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B-Movie Nightmares | Sparks, NV United States | 02/05/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is another one of those Brentwood 5-DVD/10-movie sets. Hardcore horror collectors who are expecting high quality transfers and completely uncut material should pass, but if you just want to watch a few movies for fun then give it a try. Here's my summary of all 10, listed from worst to best (more or less):(10) Die, Sister Die! One of the most boring movies I've ever sat through. Not bad enough to be funny. The title is better than the entire film.(9) Circus of Fear. Not a horror movie, but a movie about circus performers who happen to be criminals. You do get Klaus Kinski in a supporting role. Kind of slow going, but may be of interest to Euro crime aficionados.(8) Sisters of Death. PG-rated horror that plays like a TV movie. The girls were lovely to look at, and for some reason I found myself enjoying the improbable story. I thought it was a lot better than "Satan's School for Girls," which has a similar sunny California look to it.(7) Web of the Spider. Worst pan n' scan I have ever seen. A journalist spends the night in a haunted castle. Klaus Kinski plays Edgar Allan Poe. The usual ghostly occurrences, not scary at all but with a nice twist at the end. The distracting pan n' scan made me long for a letterboxed version of the movie, though.(6) The Werewolf and the Vampire Woman. This movie seems to have a cult following of Eurohorror fans and stars the legendary Paul Naschy. Diehards will probably want to seek out a better print, but if you're not obsessed with the film it's worth a look. Stylish in a low-budget, traditional monster movie way.(5) Messiah of Evil. For a movie about flesh-eating zombies there was very little gore. And there were some incredibly slow parts. I can't quite put my finger on why I liked this one, I guess it was just so weird and 70's-looking that it made me uneasy. There were some very creepy moments, especially the scenes that featured a scary-looking albino guy.(4) Deep Red. Haven't watched it, due to the fact that I already own the unedited version. The director's cut runs 126 minutes, and according to the box this version runs 96 minutes. Dario Argento has said this was his favorite movie that he has done, so I don't know if I can recommend such a heavily cut version with a clear conscience.(3) Lady Frankenstein. Dr. Frankenstein (Joseph Cotten) is killed by his monster. His sexy daughter plans to avenge his death by building a new creation that will destroy the first one. Lots of nudity. Plus the original monster has a burn-scarred face with a big fake-looking eyeball sticking out, hee hee! Fun movie. (2) Christmas Evil. Not that gory, but much stranger than expected. A guy is traumatized as a child by a Santa-related incident (I don't want to give it away). Years later, he dresses up as Santa Claus and kills people. I liked how the guy was obsessed with Christmas and had his apartment decorated year-round. Very entertaining, with one of the weirdest endings I have ever seen. (1) House on the Edge of the Park. I expected this one to be a lesser-quality Last House on the Left; little did I know it stars David Hess who was also the lead maniac in Last House. It costars Italian horror icon Giovanni Lombardo Radice (aka John Morghen) as a disco-dancing halfwit. Directed by Ruggero Deodato who did the infamous Cannibal Holocaust. It's not horror, but sleazy exploitation along the lines of Last House that will probably shock most people. Looked uncut to me judging by the high level of perversity, and it's even letterboxed!Worth the money for the top three movies alone. With the exception of Die, Sister Die! you could do a lot worse."
The good, the bad, and the horribly butchered edits
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 08/01/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When it comes to these budget 10-movie packs, you get the good and the bad - and sometimes the bad is so bad it's good. By and large, Tales of Terror is a pretty good set of flicks, but there are a couple of things I think you need to know before purchasing it. Let's start with the good. I thought Web of the Spider was simply superb. It is a remake of the superior Castle of Blood, but this remake is a deliciously creepilicious haunted house film in its own right. I don't like to admit this, but I even jumped - just a tiny bit, mind you - a couple of times during this film. Lady Frankenstein is an Italian horror film released in 1971 with the title La Figlia Di Frankenstein. Somewhat to my surprise, the film comes off as a very creative retelling of the done-to-death Frankenstein theme. It has its logical inconsistencies, at least one annoying and irrelevant character, and a thoroughly cheesy-looking monster, but I cannot but love this movie - and Rosalba Neri (going by the name of Sara Bay) is gorgeous. Christmas Evil holds a special spot in the genre of Christmas slasher films - although there so little blood that I would not classify this as a slasher film at all. This is more of a psychological treatment that transcends horror of a primal nature. In its own twisted little way, Christmas Evil is really sort of touching, and I would argue that it actually does possess a measure of real Christmas spirit. The protagonist's heart is in the right place - it's just a few of his toys of death that end up in wrong places such as someone else's neck.
Sisters of Death is another film I really liked. While far from perfect, it does have a few things going for it that a plethora of 70s low-budget thrillers do not. First and foremost, there is Claudia Jennings, a beautiful and really quite talented actress who would die tragically the year after this film was completed. The plot itself manages to hold up pretty well, making its way through a decent set of twists and turns to keep the viewer constantly unsure about his/her own theories until the very end. The ending, by the way, is especially nice. I was just thinking how cool it would be if a certain last twist took place in the final seconds, when lo and behold, my wish was granted. This film is by no means gory or bloody, it can be a little annoying at times, and its low-budget nature is clearly evident (you can actually see the boom mike above the actors' heads during one whole scene), but it proved just unpredictable enough to keep me from knowing just how things would play out in the end.
Messiah of Evil does some things very well, producing one quite memorable scene in particular, but it proved a little too vague for me. The movie itself is one big flashback, which is a technique that rarely succeeds perfectly, especially when further layers are added in such a way to give us, at one point, a flashback inside a flashback inside a flashback. I think this movie would have been more effective with a more typical narrative framework. In the final breakdown, I think one's enjoyment of Messiah of Evil comes down to one's love for the horror genre. Those raised on a diet of action-packed slasher films may find this movie oppressively slow and boring; those of my ilk who enjoy a European kind of thriller wherein silence speaks louder than words and menace is bred in the most subtle of ways will find much to touch the imagination and satiate the spook-craving heart. Die, Sister, Die! is basically a psychological thriller of sorts, the story of a dysfunctional brother and sister struggling against one another to play out the final act in a tale of greed and deceit. This film is classified as horror, but it is really not a horror film at all. It is really just a typical example of the kind of dark psychological film that littered the cinema landscape of the 1970s. As long as you don't go in expecting blood and guts, you may well get a little enjoyment out of it.
You know a movie is awful when a sick and twisted rapist is the least annoying character in the film. House on the Edge of the Park may not be the worst movie in the world, but it comes pretty close. It's an exploitation film with no redeeming values whatsoever, and I for one do not like the fact that it is sometimes passed off as a horror film. Then there is Circus of Fear. I found this to be a thoroughly bad movie in so, so many ways. Even the most enthusiastic Christopher Lee fan should think twice about seeing his uninspired performance here. It is very important to note that, while this film is capable of invoking horror on the part of the unfortunate viewer, it is in no way a horror film and is in no way associated with Hammer Studios.
I must admit that I have not watched two of these films, Deep Red: The Hatchet Murders and The Werewolf and the Vampire Woman - this is for the simple reason that both of these films are horribly gutted versions of much longer, noteworthy films. Since I have not yet seen the complete versions of these two movies, I will not ruin my future enjoyment of them by watching heavily edited versions of them now."
Daniel Jolley | 02/12/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"On my copies, Messiah of Evil, Die, Sister Die!, and Lady Frankenstein are not complete. They abruptly stop mid-way through. The best were Sisters of Death and The Werewolf and the Vampire Woman."
Peek - a - BOO!
Annie Van Auken | Planet Earth | 06/06/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"TALES OF TERROR consists of five double-sided DVDs. The ten movies in this set are half domestic, half European. Stars include Christopher Lee, Anthony Franciosa, David Hemmings and Klaus Kinski. There's a few very popular titles in the mix, which makes this budget-priced box an excellent deal, and a convenient way to start your horror movie collection.
Also recommended is CHILLING CLASSICS 50 MOVIE PACK. It's a dozen fine DVDs that offer four of the movies here, plus lots more scary fun.
. The following alphabetized program list provides viewer poll ratings for each film (based on a 1 to 10 scale), plus original theatrical titles (where indicated), country of origin (if other than USA), years of release and principal actors.
(4.0) Christmas Evil ("You Better Watch Out") (1980) - Brandon Maggart/Jeffrey DeMunn (5.2) Circus of Fear (UK/W Ger-1966) - Christopher Lee/Leo Genn/Klaus Kinski (7.8) Deep Red, The Hatchet Murders (Italy-1975) - David Hemmings (4.0) Die Sister, Die! (1972) - Jack Ging/Edith Atwater (5.7) House On The Edge Of The Park (Italy-1980) - David Hess/Annie Belle (4.6) Lady Frankenstein (Italy-1971) - Joseph Cotten/Rosalba Neri (6.0) Messiah Of Evil ("Dead People") (1973) - Michael Greer/Royal Dano/Elisha Cook Jr. (in support) (4.2) Sisters Of Death (1977) - Arthur Franz/Claudia Jennings (5.4) Web Of The Spider (France/Italy/W Ger-1971) - Anthony Franciosa/Klaus Kinski (4.7) The Werewolf Vs. Vampire Women (Spain/W Ger-1971)"
Bcieclipise strikes once more
John D. Page | usa | 03/18/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"bcieclipse is the company that started the whole 10movies sets that are so much a part of the dvd landscape today. while the quality of the movies isn't always good the cost is very nice and if your not to picky about thr transfers these films can be fun, and as always these sets can help you build your collection ,so give it a try "