Jun 26, 2019

Vengeance of the Zombies (1973)


I'm a sucker for anything with Paul Naschy - the more I watch his movies, the more I love them.  And what's not to love about the energetic, campy (but not overly so), sexy, over-the-top grooviness? And they strike all the right chords us monster movie lovers - like a Basil Gogos painting come to life, but with more boobs... and Naschy who's the closest thing you'll get to Shatner in his prime.


 As usual, this Naschy flick has that psychedelic-pop soundtrack that I love.

The film begins with a couple, Flora (Montserrat Julió) and her husband.  They seem normal enough, but they're grave robbers.

But they've picked the wrong mausoleum tonight.  A mysterious masked man resurrects the dead woman, Gloria Irving (Norma Kastel).

 Zombie Gloria proceeds to kill Flora and her husband, then march off with the masked conjurer.

Meet Elvire Irving (Romy); she's distraught by her sister's murder.  Her boyfriend Lawrence (Víctor Barrera) is supportive, but doesn't support her desire to consult with a guru...

 And that guru, Krisna, is played by my main man, Paul Naschy.

 Elvire returns home to be with her family, but is awaken by Zombie Gloria.  Fucking horrifying.

 Elvire runs screaming, only to find her father hanging from the rafters.  A truly shocking sequence.

 Elvire faints.

 She decides to go stay with Krisna.  What could go wrong?

 Turns out - a lot could go wrong.  That evening, Elvire "dreams" she's part of a satanic ritual (with Naschy playing Satan).

 Cut to a totally unrelated scene in London.  A woman named Olivia (Aurora de Alba) is putting the moves on guy named Absalon (Alfonso de la Vega).

The masked man enters the room as they make love, and stakes a dagger through both of them.

 Absalon is rolled off, and we get a nice look at Aurora de Alba's boobs.

Absalon is dragged to a meat packing warehouse and has the blood drained out of him, collected by the masked killer.

 Krisna's right-hand woman is Kala (Mirta Miller). Miller was also in Naschy's Dr. Jekyll vs the Werewolf from the year before.

 Krisna has a thing going with Kala, and we get to see Miller's boobs in this scene. 

 An effectively frightening scene - Elvire is running scared around Krisna's grounds, runs into an old woman caretaker (Elsa Zabala)... and her head just falls off. 

 We now have three zombie chicks.  From left: Zombie Olivia (the lady killed in the office), Zombie Muerta (Ingrid Rabel) and Zombie Gloria.

 Exactly who is this masked man killing people and raising them from the dead?  It's some disfigured dude named Kantaka, also played by Naschy.

 Lawrence hits a woman on a bicycle with his car.  As helps her to her feet, he's instantly in love.  Her name is Elsie (Maria Kosty).

Kantaka has gone off the deep end.  He ties up Elvire and Kala, and hypnotizes Krisna to kill them.  He kills Kala with ease, but refuses to do it to Elvire.  So, Kantaka sicks his zombie chicks on him.  Poor Krisna dies.

 Before Kantaka can kill Elvire, he's stabbed by.... Elsie.  What the fuck is she doing here?  Evidently, she's some sort of satanic entity sent to watch over Kantaka.  He's getting a bit out of hand, so she has to kill him.

 She then is about to kill Elvire, and is shot by the police.  She collapses to the floor pulling down a curtain, and delivering an epic upskirt.  So, let's count: three people have tried to kill the tied up Elvire in the last five minutes: Hypnotized Krisna (devoured by zombie chicks), Kantaka (stabbed by Elsie) and finally Elsie (shot by cops).  What an evening!


The end credits feature a cool picture of the man of a thousand faces, Paul Naschy.  You can tell he had a lot of fun with this one.  This is one of his best - it has it all: zombies, voodoo, satan, boobs, scares, groovy music, and Naschy unchained.  I loved every minute... except for those minutes featuring the police putting the clues together and boring me to tears. 

★★★★★

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