Countdown to Halloween: In order to live, it is necessary … to kill

Posted: October 12th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 2 Comments »

It should go without saying that horror in the United States isn’t the same as horror in other parts of the world. And while I hate to say it, the U.S. isn’t always the best at it, especially lately. Grab a handful of horror from the past, oh, 15 years or so and you’ll be able to track its lineage back to Japan or Norway or some other place that might as well be fictional to most Americans.

Going back to the originals is always a good idea. Concepts and scenes are often watered down by the time they reach these shores, delivered on the backs of bland actors whose main talent is to be generically good-looking. This wasn’t always the case. Back in the 60s and 70s, producers  and distributers sometimes wanted to bring the undiluted sauce to the States, preserving their terrible visions for new audiences. And sometimes they just wanted to be cheap, because, hey, we’re still trying to make our money back on this movie, y’know? Which is one reason hallmarks of  60s and 70s foreign grindhouse movies often include a new name, some bad dubbing and cultural mysteries in strange locales that will never be resolved.

Personally, I love it. So does my wife, who suggested today’s entry — 1974’s Las Garras De Loreley (The Loreley’s Grasp), a Spanish film set in Germany known in the United States by the title When the Screaming Stops. The film — about a scaly monster ripping out women’s hearts — is the first horror movie she remembers ever seeing, and “it freaked me out. (The main character) was a pretty lady, and it was the first time I realized something that shouldn’t be scary could be really scary.”

I’ve never seen The Loreley’s Grasp, but judging by the trailer it’s something I want to watch in all its bloody, rubbery-limbed glory. The movie is written and directed by Amando de Ossorio — who also wrote and directed the “Blind Dead” quartet of films — and it really looks like a well-preserved artifact of its time and genre. It’s got an ominous hippy right there in the trailer, for God’s sake. Oh, and of course it all takes place in a girl’s boarding house.

It’s something I HAVE  to watch.

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2 Comments on “Countdown to Halloween: In order to live, it is necessary … to kill”

  1. 1 Patrick Joseph said at 11:54 am on October 12th, 2011:

    OK, I’m sold. Crazy violence, all girls school and crappy dubbing? Awesome!

  2. 2 jonathan briggs said at 12:18 pm on October 12th, 2011:

    Ah, crap, that DVD is outta print.

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