A young woman is driving alongside a lake. She has an accident and the car plunges into the water. Her body is then possessed by the spirit of an 18th-century witch who was killed by local villagers, and is bent on avenging herself on them.
Nothing has scary has the March of 1931 version of Dracula but pretty close.
This is a very scary movie. It has a great story line. It also has great acting. It is not has scarier has The March of 1931 version of Dracula. But still pretty good. This is scarier then A Nightmare on elm street. It is scarier then the April of 1931 version of Dracula. But not has scarier has the 1931 version of Frankenstein. But it is scarier then Friday the 13th. It is scarier then the 1910 version of Frankenstein could ever be. But it not has scary has The wolf man. But it is still pretty scary. This is scarier then The Exorcist of Halloween. This one of the best horror movie from the 60's. See it. It is a great movie.
A Good Vintage Horror Film
This movie was good overall with outstanding performances from the cast and the special effects were well done especially the witch makeup which would hold up well today. It did have some intense violence but it also had some comedy in it especially the vehicle chase scenes. The cinematography was good except for some washed out and jerky scenes which might be due to the age of the film. The script could have been better written but that might have been due to the dubbing as there were some lines that didn't make sense plus there were references to Dracula and the political situation in Eastern Europe at that time which was interesting.
A Formidable Film, Worth Rediscovering Thanks to Dark Sky
An English couple are vacationing in Communist Romania... don't ask me why. After a bad run-in with a local innkeeper appropriately named Groper, they run their car into the lake. The man (Ian Ogilvy) is saved, but pulled up with him is not his wife (Barbara Steele), but a 200-year old witch named Vardella.
Now, the first thing you might be asking is this: why would Dark Sky Films, distributor of some of the finest gems in horror and exploitation, release a film that has been in the public domain for years and not very widely praised? There's a very good answer to that: because Dark Sky, among their many other talents, takes one man's trash and turns it into another man's treasure. They somehow uncovered an original print, and have given us the film in beautiful widescreen with a very nice, crisp picture... and if that isn't enough, they tracked down Ogilvy and Steele for an exclusive audio commentary. (Also, if you're like me, you'll appreciate the subtitles.) Can you beat that?
Seriously, though, the film isn't even bad. The characters are interesting and the story has a smooth flow. Really, it's the characters that sell this film. VonHelsing is an interesting modern incarnation of his namesake. The Romanians have a great comedic value with their communist jokes. After one man is found dead, a policeman turns to another and asks, "Is he talking?" The other says, "No, he's dead." So the first one says, "That's obstruction of justice." And then shortly after we get a chase scene that some critics have frowned on for its silliness, but I wonder if they hadn't been paying attention -- the cops were hilarious throughout the film.
Writer/director Michael Reeves has to be given plenty of credit for this. In his early twenties when he made this (before moving on to his masterpiece, "Witchfinder General"), it's a good tale in the same vein as later Hammer Horror stories. The only real complaint I have is the top billing for Barbara Steele, who only appears in the film for maybe fifteen minutes. I understand her popularity at the time, and she's something of a horror icon, but it's a bit misleading to make her so prominent in the advertising.
Thank you, Dark Sky, for taking what was a film dead in the water and reviving it. Modern horror fans may find it a bit slow and bulky, but anyone who loves the classics will find this appealing with plenty of good scenes and grisly visuals -- eye gouging, impalement... witches beware! A truly enjoyable experience.
Hello, this odd film has had some s**t reviews and I feel I have to wade in and defend this monster. It's actually quite funny, the old witch looks extraordinarily ugly and her screaming had me laughing and laughing. I'd recommend this to anyone who can laugh at the very awful and enjoys a good cheesy political comment. Come on old fart reds, (it's all over now anyway), the hammer and sickle scene is meant to be as ridiculous as the rest of the film. I recommend that this wonderful film gets its very own category: Horror/Ridiculous plus a Bit of Nasty. The only horror in the film stems from how awful people can really be, and it works.
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