Day 1 – Horror Rises from the Tomb (1973)

2018 Countdown to Halloween – Day 1: Horror Rises from the Tomb (1973)
Cast:        Paul Naschy as Alaric de Marnac/Hugo de Marnac/Armand de Marnac
Emma Cohen as Elvire
Vic Winner as Maurice Roland/Andrre Roland

Story and Screenplay by Jacinto Molina
Directed by Carlos Aured

Plot: In the past, we witness a warlock beheaded and his wife executed. Flash forward to the present when two couples journey to the countryside to discover his head is buried on some family property, setting in motion the return of the once-dead warlock.

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Richard’s Review: The initial rushed production is not evident as Horror Rises from the Tomb is often mentioned as one of Paul Naschy’s best films. Naschy pulls off three roles with the modern-day Hugo getting the most screen time. He’s the hero of the piece for the most part but cheating on his past love Elvire while his present-day girlfriend is in the other room does taint his image a little bit.

With obvious inspirations visible from George Romero’s then new take on the classic zombie, there are some genuinely creepy moments as the undead storm the house. While the story did drag on in parts, it kept me engaged but the final scene with Elvire after the danger is over sets her character back a step or two after coming out as the heroine of the film. This, combined with a rather repetitive musical score from Carmel Bernaola, drops the movie a little for me. However, it is considered a classic by many and I can certainly see why. I enjoyed it quite a bit and recommend you check it out.

Karla’s Thoughts: I didn’t enjoy this one as the story seemed too long and the music grated on my nerves. It was a little too bloody and the nudity didn’t seem to serve a purpose. I’m not opposed to nudity but it needs to serve a purpose in the plot. The ending was the last straw for me as the character’s actions made no sense considering what she had been through.

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Trivia:

  • The movie was filmed on location at Paul Naschy’s country home in Madrid that he owned until the 1980s.
  • Released in Spain in 1973 but not until 1974 in the United States, when it became available to television through Avco Embassy’s Nightmare Theater package.

Availability: Available on The Paul Naschy Collection from Shout Factory on Blu-ray.

Special Thanks: As a newcomer to the films of Paul Naschy, I still have a lot to learn. If you want to know more, listen to the NaschyCast podcast hosted by Rod Barnett and Troy Guinn. Then, purchase a copy of Human Beasts: The Films of Paul Naschy by Troy Howarth, available in both color and standard (black and white) editions. You’ll be glad you did!

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