Saturday, November 8, 2008

Horror Movie Review: Grindhouse Double Feature - Black Candles and Evil Eye

Black Candles

Starring: Vanessa Hidalgo, Mauro Ribera, and Helga Line

Directed by: Jose Ramon Larraz

Written by: Jose Ramon Larraz

Original Title: Los Ritos Sexuales del Diablo

Release Date: April 3, 1982

Evil Eye
Pilar Velasquez wonders why someone would knock on a naked girl's door...
Starring: Jorge Rivero, Richard Conte, Anthony Steffen, and Pilar Velasquez

Directed by: Mario Siciliano

Written by: Julio Buchs

Production Company: Emaus Films S.A., Metheus Cinematografica, and Producciones Gonzalo Elvira S.A.

Original Title: Malocchio

Release Date: February 6, 1975

Vanessa, as Carol, does an experiment. Do my breasts keep your attention, or the smell from my armpits?I'm not a big fan of foreign cinema. Well, except for British film. I'm too easily distracted with foreign films. If there are subtitles, I'm distracted by the words. I watch a film to, you know, watch...not read. I've got H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King if I want to read horror. If it's been dubbed, I'm distracted by the fact the lips aren't making the correct shapes required for the words. But if I'm going to watch a foreign piece, I go for dubbing, and every so often I hear about a foreign piece and I decide to watch it anyway.

Now, I'm not sure which of the two I read about, Black Candles or Evil Eye, but something made me decide to watch one, and it was partnered with the other, so I had to watch both.
Fiona may not look it, but she's the leader of a hot sex cult.
Black Candles, the first Grindhouse offering, follows Carol and...friend...Robert visiting with Fiona, her sister-in-law, following Carol's brother's sudden death. It seems, however, that Fiona is a prominent member of a Satanic cult. Carol struggles with her sanity as Robert gets enticed into the cult.

Robert thinks, sex cult? I got hooked to just the right family!The plot is really just an excuse for a series of soft-core porn scenes. The cult seems centered around sex and freely switch partners. Anything goes in this movie as one scene is suggestive of incest (though the actors are not related, so it's not real) and another depicts bestiality (though also staged). The story is pretty slow since most of it is based on sex scenes. Sure, I like to look at breasts, but the sex scenes hardly increase the pace.

The ending is the most interesting part as it leaves you wondering if Carol is insane after all.
Why, of course my refridgerator is running. I better what? I COULD KILL YOU!
Second up in our Grindhouse Double Feature is Evil Eye, originally entitled Malocchio in its original Italian. Peter Crane is an infamous, womanizing playboy with the world at his fingertips. But when women that Peter's had a nice, one-night-romp with begun turning up dead, Peter's life begins to spiral out of control. Fearing that he may unwittingly be the murderer because of nightmares he is having, Peter checks himself into a psychiatric hospital. But playboys who voluntarily sign in to psychiatric hospitals apparently get to prescribe their own treatment, including romantic rendezvous with Dr. Sarah Turner.
Evil Eye explores the forbidden allure of brushing teeth.
Can Peter or Police Detective Ranieri figure out what is going on before it's too late?

Evil Eye is a generally more interesting film than Black Candles because it has a plot. There's mystery and intrigue. Why do things tend to move on their own before someone gets killed? But it Random creepy lady from Evil Eye.doesn't have any answers, either. The ending is very similar to Black Candles, but where in the previous film, it added some interest, with Evil Eye, since it leaves everything unanswered, it's just frustrating.

I don't have much experience with European horror, or films in general, really, but these two hardly encourage me to try some more. But then, maybe expecting plot and explanation is just expecting too much...

Crazy naked dream people from Evil Eye.


kelloggs said...

There seems to be an underlying theme in our movie reviews this week (boobs)
I haven't seen alot of foreign films, a french or asian flick here and there, really. I tend to find the subtitles distracting as well. Good to know sexuality has been used to distract audiences from a weak plot all over the world for generations, though.

Bodog said...

I'm sorry...did you say something after "boobs"?