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Carlos Aured
Paul Naschy, Emma Cohen, Vic Winner, Helga Line
Writing Credits:
Paul Naschy

A Medieval sorcerer returns to life and terrorizes modern-day France.

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Castillian DTS-HD MA Monaural
English DTS-HD MA Monaural
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 88 min.

Price: $79.97
Release Date: 6/20/2017

Available Only as Part of “The Paul Naschy Collection"

• Audio Commentary with Film Historians Rod Barnett and Troy Guinn
• Alternate Clothed Sequences
• Alternate End Sequence
• Trailers
• Still Gallery
• Booklet


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Horror Rises From the Tomb: The Paul Naschy Collection [Blu-Ray] (1973)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 12, 2017)

A Spanish-made horror tale from 1973, Horror Rises From the Tomb opens in 15th century France. In this setting, a warlock named Alaric de Marnac (Paul Naschy) and his lover Mabille De Lancré (Helga Line) die at the hands of the authorities due to their supernatural dalliances.

In then-present-day 1970s, a group of friends hold a séance that resuscitates the spirit of Alaric. Eventually the sorcerer uses this foothold to gain possession of a human body. Alaric then revives Mabille and starts a new reign of terror.

Until the press release for this Blu-ray appeared in my mailbox, I’d never heard of Paul Naschy. The set refers to him as “Spain’s answer to Lon Chaney”, so I became intrigued to see an apparent cult legend in action.

Though my synopsis doesn’t mention this, Naschy actually takes on three parts: in addition to Alaric, he plays two of the warlock’s relatives. He manages to blend into the various roles well, so it never feels obvious that the same actor takes on these different characters.

Of course, Naschy makes the biggest impression as the evil Alaric, and he does pretty well in the role. At times he leans in the direction of camp, but Naschy still manages to lend a suitably menacing air to the role.

As a horror tale, Tomb works in fits and starts. It opens well but then sags as it meanders through excessive exposition. The pace picks up again when the various pals enter a French countryside that adopts a Deliverance vibe but then it becomes pokey again for a while.

The erratic pacing even impacts the climax, as the terror comes in erratic waves. This might make sense on the surface, as a continuous 30-minute reel of scares would become tedious, but the pacing just doesn’t work, as the film feels too unsure of where it wants to go.

Still, I find more to like than dislike in Tomb. Even when the movie sputters, it maintains a nicely creepy air, and it gives us a fairly intriguing horror adventure. While not a classic, Tomb offers a largely engaging effort.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio C-/ Bonus C+

Horror Rises From the Tomb appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Given the movie’s age and origins, I didn’t expect much from the transfer, but it turned out to look great.

Overall sharpness seemed solid. Occasional signs of minor edge haloes crept into the image, but those failed to create a real distraction, and the majority of the film offered tight, concise visuals.

No signs of jaggies or moiré effects materialized, and with a good layer of grain, I discerned no evidence of digital noise reduction. Print flaws remained a non-factor in this clean presentation.

Colors offered a highlight of the image, as they seemed vivid and full. Blacks came across with nice depth and darkness, while low-light shots displayed a good sense of clarity. I felt very pleased with this impressive transfer.

On the other hand, the movie’s DTS-HD MA monaural soundtrack seemed more problematic, as it really showed its age. Speech tended to be sibilant and tinny, with plenty of bad dubbing on display. Virtually all the dialogue was looped, and the lines never felt natural or well-integrated.

Music fared better but still seemed somewhat shrill, and effects followed suit. Those elements came across as rough around the edges and lacked realistic qualities. Considering the film’s vintage and roots, this didn’t become an awful track, but even when I adjusted for those factors, it still seemed below average.

Note that the Blu-ray also includes an English dub of Tomb. It actually offered superior audio quality – at least in terms of dialogue – but I’d still go with the original Castillian. Even with its flaws, it seemed more organic than the iffy English version, as the latter suffered from some fairly terrible voice acting.

A few extras round out the disc, and these include an audio commentary fromfilm historians Rod Barnett and Troy Guinn. The guys behind “NaschyCast”, they sit together for a running, screen-specific look at the film’s cast and crew, sets and locations, music, its place in the Naschy filmography, story/character and related domains.

Going into this track, I feared it’d offer little more than a frothy “fanboy” chat. Happily, Barnett and Guinn prove much more informative than that, as they dig into a lot of useful topics. Throw in perspective about the film and this turns into a winning discussion.

Under Alternate Clothed Sequences, we find five minutes, 49 seconds of footage. As implied by the title, this domain features movie scenes that went with nudity in the “official cut” but that covered up the actors for exhibition in Spain. Given how hot the women involved are, this seems tragic!

I can’t imagine why anyone would want to see them clothed, but this material is here for the completists in the audience, I guess. Note that only a few scenes were reshot to clothe the actors, though – instead, most just edit around the nudity.

An Altenate End Sequence lasts two minutes, 37 seconds. Presented without audio, it shows the fate of a talisman found in the movie, but it takes far too long to get to that point. The filmmakers were wise to cut this tedious sequence.

A Still Gallery offers a running montage. Across three minutes, 38 seconds, it presents 46 images that mix publicity materials and shots from the movie. It’s a decent collection.

Finally, the disc includes two trailers - one in Spanish, the other in English. They’re identical except for the language used. Oddly, the English narrator calls the film Fear Rises From the Tomb, not Horror Rises.

The package concludes with a booklet. It provides production notes for Tomb and four other Paul Naschy movies. The booklet finishes the set in a positive manner.

At no point does Horror Rises From the Tomb threaten to turn into a genre classic, but it offers a reasonably creepy affair. Even with some flaws, the movie gives us a mostly engaging frightfest. The Blu-ray provides very good picture along with lackluster audio and a few useful supplements. Tomb turns into a suitably spooky affair.

Note that Horror Rises From the Tomb can be purchased only as part of a five-disc “Paul Naschy Collection”. The set also includes Vengeance of the Zombies, Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll, Human Beasts and Night of the Werewolf.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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