Vengeance of the Zombies!

You will be a feast for our lord Satan! He is waiting…waiting…waiting!!!

VENGEANCE OF THE ZOMBIES (1973)

This one begins appropriately enough within the confines of a darkened cemetery. A greedy pair of haggard groundskeepers decide to steal the jewels of a recently murdered young countess named Gloria Irving. The bickering couple break into the Irving family crypt and begin helping themselves to the dead girl’s riches. Things take a turn from morbid to the bizarre when a masked madman arrives, locks the couple inside the crypt, and begins performing a black magic ritual! In the name of Baron Samedi, in the name of the five ministers of the reign of Ize, through the Black Lords of the Monte, he orders Gloria Irving to leave her grave and obey him! Gloria then rises from the grave and brings violent death to those who dared desecrate her resting place. The thieves sought after riches and instead found the vengeance of the zombies.

The legendary Paul Naschy plays a popular Indian mystic named “Krisna” (of course!) who offers the public incredible demonstrations of his enlightenment. Krisna teaches all who choose to listen that the body is just ashes, life is just a brightly colored lie, and that the doors of wisdom are open before them. They must free themselves, for Nirvana is near. Because the Master has attained total control over his Prana, he feels no pain when he is burned with ashes or stuck with pins. One of Krisna’s followers is none other than Elvire Irving, the sexy redhead cousin of the now zombified Gloria. The mysterious man in black returns along with zombie Gloria to murder Elvire’s father and uncle. Elvire narrowly escapes being strangled by Gloria, and terrified, she winds up taking shelter with the only person she thinks can protect her – Krisna.

Krisna kindly allows Elvire into his home during her time of tragedy. He reminds her that only through pain can we reach happiness, what we long for. As Elvire drifts off to sleep, she dreams of horrible, disfigured men who tell her she is a fool who has fallen into a trap. She will be a feast for their lord, Satan! Elvire is kissed by the horned lord of Darkness, who proceeds to stab her in the neck and drink her blood from a golden chalice. This horrific dream is eerily prophetic, as Elvire will soon indeed be caught in the middle of a battle over her immortal soul.

Little does Elvire know that Krisna has been secretly hiding his evil twin brother – Kantaka. Kantaka was horribly disfigured after an angry mob set a fire that destroyed his castle, and he uses the diabolical powers of black magic to resurrect the recently deceased female relatives of the people that tried to kill him. The resurrected zombie women then become pawns in Kantaka’s deadly game of revenge. Elvire eventually (and inevitably, because it’s a Naschy flick) becomes romantically involved with Krisna, and a deadly love triangle is created when Kantaka decides that he wants more than her heart.

VENGEANCE OF THE ZOMBIES is a masterpiece of over the top occult themed horror from the dreaded Spanish tag team of director Leon Klimovsky and actor/writer Jacinto Molina (aka Paul Naschy). I’ve been on a tear lately trying to collect as many of these films as I can. This is by far the most strange, shocking, and entertaining of the bunch that I’ve seen. Say what you want about all the unintentional humor, inappropriate lounge music used for score, or the sheer overwhelming cheesiness of these old school Spanish horror flicks – I personally think they possess a creepy and authentic horror atmosphere that rivals many other, far more polished horror films. Director Leon Klimovsky in particular could always be counted on to deliver the goods. I’ve enjoyed every film of his that I’ve seen, with this flick, “Werewolf Versus The Vampire Women,” and “Vampire’s Night Orgy” being three of my personal favorites. Klimovsky’s flicks are always chock full of eerie cavernous castles, freshly unearthed rotting corpses, lots of gory effects and blood, and an abundance of beautiful women. No complaints here.

The late, great Jacinto Molina (aka Paul Naschy) really is an ICON of horror. He will forever be the undisputed king of Spanish horror! Sadly, even after his passing in 2009 he still doesn’t get nearly enough public recognition for the many decades full of clas-sick horror films that he’s written, directed, and starred in. He played every memorable movie monster there ever was. His most famous reoccurring character of corpse was Waldemar Daninsky – the wolf man, who appeared in numerous clas-sicks such as “Night Of The Werewolf,” “Curse Of The Devil,” and “Night Of The Howling Beast.” He’s also appeared as the Devil, Dracula, a mummy, a hunchback, a grave robber, an evil knight, a mercenary, an exorcist, and an assassin! This guy has really done it all.

A lot of Molina’s characters in these occult themed horror films were practitioners of the black arts. Over the years, many of his films featured evil characters that boldly experiment with Satanism, Sorcery, Witchcraft, blood sacrifices, alchemy, immortality, and resurrection of the dead. Molina in real life had studied black magic in order to make his films and characters more authentic. His storylines are always completely wild and over the top. ”Vengeance Of The Zombies” is no exception. There are multiple scenes of black magic ritual, including candles, scantily clad women, and animal slaughter. The twisted tale of a family curse, a brother’s betrayal, and an army of murderous zombie women is the stuff of pure fantasy. Molina said when he wrote the screenplay he must have been “under the effects of hashish, or like Bram Stroker, I’d had one hell of a nightmare.”

Unlike a lot of other Naschy flicks, there are no werewolves or vampires this time around. Instead we are treated to treats such as grave robbing, black masses, masked murder rampages, voodoo, ritual sacrifice, chicken decapitation, the walking dead, and the sight of Naschy as both an Indian mystic, his deformed brother, AND a horned Satan who guzzles blood from a golden chalice! There’s lots of bloody, violent voodoo mayhem in this one, and some very nice nudity provided by some especially HOT looking women, including the lovely leading lady Romy. Krisha’s occasionally gold-painted assistant Kala is played by Mirta Miller (“Count Dracula’s Great Love”), and she is one of the most unbelievably beautiful women I’ve ever seen. This film is a true feast for the Satanic senses!

VENGEANCE OF THE ZOMBIES is now available on a beautifully remastered dvd thanks to the fine fiends at Deimos/Brentwood. The special features include a wonderful introduction from star Paul Naschy, an extensive still gallery of photos and promotional materials, alternative “clothed” versions of the nude scenes, and the US theatrical trailer. Other Paul Naschy clas-sicks also available on dvd from Deimos/Brentwood include “Night Of The Werewolf,” “Horror Rises From The Tomb,” “Exorcism,” Curse Of The Devil,” and “Werewolf Shadow.” Best of all, these flicks can usually be found for cheap. I got both “Vengeance Of The Zombies” and “Night Of The Werewolf” in a double feature set for only $20! Horror fans looking for something a little…different should pick these clas-sicks up as soon as possible.

KEEP THE BLOOD FLOWING!!!

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