(Weird) Watching with Alex, Episode 4: Evil is a Hobo

Vengeance of the Zombies (La rebelión de las muertas) [1973]
Directed by: Leon Klimovsky
Written by: Paul Naschy (credited as Jacinto Molina)
Featuring: Paul Naschy, “Romy”, Mirta Miller
Produced by Profilmes
Poster © Who Knows Now?
Images via horrorpedia
Category: Foreign Horror (Spain)

A Spaniard, playing an Indian guru, who practices Haitian voodoo: welcome to European horror during the 1970’s! Paul Naschy is known as the “Lon Chaney of Spain” so I might as well show you a picture of Vincent Price and ask you who the mysterious masked bad guy is going to be. But wait, there’s a catch! A masked villain clad in a cloak and black gloves means that we’ve entered Italian giallo country, meaning that the bad guy will be “obvious” right up until the last moment when a NEW character is suddenly introduced, often from out of nowhere or with no connection to the events we’ve been watching unfold, with a motive that has no connection to anything that we know about. But wait, there’s more! This is such a fusion of insanity that the true FINAL villain will be unmasked as somebody we’ve only seen once, has no attachment to anything we’ve just seen, and has no motive other than, “because”!

So we have a cloaked figure going around setting blood-soaked dolls on fire, causing a few recently deceased young women to rise from the dead and kill at their command. The night watchman in the opening gets done in by a lady while checking in on her crypt before she goes frolicking through the gravestones to the main theme titles and then runs face-first into the camera. Crypt Lady goes on to attempt to strangle the Leading Lady while making the creepiest happy face that I never want to wake up to while Masked Man attacked the housekeeper with an axe and strings up her father. An adulterous couple is skewered, the woman later being made to rise from her gurney as a zombie while Crypt Lady kills the mortician with a soda can. Yes, that happened. Leading Lady has a “nightmare?” where everyone in town is an undead Satanist, because we already have pretty much every other creepy non-Anglo-Saxon thing thrown in here so why not, who sacrifice her to the devil, or as I like to call the portrayal, “Insane-tan”. Anyone who crosses Masked Man gets their doll burned, causing them to commit supernatural suicide.

As Masked Man’s evil plans draw closer to fruition, things make less and less sense but those masks. Oh boy, do those get better.

Favored Ability: DEX. Between the 70’s music score, goofy masks, weird expressions, absurd deaths, stuffy police, and ever-morphing plot, Vengeance has no problem moving right along.

Rating: 4/5 (Above Average) (+1 Mad Masks, +2 Getting Canned, +1 Insane-tan)

The first entry in plot keywords for Vengeance of the Zombies is “topless female nudity”. You can thank me later for introducing you to Euro Horror.

The moment I got a good look at the villain’s first mask, I immediately stopped watching and saved Vengeance of the Zombies for later because I just had to get more people in on this bag of treasure. This, however, came with a price. My friends would watch this movie with me if, afterwards, I watched a certain movie with them. Who knows why I agreed but that film is where we shall pick up next… guh.

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