Thursday, 6 October 2011

Fangs of the Living Dead (1969)

Fangs of the Living Dead (AKA Malenka) was an early directorial effort from Amando de Ossorio. He went on to make some reasonably entertaining horror flicks so it’s not altogether fair to judge him on the basis of this particular film.

A woman who is about to be married receives a letter, informing her that she has just inherited a title, and a gloomy gothic castle. Arriving at the castle she meets the young count, and spots a portrait of her grandmother Malenka, to whom she bears an uncanny resemblance, on the wall. At the nearby inn she encounters a barmaid suffering from a mysterious wasting illness, an illness that appears to be a form of anaemia. You can pretty much fill in the blanks from there.

It’s difficult to judge this movie based on the DVD from Dollar DVD. Yes, I know, the company name doesn’t inspire a great deal of confidence, does it? The transfer is terrible, it’s fullscreen, and the English dubbing is bad beyond belief.

Even the packaging is spectacularly cheap and nasty - a flimsy cardboard sleeve is all you get.

I’m inclined to think that the whole thing was intended as a parody, but that may simply be the effect of the outrageous English dubbing. And the music! The music has to be heard to be believed.

Anita Ekberg plays a dual role as the new countess and as her grandmother Malenka. She seems stunned for most of the movie, which is understandable. The acting is extraordinarily hammy, although again it has to be said that the dubbing doesn’t do the actors any favours. There’s no suspense, and there are no thrills or chills. There is an attempt at a twist ending.

If you like your horror with very large helpings of extra cheese then there’s some bad movie enjoyment to be had out of this one. The voice actress doing Anita Ekberg’s part redefines one’s understanding of the term hammy.

Had it been possible to see this movie in a sub-titled version it may have been a completely different experience, so it’s possible I’m being much too hard on it.

This film was an unforgettable experience, although definitely not in a good way. But since the DVD cost me a dollar I can’t really complain.

1 comment:

Kev D. said...

You're making me wish I had a Dollar DVD near me...