Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (1972), AKA Blood Feast

After a long hard day, a brief trip to a different time period in a faraway place is usually what it takes to provide the right amount of escapism I crave in order to feel restored and at peace again. I’m sure that you sometimes feel the same way, and I think you’ll find Emilio Miraglia’s “THE RED QUEEN KILLS SEVEN TIMES” to be a source of much needed respite. The cinematography in the film ably makes use of exotic locations in a 1970s time period that, in a way, provides a pleasant getaway for you to enjoy from the comfort and safety of your couch. So if you’re feeling a bit burned out and in need of a vacation, come with me to a castle and town in Europe, where you can relax to the seductive visuals of a different time and place and enjoy the company of lovely Euro-beauties (like Barbara Bouchet and Marina Malfatti) as well as a ghostly killer just to make things more interesting and to your liking. 
At the beginning, the film instantly draws the viewer in with a very exotic and almost tourist-like European setting, where Kitty and Evelyn Wildenbrűk, 2 sisters of about 9 years of age, are enjoying playtime in a very luxurious courtyard with a marvelous castle looming in the background. The peace and serenity the ambiance this location provides is disrupted as Evelyn snatches Kitty’s precious doll from her and dashes through the castle grounds causing Kitty to chase after Evelyn, with great concern for the safety and integrity of her doll. The chase ultimately leads into the castle where Grandfather Tobias Wildenbrűk (played by Rudolf Schűndler, the witch expert from SUSPIRIA!) is disrupted from his morning paper because of all the bratty shouting. Just then, Evelyn becomes possessed from a gory painting nearby and starts chanting “I’m the red queen, and Kitty’s the black queen” and then completely loses it, grabs a knife and begins to viciously stab Kitty’s doll repeatedly before ripping its head off in a fit of maniacal laughter (an impressive and amusing performance from the child actor).

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

House of Black Wings (2010)

Hello everyone and welcome back!  I just want to start out this time by expressing my appreciation to everyone who has checked out my blog “At the Mansion of Madness”. It has been a blast so far, and I look forward to posting many more reviews for your reading pleasure. “Thank you” to everyone who has taken the time to visit and to all who have followed me on my blog and on Twitter

Today I write to you about a tale of friendship, ghostly possession, and cosmic horror, from a movie written, directed, and produced by David Schmidt of “Sword & Cloak Productions. HOUSE OF BLACK WINGS is a film that I personally believe to be quite an achievement that really goes a long way given the modest resources available to the filmmakers. One of this film’s major strengths is the development that occurs between two interesting and unique lead characters. These being ex rock star Kate Stone, played very convincingly by Leah Myette, and her friend Robyn Huck, a very cute and likable gothic artsy type, portrayed by Katherine Herrera. Needless to say, I developed an attachment to both of these lovely ladies, and I’m sure others have/will as well. 
These two happen to be old college roommates with a strong connection based on a long term friendship they’ve had since before Kate’s brief stint of fame as a musician. An unfortunate incident has resulted in a career downfall that has left Kate completely bitter about her rock star past. She now wants nothing more than to forget everything and start anew with the support and company of her good friend Robyn. With her music career over and nowhere else to turn to, Kate arrives to stay at the Blackwood apartment complex, owned and maintained by Robyn, who inherited the place from her father. While trying to rebuild her life, Kate learns that past demons aren’t so easily forgotten, and to make matters worse, something else is impeding her recovery, something demonic with black wings that seems to come from nightmares that exist between time and space….

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Devil's Nightmare (1971), Starring Erika Blanc

It is believed that Succubi repeatedly visit men in their dreams and upon paralyzing them engage in nocturnal intercourse whilst draining their life and vitality until they wake up dead. I am writing to you all today to relate my encounter with a Succubus during one of my somnambulant journeys. It’s a miracle that I survived the horrific encounter with that unwholesome she devil to write to you these words today. Of course, I am talking about my encounter with the fiery redheaded, blazing hot demon from Jean Brismée’s “THE DEVIL’S NIGHTMARE”.

In this film, Erika Blanc stars as a homicidal Succubus prowling a twelfth century castle luring the film's various characters to their dooms. The brooding feminine threat in the movie is personified with a theme song consisting of moody haunting female vocals that the Succubus herself would surely approve of.

Filmed in Sepia with WWII stock footage interspersed between scenes, the start of this nightmare is a brilliant segment set in 1945 Berlin during one of the bloodiest battles in human history. While the battle is raging outside, a maid/midwife is nursing the Baroness, who is in labor. 2 uniformed men are nearby; one of these men is the Baron von Rhoneberg, looking fairly agitated, and the other is his servant Hans. The Baroness eventually passes away while giving birth, and even after the Baron realizes his wife has just died, he still seems to be deeply troubled by something else (and it’s not the fall off the Third Reich). When he learns that the baby is not a boy, he sends everyone away in order to be alone with his newborn daughter. Afterwards, he says a prayer, takes out a knife, and commits a dastardly deed…. What on Earth could compel a man to do such a thing?!!