Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Night of the Sorcerers (1973)

In the world of Spanish horror, one of the directors whose most talked about is Amando De Ossorio. The reason for this is mostly due to the fact that he is the man who gave the world the "Blind Dead" films-atmospheric, exploitative and haunting films (well, except for the third one) about evil, eyeless Templar knights who come back from the grave. The films made him a renowned name in horror, even after his death. Yet people also tend to forget his other entries in the field of horror-the rather lamentable "The Sea Serpant", the largely forgotten "The Possessed", the middling vampire horror-comedy "Fangs of the Living Dead" and the enjoyable monster flick "The Lorelei's Grasp." Oh, and of course, this movie, the fun exploitation vehicle "The Night of the Sorcerers."

A group of researchers go into the heart of Africa. Thing is, the area has a dark secret: years ago, voodoo priests captured women for dark rites, whipping and decapitating them in the process. Also, for some reason or another this turns said women into leopard skin bikini wearing vampires. In a surprising turn of events, the voodoo priests are back, and shit's going to get real.

From the get go, some of today's audience probably will find "The Night of the Sorcerers" a bit objective. Though not exactly a member of the PC Police myself (it comes with watching this kind of thing), I can see why: the image of large black men in Africa torturing naked white women is something that puts a bit of a bad taste in one's mouth. Also, fans of the "Blind Dead" films may be let down by this venture, as it lacks much of the atmosphere and scares of those movies.

That parts just fine though, because it doesn't try to replicate the success of those movies, and it most likely isn't meant to scare anyone. This is a movie with the following

  • Hot European women-all in which end up in a state of undress at one point.
  • Hot vampire girls in leopard skin bikini's running in slow motion
  • Occult rites
  • Bloody death scenes
  • A total lack of logic
And so much more. This isn't meant to be taken as serious film-making. This is dumb, sleazy exploitation garbage made for undemanding audiences, and you know what? It's good at what it does. Amando De Ossorio knows what kind of film he's making, and clearly knew what those who frequented Grindhouse theaters and Drive-In's wanted, and he delivers.

It also helps that he was a talented director too, as he films the whole thing with vivid colors, requisite fog drenched night scenes and stylish, almost artistic violence. Plus, the acting is surprising good, with genre vets Simón Andreu, Maria Kosty, and Jess Franco regular Kali Hansa doing fine work in their roles.

Is "The Night of the Sorcerers" a great movie? The short answer to that is "no." It is however, a fun slice of exploitation hokum, and makes for a fine Saturday afternoon viewing. It's the "Citizen Kane" of Hot European Vampire Girls Running Around in Leopard Bikinis movies.

Rating: 7.5/10

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