"La Orgía de los Muertos" aka. "The Hanging Woman" of 1973 is an underrated and greatly atmospheric Spanish/Italian co-production that should be appreciated by my fellow fans of Gothic Horror. Originally, my main reason to watch "The Hanging Woman" was Spanish Horror/Exploitation icon Paul Naschy, who plays a another really, REALLY demented role here, and the film turned out to be one of the best I've ever seen him in. I've been a great Naschy fan for years, and while most of his films are not necessarily 'good' movies, they are all highly entertaining. Many of the films this prolific Spanish Horror virtuoso (Actor/Writer/Director) was involved in in the 70s successfully merged the Gothic- and the Zombie-sub-genre (most prominently in Carlos Aured's "Horror Rises From The Tomb"). And this moody and delightfully creepy film does so in a great manner (the Gothic part is predominant). Spanish director José Luis Merino, who is also known in the Eurohorror fan community for directing "Altar of Blood" obviously didn't dispose of a huge budget for this film, but he nevertheless managed to create a wonderful Gothic atmosphere and give the film an elegantly eerie look.
Set in a remote 19th century Scottish village, "The Hanging Woman" begins eerily with a funeral. Shortly thereafter, Serge Chekov (Stelvio Rossi), the nephew of the deceased, comes to the village in order to accept his inheritance. Before even reaching his uncle's house, however, he finds the man's daughter, his cousin, hanged in the graveyard... The film was obviously inspired by other European Gothic Horror films, most distinctively by Mario Bava's masterpiece "Operazione Paura" ("Kill Baby Kill", 1966). "The Hanging Woman" is, of course, nowhere near en par with "Kill Baby Kill" (in my humble opinion one of the greatest Gothic Horror film ever made; by Mario Bava, who is arguably THE greatest Horror director of all-time). However, it is an amazingly atmospheric, creepy and intelligent piece of low-budget European Gothic Horror that no true genre lover should miss. The village is elegantly uncanny, with graveyards, tombs, eerie old houses, and tombstones like one would see them in films by Bava or the Hammer Studios. The storyline is clever and quite original and combines great elements such as Black Magic, Mad Science and Resurrection. There are several great gory moments, as well as some sleaze. Paul Naschy, who plays a truly deranged undertaker, is great as always, and I've never seen a role that suits him better than this one. Naschy is, of course, the highlight here, but the cast members all fit well in their roles and deliver good performances. Stelvio Rossi is good in the lead and so is Gérard Tichy ("Hatchet for the Honeymoon"). I liked sexy Maria Pia Conte, who plays the seductive widow, especially. For early 70s Spanish Horror, the film isn't particularly sleazy, but it features a bunch of deranged perversions and both Miss Conte and Dyanik Zurakowska, who plays the part of the innocent Doris, show off some goods. The film mainly profits from a great Gothic atmosphere, genuine creepiness, some really deranged weirdness and, not least, Paul Naschy. Naschy only has a supporting role here, but he is nonetheless the most memorable character in this film which ranks among the best he has ever been in. Highly recommended to Eurohorror fans.
The Hanging Woman
The Hanging Woman
Paul Naschy plays a supporting role as a deranged gravedigger in this zombie movie, set in a small highland village in 19th-century Scotland, where a stranger's arrival to claim an inheritance is met with apocalyptic visions and other evil omens. The town unearths a crypt full of horrors, including a devil-worshipping coven and throngs of the living dead.
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
March 29, 2021 at 06:28 PM