Twitch of the Death Nerve

The death of a wealth Countess (Isa Miranda) and the disappearance of her husband has left many unanswered questions in particular "who is the rightful heir to their valuable and much sought after bayside land?" In steps developer Ventura (Chris Avram), who upon hearing of the Countess' suicide decides that the time may be ripe to close a deal that has been eluding him for years, but little does he know what dark forces swirl along the shores of this tranquil setting. 

The scene quickly turns macabre as the body begins to rise. Four unsuspecting teens show up at the bay looking for a little sex, drugs, and rock n' roll, but in the shadows lurks the eyes of a killer. When Brunhilda (Brigitte Skay) decides to takes a skinny dip alone, she uncovers the decaying body of the Count. As she runs screaming for help, she is viscously murdered along with her friends to hide the truth. 

Greed can be such a strong motivating factor that it could turn any good person bad, but in this case, our cast of characters aren't that good. First, we have entomologist Paolo Fosatti and his fortuneteller wife Angela (Laura Betti), whose passion for the environment could be deadly. Up next is Simon (Claudio Volonte), the bastard son from one of the Countess' many extramarital affairs, who may want to stake a claim to his birthright. Than Renata (Claudine Auger), the Count's daughter, and her husband Albert (Luigi Pistilli), whose disgust and anguish at seeing her dead father quickly turns to ambition, rather than revenge. Finally, we cannot over look Ventura, because he may be willing to do almost anything to close this deal. In the end, you may not even walk away from this one. 


Twitch of the Death Nerve



How many times have you heard "this is the one that started it all"?? Well, it couldn't be truer then in the case of Mario Bava's ("Blood and Black Lace", "Black Sunday") classic giallo "Twitch of the Death Nerve". Many less-cultured and even less-educated horror fans unfortunately have fallen into the trap of crediting a film like "Black Christmas" with establishing the framework for the slasher sub-genre, but undoubtedly the influence of "Twitch of the Death Nerve" is unmistakable when watching these films. Sean Cunningham must have watched this film over and over again with formulating the violence in Friday the 13th, Parts I, II, and III. Bava, a true master on every level, brings a certain style to the "body count" film that has rarely been duplicated, with the exception of possibly John Carpenter's "Halloween". If you want to break through the stigma of the "American Slasher" genre, go back to the basics with "Twitch of the Death Nerve".



Horror Rises from the Tomb

It's the 15th century and an unholy fear is sweeping across the land. Man no longer fears death, but welcomes it as an escape from the evil that has settled into his life.  Mostly clouded in ignorance, many innocent people are put to death at the hands of the Inquisition.  As this film begins, we do not find the innocent, but rather the guilty minions of the Dark Lord, who are being prepared to meet their maker.  Ulric (Paul Naschy) and lovely wife (Cristina Suriani), an evil pair of sorcerers, have been condemned for their transgressions and now must pay the ultimate price with their lives. But before the executioner's ax falls, Ulric pronounces a curse on his descendents and even the grave can't stop him from seeking his revenge.

Fast forward to the present.  During a séance, an evil spirit convinces four youths to visit their ancestral home in search of a treasure.  Inspired by the thoughts of ancient   riches,  the four (lead by Naschy as Hugo) begin a journey that leads they towards a rendezvous  with an unspeakable evil for the treasure they seek is actually the head of Ulric and the price to be paid will be in blood . 

Through a deadly chain of events, Ulric's head is brought back to his body and his curse begins to take shape.  A possessed local (Luis Ciges) serves as Ulric's minion, who sickles his way through any obstacle that would prevent this evil from resurrecting his wife.  Now reunited, the duo raises a zombie army of the dead to finish what was started centuries before.  But will they be successful in reaping their timeless revenge on mankind by summoning the Dark Lord or will the grave reclaim them forever????


Horror Rises from the Tomb

Find out more about Paul Naschy 



I can't believe this is the first film of Paul Naschy to be covered in the House of Horrors.  Although I have been a fan of Paul's for years and even had the pleasure of meeting this legend at the Fangoria Convention in NYC (1998), I am just coming to expand my appreciation for his work. "Horror Rises from the Tomb" has it all:  great atmosphere, solid storyline, gore galore ( one memorable scene includes a  graphic skin- ripping and heart removal with implied eating... well, at least in the uncut version), and a eerie score.  This is a great film and one of my favorite by Naschy.  I hope to cover more Naschy films in the future including my favorite "The Craving" (aka "El Retorno del Hombre Lobo").



House by the Cementery

professor (Paolo Marco), is joined by his wife ( Lucy...Catriona MacColl) and their  young son, as he heads up to an old New England house  to complete a project.  This old house has a sinister past. Mostly recently the good professor's colleague Dr. Peterson killed his mistress  and later committed suicide while doing research there.  All the while, young Bob (Giovanni Frezza) receives warnings from a little girl (Mae...Silvia Collatina) about their new home.

As the family settles into their new surroundings, Lucy starts to struggle with her sanity as strange things begin happening around her. A haunting noise, similar to that of crying child, can be heard emanating from the cellar, which mysteriously has been boarded shut. As Dr. Boyle continues to look deeper into Peterson's research, he finds evidence that point to an evil surgeon, a Dr. Freudstein, who inhabited the same house 150 years earlier. He had been condemned for bizarre surgical experiments in his time, but what does Freudstein have to do with Peterson's macabre demise???   

True evil is finally released as the babysitter (Ania Pieroni) removes the boards from the cellar door. The gore flows heavily and freely as Freudstein struggles to keep himself alive after 150 years in his search for human body parts. Will the cemetery by the house be getting fuller??? 


The House by the Cemetery




The film definitely borrows heavily from the theme of the "The Shining" : a house notorious for death, a young boy who can speak with ghosts, and a man whom everyone believes he has been there before. But Lucio Fulci was able to add in enough of his  own style to deliver a chilling tale that we should all celebrate.  This film also marked  the end of the Fulci/ Fabrizio de Angelis collaboration ("Zombie", "City of the Living Dead" (aka "Gates of Hell"), "The Beyond", and "NY Ripper"). This period definitely marked the peak of Fulci's career, one unmatched by any other Italian director of his era. Lucio was and, in my mind, still is the "Italian King of Horror".



The Day of the Beast

After trying  for many years to decipher an ancient code that will unlock the secrets to the end of the world, Father Ángel (Álex Angulo) finally succeeded in pinpointing the exact date of  the apocalypse. Awhile later in a dark and empty church, he confesses to his fellow brother (Saturnino García), his intention to commit "all the evil he can" in his crusade against the Devil.  At first questioning the Father's findings, the priest agrees to help, but just than a large stone crucifix falls crushing him. Father Ángel now knows that evil forces have already begun to work against him and that time is of the essence.  

Before long the Father is committing sin with an unchristian-like zeal. He steals the luggage of a tourist, robs a beggar blind, pushes a mime off his perch, shoplifts from a store, and pinches the wallet from a dying man while telling him to "rot in hell".  The Priest hopes his evil ways will lead him down the path of forming a pack with Satanists, so that he may be present when the Beast reveals himself on Christmas day. He develops an instant friendship with an acid-dropping, heavy metal record store clerk named José María (Santiago Segura), who offers him a sanctuary in his family's boarding house. After comfortably settling into his new lodging, he seeks some penance for his transgressions by burning the bottom of his feet with a hot cigarette.  

While clicking through the stale air of late night TV, Father Ángel realizes that only with the help of famed  anti-evangelist Ennio Lombard (Armando De Razza) and his book "The Magic World of Professor Cavan" can  he determine the birthplace of the demon.  With assistance of José María and Ennio, the padre prepares for a battle of revelational proportions with the salvation of humanity at stake. 


The Day of the Beast




This film was released in 1995 and received 6 Goya awards (the Spanish equivalent of the Academy Award) with  Álex de la Iglesia receiving one for best director.  The reasons why "The Day of the Beast" succeeds are numerous, but the most apparent is de la Iglesia and Jorge Guerricaechevarría witty script that plays on many of  cinematic traditions of the antichrist balanced with a blasphemous dark approach.  I  was lucky enough to first stumble upon the genius of  de la Iglesia a few years back when I  watched "Acción mutante". That film will its stylish view of the future, is equally entertaining and highly recommend as well. De la Iglesia is definitely a force to watch for within the genre and maybe someone who could help resurrect it. 



The story centers around Gloria Davis (Lorraine De Selle), a NYU doctoral student working on her thesis "The Myth of Cannibal". She contends that the "evil white man" concocted the cannibal legend to warrant the the destruction of these South American tribes in the name of greed. So she and two of her friend heading off for the Amazon to do a little first-hand researcher.

Unfortunately for our heroes (well they are not really the heroes, I truly believe the cannibals are the  heroes of this film), they meet up with Mike (John Morghen), a sadistic coke-addict, and the fun begins. It is Mike's sadistic behavior that forces this normally friendly grubworm eating natives to revert back to their primitive cannibalistic ways. It is like that old say "once a cannibal ....always a cannibal". There's dismemberments (if you get my drift...ooch), new and unique body piercing, and the villains in the end instead of "getting their just desserts", become just dessert.


Cannibal Ferox




Touted as the most violent movie ever made and I would have a hard time disputing that. Directed by Umberto Lenzi ("Nightmare City" aka City of the Walking Dead), this gut-wrenching classic is "not" for the weak stomached. "Cannibal Ferox", along with "Cannibal Holocaust", ranks as one of the best cannibal movies ever shot. If you are against violence against animals be fore warned. But overall, this is a fun movies. It is so unbelievable that you have to laugh after tossing up your lunch. Puking has never been more fun



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