Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Blancheville Monster|
Actors: Gérard Tichy, Leo Anchóriz, Ombretta Colli, Helga Liné, Irán Eory
Director: Alberto De Martino
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: Gotham (dba Alpha) Release Date: 03/23/2004
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CREEPY LITTLE EURO SHOCKER
Richard J. Oravitz | 04/27/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Young, innocent sweet Emily De Blancheville returns home to her creepy family castle to celebrate her 21st birthday, which, unknown to her, is destined not to happen. A family curse has driven her disfigured father insane and he plans to murder Emily, hence the plot which I won't give away.
This film was shot (in b&w) during the fall/winter (no snow yet no leaves). It's cold, creepy & very gothic with lots of artsy camera shots, especially during the premature burial scene, reminiscent of Dreyer's VAMPYR.
The acting is very good with both the brother and the doctor giving their best Vincent Price impersonations. And the maid is the real hottie, in a perverse sort of way.
A very nice entry into the Euro-Gothic-Horror genre, well done and very enjoyable, and the ALPHA dvd is quite good as well, very watchable and most likely a complete print.
You even get to see brother Roderick play Bach's Toccata and Fugue during one of his moodier moments. Now what can be more gothic than that?
A nice little Gothic gem of a film
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 06/23/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Blancheville Monster is a pretty decent little Gothic thriller directed by Alberto de Martino; also called Horror, this Spanish-Italian film takes us down well-worn paths but proves interesting and effectively suspenseful toward the end. Seemingly filmed, at least in part, in an authentic old castle (but I could be wrong about that), the gloomy atmosphere makes for a perfect backdrop for this story of deception, murder, and the obligatory family curse. The Blancheville family, you see, will end with the current generation - at least, that's what the curse/prophecy says. Young Emily knows nothing of this legend, however, as she returns home to the family estate in Brittany accompanied by Alice, her best friend from college, and Alice's brother John (who is, of course, quite in love with Emily). Emily soon finds herself a bit ill at ease, as the place has changed since she last saw it. Her brother Roderick is there to welcome her, but all of the old servants have been replaced by new ones, and - more importantly - Emily's father, the Count, has recently died in a fire. Still, everything seems okay on the surface, except for a suspicious doctor who has seemingly perfected the art of giving meaningful looks to others. During that first night, Alice is awakened by the sounds of someone screaming and decides to investigate, and that is when things start to get a lot more interesting.
It turns out that the old Count isn't dead after all - just horribly disfigured in the fire. Emily doesn't know whether to be happy or sad about the news. She faces no similar dilemma with what she learns next, however, as her brother Roderick reluctantly informs her that her father, the Count, is determined to kill her, believing that the only way to escape the family curse is for the female of the youngest generation to die before her 21st birthday. Did I mention dear old dad has escaped? Or the fact that Emily's 21st birthday is less than a week away? Lying around waiting for your horribly disfigured father to pop up and kill you at any moment can be a tad stressful on a young lady.
Everyone grows concerned as Emily deteriorates physically and spiritually. You would think someone (especially the man who dreams of marrying her) would keep a constant watch over her, not only to guard her from attack but also to keep her from sort of sleep-walking down to the family crypt every night, but no one does any such thing. As the fateful day of her 21st birthday approaches, the sense of impending tragedy grows ever stronger. Will Emily live to enjoy her new-found love? Is her father really trying to kill her - or could it be someone else who wants her dead? You don't have to look far to find a few definite suspects. Diverse elements work together to keep the film suspenseful until the very end.
I definitely consider The Blancheville Monster to be something of a gem among low-budget thrillers. It drags in spots, thanks to too much melodramatic dialogue, and it certainly doesn't break a lot of new ground (the influence of Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher is obvious enough without naming Emily's brother after Roderick Usher), but I quite enjoyed it from start to finish. The acting is above average, the atmosphere has an authentic Gothic look and feel to it, and the basic storyline never loses its focus."
Brent Carleton | 07/16/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
Though it has somehow or other managed to escape all the standard reference books, this film is a real and unheralded discovery--a visually distinguished and absorbing Gothic thriller, halfway between Bava country and the Mexican gothics like "The Witch's Mirror".
"Blancheville Monster" where have you been hiding? Right off the bat, we are treated to a deliciously evocative visual opening--a wintry, bare tree ridden country road, awash with an icy looking rain, beyond which stands the distant castle on the mountain.
Anne Radcliffe would be well pleased! And the film keeps on delivering: two attractive female leads, a mysterious and scarred man locked in a tower room, frequent thunder and lightning, and all the necessary accoutrements of remote castle Gothic, from flickering torches to doleful turns on the family harpsichord.
The countryside in which the film is shot has the desolate beauty of a November day, and strongly suggests the Brittany in which the film is set, (though not shot). In this sense, some of the landscapes resemble those in Bresson's "Diary of a Country Priest." Devotees of the genre are herewith advised to seek this out. It's far more deserving than some of its over-hyped relatives.