Saturday, October 2, 2021

scotch pissed.

Day 2 of the whole 31 Days of Horror thing and it's time to break out the big guns.

And by big guns I mean man boobs.

Stop....Naschy time!

La orgía de los muertos (AKA Orgy of the Dead, The Hanging Woman, Beyond the Living Dead, Return of the Zombies and Terror of the Living Dead among others, 1973).

Dir: Jose Luis Merino.

Cast: Stelvio (Stan Cooper) Rosi, Aurora de Alba, Maria Pia Conte, Gérard Tichy, Dyanik Zurakowska, Pasquale Pasile, Gérard Tichy, Isarco Ravaioli, Carlos Quiney and Lord Paul of Naschy.

For the Squeamish ... Keep Repeating ... It Can't Be True ... It Can't Be True ... It Can't Be True ... It Can't Be True ... It Can't Be True ...

Our tale begins in 19th century Scotland (played here utterly realistically by Skopje in Macedonian) where sexy blonde-bobbed bloke around town Serge Chekov (Council estate Jason King, Rosi, billed as Stan Cooper for reasons beyond our comprehension) and his porn star 'tache has just arrived from 'the London' for the reading of his late uncle Brian’s will. 

And I mean late as in dead, not that he was shite at timekeeping.

With the train guard telling him that no taxis go to the nearby town of Yaweebam after dark due to rampaging Kappa-trackie demons, Serge has no choice but to proceed on foot.

Well technically that's not true as he could stay at the local hotel till morning if he wanted but obviously it's a short film so he wants to get down to the actual plot as soon as possible.

Which is fair enough.

Taking a short cut thru' the local graveyard he's shocked to come across the body of a young girl swinging from a tree and is soon running around in a fairly girly manner, banging on doors and screaming for help only stopping when he gets to his uncle's house.

The fact that he doesn't recognize it or realize that the corpse is that of his cousin Mary (de Alba from Raise Your Hands, Dead Man, You're Under Arrest and Frankenstein's Bloody Terror among other classics) till someone tells him makes me think that they're not that close a family.

Or that he'd actually any idea as to where he was heading.

But heyho, that's early 70s Spanish horror films for you. 

Well this one at least.

"Are you the farmer?"


It's not all bad tho' as Serge soon discovers that he is to his inherit the entire of his uncle’s estate, much to the chagrin of Brian's widow Nadia (Conte, from Spasmo, The Labyrinth of Sex and your dad's bed) a foxy temptress who, when not shagging Ivan the butler (Quiney from shedloads of stuff, none of it any good tho') or having crafty cunnilingus sessions with Igor the gravedigger (Sir Paul of Naschy - the reason we are here)is busy performing black magic rites in her nightie. 

Which is nice.

Add weirdy beardy Professor Leon Droila (Spanish cinema god Tichy) who had been tasked by Brian to find a cure to death via the reanimation of disco-dancing frogs and his harsh daughter Doris (Zurakowska, best known for the classic Vampires Night Orgy and having a really wide face) to the mix and you can see why local police detective and pie expert Jeff Tidybeard (Spain's very own Noel Edmonds, Basile from Julius Caesar Against the Pirates) is convinced that something more sinister than a late night graveyard suicide is afoot.

He suspects murder and is pretty sure that Igor is to blame, especially since they've discovered his love of sniffing (dead) ladies underwear and his habit of sticking his engorged member into female corpses.

Which to me sounds like he's definitely a bit of a wrong 'un,  tho' others would no doubt say he's stunning and brave whilst demonizing and de-platforming anyone who would question the mental health of a person sticking their cock in a corpse. 


"Is it in yet?"

Anyway back at the plot and Nadia is relaxing with a wee bit of voodoo hoodoo (you do, remind me of the babe that is) before following Serge to his room with offers of 'the sex' in the hope of her fantastic blouse persuading him to let her stay in the house.

She will not be the last person to try this trick on Serge during the remainder of the film.

Knocking her back on account of her having 'Knees like me mum', Serge bids her goodnight and - in a scene of unbridled eroticism - slowly strips for bed only to be confronted by Igor falling out of a wardrobe shouting "I'm no a bad 'un really, I just shag corpses! It's everyone else who's wrong!" before trying to stab Serge in the face and escaping thru a secret passage behind the toilet.

Hearing the commotion coming from Serge's room Nadia bursts in to help but only succeeds in hitting poor Serge on the head with a chamber pot resulting in him getting knocked unconscious, luckily Nadia manages to convince him that the best cure for concussion is a shag in her dead husbands bed.

Being a wee bit unsteady on his feet and mildly confused Serge agrees.

Cue ten minutes (or is it hours?) of twirling cut price sexy psychedelic shagging, which would be OK if the whole saucy sense of sexiness wasn't ruined by the cast's dirty feet.

Oh and by Rosi's really hairy arse.

Or was that Conte's?

Obviously Ivan the butler is fairly upset by this turn of events and tries to exert his manliness by refusing to serve Serge an extra crumpet at breakfast which results in our hero shouting - in his best Alan Sugar voice - "You're fired!" at him before punching him in the face which Ivan counters by pulling out a switchblade and trying to stick it in Serge.

Five minutes of slow fighting - and one broken banister - later and Serge has booted the big-haired badboy out of the house with a threat to shoot him in the face if he returns.

Ivan announces that he knows what's going on before storming off into the night.

And with that out of the way everyone retires to bed.

Except me obviously as I want to see how everything plays out.

That's your Mum that is.

With a fairly short running time to fill, the next morning Serge has no sooner finished breakfast when Professor Leon Droila walks in to beg our hero to continue funding his experiments and not chuck him and Doris out into the streets.

Which is fair enough I guess.

He has nowt to worry about tho' as Serge has money to burn and no intention of chucking the Prof and his daughter out on their arse, especially after witnessing an amazing reanimated frog experiment in the downstairs laboratory.

In all the frog-based excitement tho' no-one thinks to tell Doris the good news so she takes in on herself to - uncomfortably - strip down to her pants in front of Serge in the hope of him allowing the pair to stay on the payroll and being the joker he is he doesn't mention it till she's tearfully about to let him put it in her.

What a card.

And with that the pair decided to figure out for themselves what's going down.

Apart from scarily abusive misogyny obviously.

Baby Spice is taking the divorce well.

As their investigations continue, Serge comes across his late niece's diary which leads him back to the family crypt (well it was either there or the chippie - it is a very small town) where he discovers that his uncle's body has vanished, luckily Nadia is on hand to perform a seance in order to contact the count and ask him what the fuck is going on.

Unfortunately for her rather than knock over candles and bang on the table he actually turns up in the (slightly peeling) flesh and strangles her.

To death!


Less is there anyone here, more is anyone fucking interested.

So is Serge's uncle alive or dead? 


Well Inspector Tidybeard reckons that they may have just missed him in the crypt what with it being dark and all, so everyone heads back for a second look.

 And guess what?

Not only is the count's body is back where it should be but poor Igor is there too, bricked up in a wall and covered in blood, egg and shit.

And he's left them a clue scrawled in his own blood.

Or it might be paint.

With the film lurching toward a climax and with nowt of any consequence happening on screen save a few scenes of nudity and Naschy's sweaty man-tits, Serge and Doris head into the catacombs below the house only to discover a horde of zombies awaiting their orders.

But who is controlling them?

And why?

No, really, why cos none of this makes any sense.


Whilst better known for his action/adventure output (including the classics Slaughter on the Khyber Pass, Battle of the Last Panzer and Zorro, Rider of Vengeance) director José Luis Merino had already - if not flirted - then at least given a furtive reach-around to the horror genre with his 1970 offering Scream of the Demon Lover, the terrifying tale a young and beautiful biochemist, Ivanna Rakowsky who falls in love with her employee Baron Janos Dalmar. Little realising that at night he transforms into a demon intent on making her its love slave.

Reading that back I'm kinda wondering why I didn't review that instead.

Oh well.


A strong wumman does some science yesterday.

To be fair tho', what this film lacks in demon-based lusting it more than makes up for with its heady mix of (junior) Cluedo style hi-jinks (albeit with added panty sniffing), a genuinely - at times - creepy atmosphere, Voodoo, zombies, mad scientists and lashings of nudity and gore.

Plus a guest appearance by Paul Naschy that he did as a favour on the proviso  that he could flesh out his character, sleep with the leads (both male and female), write his own dialogue and wear his own trousers.

It's just a pity then that none of it actually holds together in any way whatsoever.

The 'plot' - what there is of it - is equally over-complicated and under developed; at one point screeching to a halt so we can 'enjoy' a ketchup soaked autopsy, the characterization (save for Naschy) is sketchy at best, especially with our 'hero' Serge who goes from well meaning nice guy to predatory creep at the drop of a hat and the fact that there are a fair few characters that don't even have names - even tho' the village seems to only have about 8 inhabitants.

Lucky for us then that just when you think about turning it off Paul Naschy appears at random intervals clad in an Alvin Stardust wig, Benny beanie and with an eggy beard randomly touching up a corpse and saving the whole film in the process.

And for that, as ever we salute him. 

Oh and the scenery is quite nice and whilst The Hanging Woman is no way the best Spanish/Italian co-production featuring a zombie frog ever made it's really not that shit and is a fairly pain-free way to spend an evening.

And if that's not damning with (very) faint praise I don't know what is.

Be seeing you.

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