


Ordering the hired help to take the box back to the château, Hugo announces that he'll head into town for a blowtorch (I'm pretty sure that's what he said)  to open the box but not until tomorrow as right now there is booze to be drunk and fags to smoke.

Oh and doe-eyes to make at Elvire behind Silvie's back.

Which is fair enough I guess.

Unfortunately the hired help reckon that they’ve uncovered a box of valuable treasures so decide to wait till nightfall and open it themselves but as they burn it open Gaston appears in the doorway brandishing a rolling pin which is kinda unfortunate for him seeing as the now released head of Alaric is free to extend its evil influence onto one of the thieves who picks up a handy sickle before striking Gaston - and his pal - down.

Wiping the bloodied weapon on Gaston's best shirt he picks up the head and carries it away to the crypt in order to reunite it with its body.

Emma Cohen: You would, I would, your dad probably did. Twice. That's why him and yer maw never talk about that holiday to Benidorm they had in 1973.

Meanwhile back at the château the friends game of Twister is interrupted by the appearance of a blood and snot soaked Elvire and Chantal who have just discovered their dead dad.

Hugo quickly grabs his jacket and alongside Maurice ventures out to find the killer ordering the ladies to go to their rooms and lock the doors until they return.

All except Chantel that is, I mean there's washing up to do and it's not going to clean itself.

As she starts work on removing those stubborn stains that just wont fade (the remains of Hugo's runny egg on toast obviously) the possessed pikey prowls into the kitchen and strikes her down before abducting poor Paula and heading back to du Marnac’s crypt.

Maurice, being slightly fitter - and considerably less portly than Hugo - heads off to look for her leaving his pal to console Elvire over the death of her dad and sister by sticking his engorged member in her.

Which, admit it, we'd all do.

Meanwhile Maurice has ended up hypnotized by Alaric and is ordered to bring Sylvia to the crypt where her life-force will be used to resurrect Mabille de Lancre but not before he's helped attach Alaric's head to his body and removed Mabille's skeleton from its resting place.

And if you thought things couldn't get any worse (either in front of or behind the camera) Alaric has torn out the tramps heart and scoffed it.

Returning with Sylvia (wearing a bri-nylon babydoll nightie that even your nan would balk at for being too whorish, Maurice is forced to look on as Alaric strips her naked and stabs her to death before having a sneaky feel of her boobs and locking her in a coffin where - in an amazing show of quick cuts and sloppy editing Mabille appears in her place looking for all the world like she's set for a night frugging away at Studio 54.

Or at the very least the Astoria in Nottingham**.

The Astoria Nottingham: sequined boob-tubes and wet t-shirts not shown.

The devilish duo waste no time in wreaking their vengeance, mysteriously materialising around town in a puff of purple smoke to have sex with various non-speaking extras before tearing their hearts out and - as an encore - sending an albeit small group of zombies (including Gaston) to attack Hugo and Elvire who by this time have discovered an ancient talisman - cunningly hidden behind the toilet cistern -  that has been in the du Marnac family for centuries and kept just on the off-chance that the evil pair ever returned.

Which is lucky if you think about it.

"Put it in me!"

As the pervy paranormal pairs powers grow it's left to Hugo and Elvire to save the world (well OK the local town) from a deadly plague of sex-based brutality and harsh buggery.


Will Maurice regain his free will or at the very least change out of his baby pink shirt?

Will Hugo stop nailing anything that moves?

Will Helga Liné cover up as she looks like she may catch her death of cold?

And will Paul Naschy - after a 10 year wait - end up making a follow up starring the lovely Frances Ondiviela which is just like the original but with more gore, lots more front bums and better wigs?

 Paying homage to - OK totally ripping off - the Will Cowan 1958 American black-and-white 'classic' The Thing That Couldn't Die, Paul Naschy's first collaboration with director Carlos 'The Jackal' Aured (they would later go on to make El Retorno de Walpurgis, Los ojos azules de la muñeca rota and La venganza de la momia together) features nearly everything we know and love about the Naschy oeuvre except werewolves, tho' the stars naturally hairy back and arse near enough makes up for this omission - I mean what other movie can you name that features spooky séances, cannibalism, zombies, random acts of nudity and a lead who changes his outfit almost every scene?

You ain't seen me right?

Whether he's punching perverts or putting it in pretty ladies - Naschy is - a ever - totally watchable as both the hero and villain of the piece, admirably aided by genre stalwarts Vic Winner (AKA Víctor Barrera) and the ginger goddess that is Helga Liné working from a script that makes just enough sense as to make the whole absurd thing vaguely plausible.

If you don't think about it too much obviously.

As with most (all?) of Naschy's output what the film lacks in budget, logic and half-way competent dubbing it more than makes up for in sheer chutzpah and if you can switch off your brain and accept Naschy as a love god whom women find irresistible then you'll have no bother accepting (and enjoying) everything else the movie has to offer.

Except maybe some of Paul's more interesting fashion choices obviously.

And I must admit in some scenes it does look like he's applied his foundation with a trowel.   

No matter how hard he tried Jeff Beck just couldn't tune his Ronco Lady0gram to 6 Music.

But let's be honest, there's not much I can say - I mean if you read this blog chances are you'll already be a fan of the great mans work (except if you're one of those folk that only come by to look at the nudity and leave me abuse) but if you've chanced across this by accident then strip down to your pants and excitedly dive into the world of Naschy.

You can thank me later.

Just wash your hands first.

*Well that and the very English pastime of hating foreigners obviously - thank fuck I live in Scotland as we only have rickets to worry about.

**Or, to give it its proper name, Barry Noble's Astoria.

Barry (now famed for owning most of the UK's penny arcades as well as for owning one of the countries biggest Cyberman memorabilia collections) bought what had earlier been the Astoria Ballroom and then the Sherwood Rooms from Mecca (the bingo hall company not the religious place), turning it into one of the defining clubs of the 80s  - coining the phrase 'Is That Alright Fyuzs' along the way.

Noble: Prize.

On a slightly more sinister note its most famous DJ, Graham Neale (who also did the Castle Rock show on Radio Trent) committed suicide in prison after trying to murder his wife with a hammer.

***Indeed he will and that film shall be called.....

No comments: