Sunday, October 30, 2016

Monster Mush: Countdown to Halloween (DAY 30)

It came from the days of videotape…click—whir…


In the tradition of the classic Universal creature-features of the 30's and 40's now comes the ultimate blood-freezing monster rally. Take cover, because THE SCREAMING DEAD are here!
When a blood-sucking, parasitic evil returns to the village of Holfestein, wise monster hunter Dr. Steward journeys to nearby Castle Dracula to exterminate the infamous Count. But he soon finds himself pitted against the demented Baron Frankenstein and his monstrous creation as well. In no time the village is plagued by a wave of unquenchable blood-lust and bone-crunching terror as never before seen. Steward's only hope lies with the legend of the flesh-craving werewolf: Dracula's arch enemy. When the vampire, Wolf-man, and Frankenstein's monster ultimately collide, they wage an all-out, titanic terror-fest and battle to the bloody end!

Woe to the lad who read that VHS box sitting on a shelf in a newfangled video store in 1982 and thought to themselves that they’d struck movie gold.  “Pity the fool” had yet to become the slang for such a person, but, nonetheless, we must pity them!  We will spread the pity on as thick as the peanut butter budget will allow!

Sadly, though this movie does have appearances by the monsters mentioned above, their interaction is insignificant except for the clash between Frankenstein’s monster and the werewolf that is inconclusive at best.  As for Dracula, he barely touches mouth to throat in this one, looming around—looking annoyed and constipated.  

And the “screaming dead”, well there is a woman in this movie who seems to be constantly in agony—about every time the camera shines it’s light upon her she wails and screams and moans and groans like a thing possessed.  I’m going to guess that character had some sort of phobia about being filmed.  Otherwise, there doesn’t seem to be a reason for it.

The only highlight of this Jesus Franco film is the score, which is nicely done and tries, at least, to highlight the drama and action.  And the action is merely a series of scenes that don’t really add up to a story.  Do maidens get bitten by vampires?  Sure.  Does Dr. Frankenstein experiment with blood and bats?  Yes.  (BTW, they seemed to actually use real bats in these “experiments” and it was gnarly to watch)  Does Frankenstein’s Monster walk around and throw down with a werewolf?  Sure, he does.  It even looks like a fairly physical fight, but there is no resolution.  All the players are on the stage and they seem to have nothing to do.

A frustrating effort, obviously limited by budget and story.
A movie that is all build-up without a climax…
leaving this viewer feeling a bit… 

My Grade:

Here is the complete film boiled down to it’s bare bones (in about a minute):

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