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La Herencia Valdemar

The Heredity Valdemar
The Valdemar Legacy

Spain 2010
produced by
Ínigo Marco for La Cruzada Entertainment
directed by José Luis Alemán
starring Daniele Liotti, Laia Marull, Francisco Maestre, Paul Naschy, Silvia Abascal, Óscar Jaenada, Rodolfo Sancho, Ana Risueno, Norma Ruíz, Santi Prego, José Luis Torrijo, Jesús Olmedo, Vanessa Suarez, Laura Toledo, Lino Braxe, Jimmy Barnatán, Ana Bullón, Lucas Trapaza, Luis García, Soraya Padrao, Ignacio García-Bustelo, Amaia Garmendia, Eusebio Poncela, Luis Zahera, Txema Pérez
written by José Luis Alemán, based on concepts by H.P. Lovecraft, music by Arnau Bataller, visual effects by Luis Tinoco, Onirikal Studio

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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After not one but two valuers have vanished while evaluating the inventory of the Valdemar mansion, their boss (Eusebio Poncela) hires private eye Nicolas (Oscar Jaenada) to handle the case, who in turn hooks up with Luisa Llorente (Silvia Abascal), who unveils to him the dark past of the Valdemar estate:

In the 19th century, Lazaro Valdemar (Daniele Liotti) and his wife Leonor (Laia Marull) run a n orphanage at the mansion, since they love kids but can't have any of their own. Then Lazaro gets into photography, discovers double exposure as such, and the possibilities that come with it. So he and his wife start to hold séances for rich costumers, at the climax of which Lazaro always takes a photo that when developed shows a ghost - which is a simple double-exposure trick of course. The two don't see themselves as frauds though, as they are doing it merely for the good of their children. Then though, at a séance, a journalist discovers their foul play, and after he fails to succeed at blackmailing the Valdemars, he exposes them - which leads to Lazaro being sent to jail.

Enter mysterious Aleister Crowley (Francisco Maestre), who has no problems getting Lazaro out of jail - but in return he insists that Lazaro is to attend one of his séances, basically because he believes Lazaro to have been in contact with the other side. Sure, the Valdemars séances were poppycock, but in Lazaro's fake ghost photographs, there is some evidence of a real ghost.

Crowley's séance unfortunately gets terribly out of hand, since he opens the door to the other side to a dangerous demon nobody, least of all Lazaro, can control, a demon he unleashes onto the world ... and basically it's because not Lazaro but his wife Leonor was the actual m,edium of the two.

Cult actor Paul Naschy, in one of his last films, plays the loyal Valdemars' servant.

 

I'm afraid to say this is quite simply a pretty boring film, and the problem is that it sets up a ton of characters in the first 20 or so minutes, characters that are not even all that interesting in themselves, then veers off into the 18th century-narrative that paints a very complex story inan embarrassingly simplistic light and doesn't feature much in terms of tension or suspense until the finale. And what, you may ask, happens to all the characters set up in the first 20 minutes? Well, the end credits tell us to watch out for the sequel ...

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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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
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Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD