Eurohorror

 

Wow, I just recently re-discovered the joys of the Eurohorror scene. I probably have watched hundreds of European horror films, but none really made any impression on me until recently. Some may ask "what is Eurohorror"? The definition I use to define Eurohorror is quite simple, it is those movies that came out of the European community in the late 60's up through early to late 80's. These films exhibit a lot of sex (especially lesbian) and nudity, a lot of gore, and especially a lot of alternative imagery. It is these ingredients that have attracted me to genre and it pretty much serving as one of the only true new outlet for horror that I find interesting today. I believe the internet will serve to educate many horror fans about these outstanding classic, because it did for me and that is basically what I plan to do with this page. Below is a sampling of the Eurohorror that I have enjoyed watching. This is not to say that every Eurohorror movie I watch is an instant classic, but that these films have brought a rejuvenated freshness to my love of horror. Please, I am aware that many of you are more knowledgeable of these movies than I, so please e-mail me with suggestion and info that I might use to educate others, as well as myself. I will continue to add my suggested movies to this list on a regular basis. Thanks!!!! 

 

 

Burial Ground

While investigating the magic practices of the ancient Etruscans, Professor Ayres (Raimondo Barbieri) unearths a ghastly discovery.  When he heads back to the isolated crypt where he has been conducting his dig, he unwittingly revives the dead.  As the dead rise from their graves to descend up on the living, the night of terrors begins. 

The next day, a group of friends join George (Roberto Caporali), his new wife Evelyn (Mariangela Giordano), and stepson Michael (Peter Bark), at their country mansion for a weekend getaway.  Professor Ayres, who is nowhere to be found, had summoned them all there. So as they await his arrival, they decide to enjoy the solitude and beauty of their surroundings, but little do they know that the dead now walk. 

As the frolicking continues, the ground beneath starts to give way to the resurrected Etruscans who are looking for their next meal. Horrified by the sight of these decaying corpses, the remaining guests make their way back to the villa and barricade themselves in.  As night falls, they begin searching for answers, and a way out, while masses of armed zombies gather outside.  Their chance finally comes when the undead overrun the house and they are able to make a break for a local monastery.  But will they find sanctuary in these holy walls???

 

Burial Ground

 

1980

 

Also known as ”The Nights of Terror,” ”Zombie Horror” and “Zombie 3,” ”Burial Ground” is pure cheese and easily a guilty pleasure of mine. You will either find yourself loving it or hating it, because it is just that type of film.  Sure, it isn’t ”Dawn of the Dead” or ”Zombie,” but in my opinion it is a film that any self-respecting zombie fan should search out and watch. Andrea Bianchi directed this film and many have gone on record as citing it as the ultimate rip-off film in the Italian zombie genre. Sure, he tries to recreate many classic scenes from the films of Fulci and Romero, but I think this film is just paying homage to this sub- genre. Hack, maybe, but still highly entertaining. The atmosphere, gore, and zombies (a la the “Blind Dead” series) are more than adequate, although the soundtrack can be a little tedious at times. The special effects , provided by Fulci veteran Gino De Rossi (“Zombie,” ”The City of the Living Dead,” “House by the Cemetery”), prove to be very effective for this low-budget zombie romp.  Now, I have purposely left out one major and disturbing plot point, so not to spoil your viewing pleasure, but if you really need to know what it is, just read practically any other review of the film and I am sure it will be highlighted. Give this film a chance!!!!


 

Cannibal Apocalypse

In a small theater in Rome, a parapsychology conference is shown underway. Center stage on exhibit is Helga Ulman (Macha Meril), a medium demonstrating her talents of telepathy. As she moves through the standard parlor tricks of any good psychic, she is struck by an overwhelming sense of pure evil emitting from a member of the audience. Falling in and out of a trance-like state, Helga seems to play witness to this person’s murderous past and hysterically warns, “you have killed and you will kill again.”  Visibly shaken by these events, she promises to reveal the killer’s identity the next day. Later that night, she is viciously attacked and murdered by a cleaver-wielding madman, but not before her neighbor, jazz pianist Marc Daly (David Hemmings), is reeled into this deadly game. 

After hours of questioning by the cops, Marc is released and returns to the scene of the crime. As he walks the chilling corridors of Helga’s apartment, he gets a strange feeling that he’s seen something vital, but can’t recall what it is. Later he meets up with news reporter Gianna Brezzi (Daria Nicolodi) and they both agree to work together in solving this crime, but will this partnership prove lethal??

As the chase continues, the killer always seems to be one step ahead of both Marc and Gianna, toying with them much like a cat does with its prey.  Each lead brings more death as they move closer to revealing the killer’s identity. Finally, Marc realizes that the truth may be much closer than he originally thought, so he decides to return to the scene of the crime.

 

Cannibal Apocalypse

1980

 

This film proved to be a turning point in the career of Dario Argento. After firmly establishing himself with such giallo classics as ”The Bird with the Crystal Plumage,” “Cat’ O Nine Tails,” and ”Four Flies on Grey Velvet,” Dario was looking to expand his exploration into the nightmarish world that haunted his dreams. By confronting these demons, he could exercise them in a creative fashion. It is through this maturation process that we see the birth of Argento’s trademark visual stylistic approach.  “Deep Red” also marked the first time Dario and Goblin worked together on a film soundtrack, and I know there isn’t a soul out there who will deny the power of this collaboration.  As important as the images are in telling the story, and the music is in accenting the atmosphere, the melding of these two emotional media in a seamless harmony of darkness helped to produce an unparalleled masterpiece.   

 

 

Deep Red

In a small theater in Rome, a parapsychology conference is shown underway. Center stage on exhibit is Helga Ulman (Macha Meril), a medium demonstrating her talents of telepathy. As she moves through the standard parlor tricks of any good psychic, she is struck by an overwhelming sense of pure evil emitting from a member of the audience. Falling in and out of a trance-like state, Helga seems to play witness to this person’s murderous past and hysterically warns, “you have killed and you will kill again.”  Visibly shaken by these events, she promises to reveal the killer’s identity the next day. Later that night, she is viciously attacked and murdered by a cleaver-wielding madman, but not before her neighbor, jazz pianist Marc Daly (David Hemmings), is reeled into this deadly game. 

After hours of questioning by the cops, Marc is released and returns to the scene of the crime. As he walks the chilling corridors of Helga’s apartment, he gets a strange feeling that he’s seen something vital, but can’t recall what it is. Later he meets up with news reporter Gianna Brezzi (Daria Nicolodi) and they both agree to work together in solving this crime, but will this partnership prove lethal??

As the chase continues, the killer always seems to be one step ahead of both Marc and Gianna, toying with them much like a cat does with its prey.  Each lead brings more death as they move closer to revealing the killer’s identity. Finally, Marc realizes that the truth may be much closer than he originally thought, so he decides to return to the scene of the crime.

 

Deep Red

1975

 

This film proved to be a turning point in the career of Dario Argento. After firmly establishing himself with such giallo classics as ”The Bird with the Crystal Plumage,” “Cat’ O Nine Tails,” and ”Four Flies on Grey Velvet,” Dario was looking to expand his exploration into the nightmarish world that haunted his dreams. By confronting these demons, he could exercise them in a creative fashion. It is through this maturation process that we see the birth of Argento’s trademark visual stylistic approach.  “Deep Red” also marked the first time Dario and Goblin worked together on a film soundtrack, and I know there isn’t a soul out there who will deny the power of this collaboration.  As important as the images are in telling the story, and the music is in accenting the atmosphere, the melding of these two emotional media in a seamless harmony of darkness helped to produce an unparalleled masterpiece.   


Let Sleeping Corpses Lie

George (Ray Lovelock), the young proprietor of an oddity shop which specializes in occult items, has packed up his things and decides to head off to the countryside for some much needed rest. Along the way, his journey is interrupted when a young women accidentally backs over his motorcycle at the local petroleum stop. Reluctantly, Edna (Cristina Galbó) agrees to give George a lift to Windermere so he can meet up with some friends.

Just as their adventure is about to come to an end, Edna asks George to make a quick stop at her sister’s home in Southgate so that she can take care of some family business. One wrong turn later, the two find themselves lost and decide to stop by at local farm for some directions. While George makes his way up to the house, Edna waits nervously back at the car. Along the way, George becomes aware of high-pitch humming noise coming from a machine that he later finds out is being tested to kill insect and parasites. Back at the car, Edna notices a strangely eerie figure making it way toward her and before she knows it, she is attacked by what seems to be a lifeless corpses driven only by in its’ lust to kill. Barely escaping Edna runs screaming into George’s arms and learns that her attacker was the recently deceased tramp known to the locals as “Guthrie the Loony”.  With night approaching, they set off again for Edna’s sister home. 

Elsewhere, Edna’s sister Katie (Jeannie Mestre), a drug addict who suffers from mental problems, witnesses the brutally murdered of her husband at the hands of Guthrie. Just as George and Edna arrive, a hysterical Katie confronts them with the gruesome details of this ghastly crime. As the police are called to the scene in steps a tough bigot Irishman, Inspector McCormick (Arthur Kennedy) who seems hell bent on locking up Katie and any other hippie that gets in his way, but Edna, knowing that her sister is incapable of such an act, decides to seek out the truth.  As their search leads them through the dusty crypts of the local cemetery, can they truly be prepared for what may be waiting for them at the Morgue???

 

Let Sleeping Corpses Lie

 

 

This well-paced, highly imaginative, intelligent zombie-fest had gone undiscovered by most horror fans for many years and only recently has been introduced to the masses with Anchor Bay’s re-release. Harkening back to the social commentary of “Night of the Living Dead”, Spanish director Jordi Grau’s (“Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun”) own “Let Sleeping Corpses Lie” (aka “The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue”) plays on themes in the social, ecological, and political arenas while provide its viewers with a thrilling trip to the grave and back. If you are looking to enter the wonderful world of Eurohorror, while at the same time getting you greasy little paws on one of the top ten  zombie films  of all-time, pick up “Let Sleeping Corpses Lie” immediately!!!!



 

 

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