Newest Reviews
Storm Boy
Storm Boy
Frozen II
White Sheik, The
Whalebone Box, The
Hunt, The
Invisible Man, The
Honey Boy
System Crasher
Judy & Punch
Battling Butler
Seven Chances
Dogs Don't Wear Pants
Navigator, The
Knives Out
Charlie's Angels
Passport to Shame
Le Mans '66
Keep Fit
Doctor Sleep
Friend or Foe
Brass Target
Mine and the Minotaur, The
Sky Pirates
Sea Children, The
Ghost of a Chance, A
Go Kart Go
Great Buster, The
Seventy Deadly Pills
Wings of Mystery
Treasure at the Mill
Crime Wave
Terminator: Dark Fate
Antonio Gaudi
Newest Articles
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
Ozploitation Icon: Interview with Roger Ward
Godzilla Goes to Hollywood
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
  Murder Mansion Domicile of Danger, Death and Deceit!
Year: 1972
Director: Francisco Lara Polop
Stars: Analia Gadé, Evelyn Stewart, Andres Resino, Anna Lisa Nardi, Franco Fantasia, Eduardo Fajardo, Alberto Dalbes, Ingrid Garbo, Yelena Samarina, George Rigaud
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Hitching a ride cross-country, sexy Laura (Anna Lisa Nardi) is groped by middle-aged lech Mr. Porter (Franco Fantasia). So she ditches the creep at the service station and takes off with handsome motorcyclist Fred (Andres Resino), but shortly thereafter the young couple are stranded in the spooky woodlands. Meanwhile, high-strung heiress Elsa (Analia Gadé) is finalising her divorce from sponging husband Ernest (Alberto Dalbes), who seeks solace from his frigid wife in the arms of mistress Ellen (Ingrid Garbo). Amidst the impenetrable fog, lawyer Tremont (Eduardo Fajardo) and his wife (Yelena Samarina) nearly run over Fred and Laura, who then discover Elsa, lost in the woods, babbling hysterically about seeing a wicked witch and her zombie chauffeur.

Everyone winds up at a fog-shrouded, spooky mansion, deep in the woods, next to the cemetery. Marta (Evelyn Stewart), the eerily lovely housekeeper, regales her guests with tales of how the ancestral owners were killed by a vampire and their bodies buried next door, and how the previous owner was a witch who died in a car crash alongside her chauffeur. Glancing at a nearby portrait, Fred notices an unsettling resemblance between Marta and the long-deceased witch. Later that night, strange noises and horrific apparitions plague an already-brittle Elsa. As the bodies pile up, Fred and Laura set out to investigate. Who is the stranger in the trenchcoat and black hat and did he buy them at an all-night giallo outfitter?

On the surface this Spanish-Italian co-production seems like a haunted house horror but as things play out becomes another Latin twist on the giallo genre, akin to A Dragonfly for Each Corpse (1973) and Seven Murders for Scotland Yard (1971). Making his directorial debut, Francesco Lara Polop kick-starts proceedings with a series of complex, realistically drawn character intros then gradually cranks up the groovy gothic atmosphere as characters lose themselves in cobwebbed corridors, or nightmarish forests where tangled branches and shadowy figures lunge out of the dark.

“I keep having the sensation we’ve crossed the barrier from real to unreal”, remarks Porter early into proceedings. The film is deliciously twisted and though its Scooby-Doo plot ultimately proves far less intricate than Elsa’s frequent flashbacks suggest, Polop sustains the tension masterfully via close-ups on flickering candles and eyeballs, strange noises in the dark and an ethereally unsettling turn from giallo regular Evelyn Stewart (real name: Ida Galli). A handful of potent shocks include a great bit where one character awakens in bed beside a hideous zombie and another finds a friend hung from a meat hook a la The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1973).

While sour-faced, self-involved heroine Elsa grows progressively more shrill and hysterical, young lovers Fred and Laura’s whole Fred and Daphne act proves wholly appealing. Gutsy and vivacious, their combination brings a lightness to an otherwise bleak but very satisfying end. Plus they do what generations of adolescents always suspected Scooby-Doo’s Fred and Daphne secretly got up to, namely sneak away for a quickie while the ghosts run amuck.

Click here to watch a clip

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam


This review has been viewed 3328 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton


Last Updated: