Curse of the Devil aka El retorno de Walpurgis (1973)

Directed By Charles Aured
Lotus Films/Scorpion Productions

Golly, I wouldn’t have expected this ridiculous piece of trash could get even better, but it turns out it’s the SEVENTH in a series – and according to Wikipedia, “This film ignored the events in all of the earlier films.” Same actor as the werewolf, though! (Paul Naschy.) And what was the next installment? You guessed right – Night of the Howling Beast! I knew I recognized la bestia. To be completely honest, I’m not even sure what the most farcical part of this production is, but all of a sudden all of the villagers simultaneously decide it must be a locally roaming werewolf that’s responsible for a string of gruesome crimes, so that might have to be considered. There are 12 of these! TWELVE. The title that preceded this one in the series was Dr. Jekyll y el Hombre Lobo. I have no words.


Why Did I Watch This Movie?

See, it’s called “Curse of the Devil” – this release is, anyway – and this is the IMDb description: “A man whose ancestors executed a witch is turned into a werewolf by modern-day descendants of the executed witch.”

Should You Watch This Movie?

See, the thing is, I don’t even particularly care for werewolf pictures. Even for a dubious genre such as horror, the theme stretches the bounds of credulity for me.

Highlight and Low Point

This is another of several recently watched flicks whose English dubbing and subtitles don’t match at all, leading me to wonder which one deviates more from the original scripting. (It’s extra fun when there’s more than one English subtitle track, and they’re different!) The story here starts out with some ambition but goes nowhere in particular, and the genesis of the curse doesn’t make much sense.

Rating From Outer Space: D

I corpi presentano tracce di violenza carnale aka Torso aka Carnal Violence (1973)

regia di sergio martino
compagnia cinematografica champion s.p.a.

When you select una giallo for your viewing pleasure, you might reasonably expect a stylish (and quite possibly stylized) engagement, with at least a veneer of sleek sophistication, plus of course sex appeal and suspense and suspicious activity in some proportion. This offering from “Island of the Fishmen” regista Martino tries to achieve most of these, failing for the most part to derive much brivido, lacking as his film is in that other important category, any actual story. While it’s not uncommon for the whodunit part of these films to conclude with headscratchers, this time around the unveiling of the culprit provokes mostly confusion as to the identity of the character. Once he’s placed, it scarcely suffices to validate the operation. In addition, little is done to asperse alternate potential perpetrators, although at least one other excellent option is extant. È quello che è.

why did i watch this movie?

I’m kinda a sucker for gialli, although they often irritate me. Their air of absurdist mystery always beckons, however.

should you watch this movie?

If you’re in dire need of visions of nubile actresses either in spogliarsi or in vestaglia – or in moda 1970s chic, for that matter – you might appreciate it.

highlight and low point

Well, the title translates to “The bodies display signs of carnal violence,” and that may be my favorite thing about this flick … even though it’s kind of misleading in and of itself. What appear to be squalid ruins host some sort of bacchanal. An extended section where our unknown malefactor decides he needs to hacksaw the corpses of three of his female victims, which action was unimportant to him with prior unfortunates, is typical of this feature’s scattershot approach.

rating from outer space: c−

El Pacto aka The Pact (2018)

directed by david victori
ikiru films/4 cats pictures/el pacto la pelÍcula aie/sony pictures international

Your standard-issue bigger-studio-budget supernatural horror thriller, replete with incredible scenarios and people having to make hard choices, this Spanish production doesn’t take a whole lot of chances. This tendency to play it safe is perhaps best exemplified by the ending, where for a few brief moments it seems as though the film might lurch in an unexpected direction, but ultimately relents. Ordinarily, film lore and legend would suggest such a correction was the result of test-audience feedback, but in this case it feels like what had been planned all along. The tale of a worried mother who makes a murky PACT with a shady personage known as la araña albina (“the albino spider”), it’s passable entertainment, but it runs 106 minutes, eventually delivering very little for the time investment.

why did i watch this movie?

Seriously? Because it’s called “El Pacto,” un título que me pareció ridículo en español.

should you watch this movie?

It’s not as though it’s terrible or anything, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it wouldn’t have been nearly as interesting if I hadn’t had to read along with the subtitling, you know? A well-trodden path, this one.

highlight and low point

A bit of an interesting diversion develops maybe halfway through this picture, though it’s confused by some earlier hints and thus doesn’t carry as much impact as it should. The unexpected reveal in the denouement also comes across a bit subdued, though it’s fairly clever. One large problem here, however, is that the character that’s a rather major part of the plotline – hombre araña, that is – effectively disappears long before the conclusion. Important continuity issues really shouldn’t plague a flick that doesn’t come across as all that ambitious yet lasts nearly two hours.

rating from outer space: c−