Review by Troy
= Highest Rating
series of gruesome murders, in which women are found with their
hearts torn out, are linked to a horrible mythological creature
known as the Loreley...
he is best remembered for his quartet of Blind
Dead films, Spanish writer/director Amando de Ossorio also
made a number of other forays into the realm of horror and fantasy.
The Loreley's Grasp is one of his
subtler works and, indeed, compared to the visceral and erotic
impact of other Spanish genre films of the period, it looks
very tame indeed. This is not exactly a problem, however, in
that its tone fits what is very much a fable or fairy tale on
De Ossorio does a
nice job building mood and atmosphere, though his screenplay
lacks for interesting characters and dramatic conflict. The
a swaggering hunter played by Euro-Cult standby Luciano Stella,
again acting under his nom de plume, "Tony Kendall"
(The Whip and the Body)
is singularly dull and colorless, while the titular creature,
who adopts the bewitching guise of Helga Liné (Horror
Rises from the Tomb) in its more 'normal' moments,
lacks any meaningful development. The fact that the Loreley
falls for such a superficial jerk never really convinces: it's
pure formula, and the audience knows it.
Despite these deficiencies
in the writing, the director still creates enough potent set-pieces
to keep the audience interested. Gore is pushed somewhat during
the heart-ripping sequences, but in terms of erotica, the film
is strictly PG-level. Fans of the delectable Ms. Liné
will be disappointed by this, no doubt, but she still creates
a memorable impression in various skimpy outfits and languid
are generally solid, though the monster makeup tends to look
rubbery and unconvincing. De Ossorio sensibly keeps the creature
hidden as much as possible, but when it does rear its ugly head
the effect leans towards unintentional comedy. Even so, the
moody cinematography and striking locales combine to create
an enticing atmosphere and if the film is lacking in terms of
incident, it never becomes intolerably tedious. Compared to
the director's other genre films, it lacks the impact of the
Blind Dead films or even the goofy charm of Night
of the Sorcerers, but taken on its own it's a reasonably
endearing slice of European cult cinema.
release of The Loreley's Grasp is
another gem in their ongoing collection of Spanish horror cinema.
With so much attention having been lavished on even the lesser
extremes of Italian horror and fantasy, BCI/Deimos is to be commended
for affording these Spanish films such lavish care and attention.
The 1.85/16x9/high definition transfer looks terrific: sharp,
colorful and free of distracting print defects. Some grain is
evident, but this is a result of the original cinematography.
The film is presented fully uncut, though unlike some of the other
Spanish horror releases, this doesn't yield any new material;
as indicated above, this is pretty tame stuff. Audio options include
a crudely dubbed English track, as well as the original Castillian
track with optional English subtitles. The latter track is clearly
preferable, even if the subtitles themselves suffer from being
presented as black lettering with white borders — an awkward choice
that takes some getting used to. That said, both tracks are in
good condition, with minimal hissing and the like. Extras include
a theatrical trailer, the original Spanish credits sequences,
a still gallery and informative liner notes by Mirek Lipinski,
webmaster of Latarnia.com.