Fangs of the Living Dead (2004) Horror Movie Review
Horror movies Review
Even though I’ve only seen the American cut of this movie and the print that I saw was in pretty bad condition, I have to say that I really enjoyed this movie. This is everything a classic drive-in movie should be - a great Gothic setting, exotic babes, old-school vampire effects, and even an all-too-short sexy vampire catfight. Truth be told, the deteriorating public domain print that I saw actually added to the whole atmosphere of this trip down Gothic Lane. Let me be clear about this, though - not having seen this actual DVD, I’m a little unsure what version of the film it contains. It is listed as 88 minutes, which falls about halfway between the version I saw and the fully restored version. I have heard that at least some “88 minute” releases of this film were actually just 73 minutes, so don’t believe everything a box cover or product description tells you. As far as I’m concerned, though, any version of this film is worth seeing, especially if you love old-school horror as much as I do.
The film stars Anita Ekberg, Miss Sweden of 1950, who made something of a name for herself in Italian cinema during the 1960s. She plays Sylvia Morel, a model who - just prior to her wedding - finds out that she has inherited a castle in Waldrick (don’t ask me where it is - all I know is that it’s 800 miles from Rome). She figures she’ll go check the place out and bring her pretty little countess self home in time to marry her fiancé, Dr. Piero Luciani (Gianni Medici). Her uncle, however, has other plans for her. Sylvia is the spitting image of her grandmother Malenka (who was burned at the stake by a mob of peasants), so it seems only fitting that she should share in the family “curse.” I think you can see where this is going. Throw in a couple of attractive barmaids, a hot vampire babe in a slinky black dress, and a bit of comic relief in the form of Piero’s best friend Max, and you’ve got yourself a good time.
I’ll never understand why great European horror films like this have been routinely butchered by American distributors. It’s bad enough that we miss out on 17 minutes of action, but I’m in no mood to ever forgive said butchers for the ending of the edited version. Unbelievably idiotic and beyond campy, that final scene really leaves a bad taste in your mouth no matter how much you enjoyed the rest of the movie. I certainly don’t blame Spanish film director Amando de Ossorio, the man who gave the world Knights Templar zombies in such films as La Noche del Terror Ciego, though. Heck, the man’s movie still holds up fairly well with almost 1/6 of its original running time removed. Suffice it to say, old-school horror fans should really check out this Spanish-Italian co-production - especially if you can get your hands on the full, unedited version.
About Fangs of the Living Dead (2004)
Starring: Adriana Ambesi, Fernando Bilbao, Anita Ekberg, Diana Lorys, Paul Muller
Runtime: 88 minutes
Director: Amando De Ossorio