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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Supernatural > Gothic > Vampire > Satanism > Spain > Monsters > Satire > Comedy > Danza Macabra Volume Three (Cake Of Blood/Necrophagous (both 1970)/Cross Of The Devil (1974)/Night Of The Walking Dead (1975)/Severin Blu-ray Box Set)/Ghoulies II 4K (1987/MVD 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Bl

Danza Macabra Volume Three (Cake Of Blood/Necrophagous (both 1970)/Cross Of The Devil (1974)/Night Of The Walking Dead (1975)/Severin Blu-ray Box Set)/Ghoulies II 4K (1987/MVD 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)

4K Ultra HD Picture: A- Picture: B & B- (Necro)/B+ Sound: B- & C+ (Necro)/B+ Extras: B- Films: C+

Now for some restored horror releases that have their moments, even some big fans, but are not necessarily great, yet always interesting and different...

Severin is great at rescuing and handling all kind of great and unusual horror cinema, so their latest set of saved Gothic feature films thoroughly restored move from Italian films to Spanish ones. Danza Macabra Volume Three features four very interesting supernatural films with plenty of atmosphere, including an anthology. Involving as much eroticism ad blood and gore, the four films include Cake Of Blood, Necrophagous (both 1970,) Cross Of The Devil (1974) and Night Of The Walking Dead (1975) all on separate discs in their own cases.

The Cake Of Blood anthology, made when Franco was in power, includes Jose Maria Valles' Tarot set in the Middle Ages, Emilio Martinez-Lazaro's Victor Frankenstein with a few twists on the book, Francesc Bellmunt's Terror Among Christians has vampires roaming around in Roman times and Jaime Chavarri's The Dance or Emotional Survivors is an all out ghost story. All offer some political context and are more ambitious than most of the titles in the set since they had to be. Though not always successful, they are worth seeing just to see what the filmmakers where trying to say, even when they could not come out and outright say it.

Miguel Madrid's Necrophagous (aka The Butcher Of Binbrook and Graveyard Of Horror) has a young man (Bill Curran) returning to his family's old castle hime, falling apart as it is, because his sister has died giving birth to a stillborn baby. When he looks to pay his respects, her body is not in the grave! What happened? He decides to find out and discovers more than just the castle is in decay. Madrid (listed as 'Michael Skaife' in its English-language release) does a decent directing job, but the results are still uneven, with some parts working and aging better than others. Still, it has its suspense and can be interesting.

British director John Gilling's Cross Of The Devil turned out to be his last film and was only made because he happened to be retired in Spain after a very long and successful career that included Film Noirs, hammer Studios films and some great episodes of hit ITC TV shows like The Saint with Roger Moore, The Champions and Department S. A solid journeyman director, this was his last film and he melds well with the Spanish Gothic aesthetic. A British writer (Ramiro Oliveros) goes to visit his sister in Spain, only to find out Satanists have killed her. From there, he starts to investigate, but keeps having strange, bad dreams. Can he figure out what is really going on before its too late?

Its good, but has some off parts, which is also typical of some of Gilling's otherwise solid work. Glad he got this one in before retiring forever.

And Leon Kilmovsky's vampire fest The Night Of The Walking Dead with a beautiful young lady (Emma Cohen) lured and stuck with a stuffy family of aristocrats with more secrets than expected, blood-sucking madness is about to let loose and who knows what will happen next. With some good moments, it does remind me of some Paul Naschy/Jacinto Molina horror films we've seen over the years and the fact that Kilmovsky worked with him a lot makes sense. Like the many Naschy/Molina films in the genre, some of the make-up has dated badly, but other aspects are interesting and the makers go all out with what they have to deliver a tale with impact. It too might not always work, but it is interesting to see them try.

Obviously, it is Guillermo del Toro who dominates this territory, look, feel and atmosphere in his film and in cinema, but he was not the first and it used to be much more common. Cheers to the actors, locales and hard work with limited budgets it too to make these films. They may not be to everyone's taste, but are finally here saved and for you to see for yourself.

All the films here are from new 2K scans, save the 4K scan on Cross Of The Devil, all also presented in 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers, save Cake Of Blood in 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition. All can certainly show the age of the materials used, but color is usually good if not always great and sometimes there is fading or color shifting in small amounts. The sound is here in Spanish PCM 2.0 Mono in all cases, save Walking Dead in Spanish and English PCM 2.0 Stereo. Necrophagous also adds an English PCM 2.0 Mono option, but the Spanish track fare best and are the most authentic, despite obvious dubbing and other small sonic flaws not due to age. Dialogue and music are clear enough and the Spanish tracks are very likely the best any of these films will ever sound. Much hard work was done to get them this way and subtitles notwithstanding, they sound good for their age and budget limits.

Extras in this solid box packaging include for each film:


  • Audio Commentary With Andy Marshall-Roberts

  • Something You've Never Seen: an appreciation By Angel Sala

  • Trailers

  • The First Horror Film Festival In The World: Remembrance By Maria Pilar Rafales, Daughter Of Sitges Film Festival Founder Antonio Rafales


  • Commentary By Rod Barnett And Dr. Adrian Smith

  • Interviews With Marisa Paredes, Jaime Chavarri And Jose Lifante

  • An Arthouse UFO: an appreciation By Angel Sala


  • Commentary By Kim Newman And Barry Forshaw

  • Fascinated By Becquer: an interview with Screenwriter Juan Jose Porto

  • The Real Templars Knight Movie: an appreciation By Angel Sala

  • Fantasy And Imagination: The Legacy Of Gustavo Adolfo Becquer, a Video Essay By Xavier Aldana Reyes


  • Commentary By Kat Ellinger

  • A Deadly Invitation To Another Dimension: an appreciation By Angel Sala

  • Interviews With Juan Jose Porto And Jose Lifante

  • and Spain's Cinematic Vampires, a Video Essay By Xavier Aldana Reyes.

The sequel to Ghoulies is a lot more fun than the original with much better looking creature and special effects on the whole by the late legend John Carl Buechler, who was a master of special effects that didn't get enough credit. In my opinion, this Ghoulies II 4K (1987) sequel is far superior to the original, and is more akin to the kind of cult movie goofiness as Killer Klowns from Outer Space or Critters, and definitely on the high end of Full Moon productions of the same era. Think of this as a more R-rated version of Gremlins.

The small demons known as Ghoulies run amok at a traveling carnival / circus and stake up in a haunted house called Satan's Den. The handful of ghoulies terrorize the locals who enter the haunted attraction and hide their bodies within the haunted house themselves. They keep things quiet at first, until one disastrous murder turns the town wise and a few carnival workers must figure out the best way to send them back to hell. In the process though, they resurrect a giant Ghoulie who has quite an appetite. While the plot isn't anything terribly special, Ghoulies II is a pretty fun B-movie popcorn flick to watch with friends.

Directed by Albert Band, the film stars Damon Martin, Royal Dano, Phil Fondacaro, J. Downing, and Kerry Remsen.

Ghoulies II is presented in 2160p on native 4K UHD disc with Dolby Vision/HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced HEVC / H.265 codec, Ultra High Definition image, a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and an audio track in lossless English LPCM 2.0 (48kHz, 24-bit) Stereo sound mix from the original Ultra Stereo analog noise reduction tracks. There is more detail and improvement in the upscaled image, although this isn't exactly cinematic art. It is always nice to see a film (I think in this case) beyond what the filmmakers intended.

There is also a 1080p high definition version included on 2K Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec, a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and the same English LPCM 2.0 (48kHz, 24-bit) Stereo sound mix. The special features are divided over both discs with the lot of them being on the Blu-ray.

Special Features are the same as the previous Blu-ray release from MVD:

Introduction by Screenwriter Dennis Paoli

More Toilets, More Terror: The Making of Ghoulies 2

Under A Magic Moon: Interview with Dennis Paoli

Deleted Scenes

Photo Gallery

Theatrical Trailer

2-Sided Artwork

Collectible Mini-Poster

and Limited Edition Slipcover (First Pressing Only).

The Ghoulies movies are pretty fun to look back on as little creature features, and perfect for a cheesy movie night. However, aren't well constructed classics in the same way that Gremlins or even Critters are.

- Nicholas Sheffo and James Lockhart (4K)



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