Synopsis: A French knight rises after two of his descendants dig up his decapitated head.
One thing I absolutely love about foreign horror is seeing how film makers from other parts of the world adapt their own styles and methods to a rather basic mold that Hollywood perfected dating all the way back to the 1930’s when Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi were beginning to cement their legacies in the genre. Foreign productions don’t have to worry about the enormous corporate Hollywood elephant in the room breathing down their necks and trying to get in the director’s ear on what would (in their opinion) make the film better. In many regards it reminds me a lot how Spaghetti Westerns were a gritty and violent alternative to the clean cut good guys wear white and tip their hats to a lady while riding off into the sunset. Where Hollywood was focusing on a more dramatic based form of entertainment foreign films were wanting to keep things on a more elemental level. Horror Rises From the Tomb came out the same year as The Exorcist and each of those have similarities dealing with the occult. Exorcist dealt with demonic possession whereas Horror Rises From the Tomb walked a fine line covering such topics as witchcraft, devil worship, and blood rituals. Not exactly the easiest of subject matter to explore in the decade that would give rise to disco and the Atari 2600 but over time what was once considered taboo subject matter now gives us a deeper understanding of the evils that lurks beyond the supernatural realm.
Done on a modest budget the best thing that Horror Rises From the Tomb has going for it is how it feels like several distinctive films merged into one. Take the occult camp it up a bit then add in some production values lifted out of the golden age of Hammer Films. Lastly have a few voluptuous big breasted women strolling around in skimpy little nighties or wearing nothing at all either way one of these things will have your eyeballs glued to the screen. Another highlight is Paul Naschy a Spanish actor, director, and screenwriter who carved out more than the standard niche when it came to scaring people. Horror Rises From the Tomb was my first attempt at tackling the films of Naschy and if this is just a glimpse of what’s to come I can’t wait to discover what else this man accomplished. The versatility from Paul as an actor is magnetic he takes on multiple roles the most prominent of which is the charismatic antagonist Alaric de Marnac. The way Marnac stares into the camera is enough to make the hairs on your arms rip themselves out because they are too damn frightened to take anymore. The most any horror fan could ask for is a film that has a good amount of depth behind it and Horror Rises From the Tomb accomplishes more than what continues to be released into a contemporary cesspool of mediocrity. It’s fun horror that makes you proud to be a fan nothing more and nothing less so take my word for it this will entertain the hell out of you.
Final Grade: B+