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Serenata Macabra / Dance of Death
House of Evil / Macabre Serenade

Mexico / USA 1968
produced by
Luis Enrique Vergara for Azteca, Filmica Vergara
directed by Juan Ibáñez, Jack Hill
starring Boris Karloff, Julissa, Andrés García, Beatriz Baz, José Ángel Espinosa 'Ferrusquilla', Quintín Bulnes, Manuel Alvarado, Arturo Fernández, Felipe de Flores, Fernando Saucedo, Estuardo Mora, José Luis García de León, Victor Jordan, José Antonio Garcia
written by Luis Enrique Vergara, Jack Hill, music by Enrico C. Cabiati, Alicia Urreta

Karloff's final Mexican foursome

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Gruesome murders terrify the countryside, with the killer cutting out the eyes of his victims. But while the police seems to be baffled about the identity of the killer, old Matthias Morteval (Boris Karloff) and his friend Emmerich Horvath (Quintín Bulnes) seem to have better insight into the case: Matthias figures, from the modus operandi of the killer it has to be one member of his family that has a long history of madness and had in its past a serial killer who removed his victims' eyes. So Matthias invites the whole family - Morgenstern (Manuel Alvarado), Cordelia (Beatriz Baz), Ivor (José Ángel Espinosa 'Ferrusquilla') and Lucy (Julissa) - to his castle, allegedly to show them their inheritance once he is gone, but really to kill them. Of course, the Mortevals don't deserve much better, since they are all immoral crooks ... except for Lucy, who's an angel in disguise, and who has brought her fiancé, detective Charles Beasler (Andrés García), a police detective by trade ... whom Matthias rudely sends away though, and when he returns, Emmerich has him incarcerated. Then Matthias dies, and if anyone thought the troubles would end here, they indeed just start, as Matthias has a vast collection of invaluable toys ... that can turn into deadly weapons just as easily, and soon the Mortevals begin to show up dead: Morgenstern is shot by a miniature cannon, Cordelia is danced to death by a lifesize dancing sheik, and Ivor is stabbed by a mechanical knight. Even Emmerich is found down a well, a rope around his neck. Which leaves only angelic Lucy ... and Beasler, who has managed to free himself, and who now comes to her rescue - but it's more than likely that he comes too late

 

One of Boris Karloff's final four films, a Mexican-American co-production that in all honesty isn't worthy that iconic an actor: Basically it's just a slightly trashy take on the old dark house formula littered with genre mainstays and lapses in logic, and apart from Karloff the cast is ok at best, playing one-dimensional characters - but that's not to say the film's just bad, it's also lots of fun (even if often fun for the wrong reasons) and offers plenty of grotesque ideas (like the dancing doll dancing Cordelia to death), and fans of vintage genre fare are bound to like it for its incongruencies anyways. By no means a classic, and again not worthy of Karloff, but a fun trip down nostalgia lane nevertheless.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...

 

Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!

 

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