Daughters of Darkness/The House
By The Cemetery/The Nesting
(1971 – 81/Blue Underground Blu-rays)
B/B/B- Sound: B Extras: A/B+/C Films: B/B+/C+
Daughters Of Darkness was an international production
that bore some very iconic imagery which has since been assimilated into horror
and Goth culture. It's easy to
understand why, as the every part of the film, from the direction and
cinematography on to the beautiful actresses and slightly over the top
costuming transpired to make a unique visual statement. If only the film itself had lived up to its
looks, we'd be looking at one of the very best horror films ever made.
mean to come down on the film, as it is exceptionally good, but it does suffer
from a lack of purpose and very little in the way of anything actually
happening. Delphine Seyrig is the ageless Elizabeth Bathory, and she and her
young companion have come to a grand hotel shortly after the arrival of a
newlywed couple - the only other occupants in the hotel at the time. Bathory takes an interest in the young couple
- particularly the young woman, who she soon has under her power.
you agree with me that the film drags a bit or not, I don't think there is any
denying that the film has a raw power to it, and the slowed pacing is at times
quite advantageous. Its violence seems
all the more real and upsetting when you're torn out of your expectations of
where the film will go. A healthy
measure of sexual tension pulling you through some dull spots also doesn't hurt,
but be mindful that the film was created with a mature audience in mind. If the enticement of lesbian romance is all
that you're in for, you'd best look elsewhere.
I found the film to be enjoyable, and one that I'm very glad exists just the way
it is. I'd recommend to those interested
in checking out Gothic horrors - a style that has been far too neglected in the
modern age of filmmaking.
director of genre features, Lucio Fulci fully understood the marriage of themes
and ideas it took to make a gore film like The
House By The Cemetery into an exciting ride of a movie. It delivers the goods in ways that audiences
today just aren't used to anymore. In
here the blood and suspense go hand in hand - unlike most new horrors that are
generally stripped of one or the other, often to their detriment. Here, though, is a film that has enough good
ideas in it to make it feel like more than just your average haunted house
the plot starts out typically enough, with a family moving away from the big
city and into a spooky house out in the country, it takes a few unexpected
turns along the way. It would initially
seem that the place is just haunted; however, the previous owner of the home,
Dr. Freudstein, is still alive in the basement. The murderous doctor has remained in the house
and needs to kill so that he may replenish his body in order to stay alive. His leathery, undead appearance is a gruesome
highlight of the film, and was a direct inspiration for the Dr. Satan character
in Rob Zombie's House Of 1,000 Corpses.
sounds and atmosphere of the film are superbly chilling, and you're almost
guaranteed never to experience anything like it these days. Sure, it wasn't written by a master of the
form, and the dubbing can be pretty atrocious. I'll agree that isn't always the most
“professional” of films, but unlike most modern horror films, it gets the job
done by doing what it's supposed to do.
we have The Nesting, a haunted house
movie in a traditional vein. In it, we
have a novelist renting a house in the country to get over a case of writer's
block. Unwittingly, the place she makes
home in also happened to be a brothel during the war and this was the site of a
major bloodbath. Soon she begins to
encounter the ghosts of those killed in the long-ago massacre.
isn't much of anything new here, but it was filmed well enough and hits what
notes it's supposed to. The way the film
has been shot has some traits typical of a well made late '70s XXX film. This isn't all that much of a surprise, as the
film was directed by Armand Weston – the adult filmmaker responsible for the
classic, Take Off – a hardcore
retelling of The Picture of Dorian Gray.
The film won him the AFAA award for best
director in 1978, so apparently he had the chops to make some professional
movie is decent, and has some slasher elements to it in addition to those of
the haunted house film - something that other horror creations of this period
often seemed to do in order to mix things up a bit. While it's obviously not going to set the
world on fire, if you're just looking for a new fix, you could do worse than to
add this title to your watch list.
these films look and sound great in hi-def, with lossless sound mixes and full
1080p resolution. Daughters Of Darkness
is presented in a 1.66:1 aspect ratio with English and French language options
in DTS-HD 1.0 Mono. The House By The Cemetery is shown 2.35:1, and features an English
track in 2.0 DTS-HD as well as an Italian track in Mono. The
Nesting is in 1.85:1 and features three English language tracks – one in
7.1 DTS-HD, another in 5.1 Dolby surround, and another in mono.
Although The Nesting is a little light on bonus
content, both Daughters Of Darkness
and The House By The Cemetery have a
slew of special features to sweeten the deal. Among these are several interviews with cast
and crew, trailers and deleted scenes. However, the best bonus out of these sets goes
to Daughters Of
Darkness, which contains an entire feature film as an extra: 1972's The Blood Splattered Bride! It's only in 480i and isn't the best vampire
movie ever made, but hey, it's free.
proof that Blue Underground is thriving on the new format, and thankfully they
continue to reissue and upgrade older releases as well as introduce some new
stuff. All three of these discs would
make fine additions to the horror fanatics growing Blu-ray library.