1975 was a bit of a mixed bag for horror and suspense at the cinema. While directors like Dario Argento and Steven Spielberg were making waves with visionary masterpieces like Profundo Rosso and Jaws, and Peter Weir and Narciso Ibanez Serrador were trying out more subtle exercises in suspense with Picnic at Hanging Rock and Who Can Kill A Child?, the majority of genre film-makers were still riding the coat-tails of The Exorcist’s bile spewing success and adding sex and titillation to the mix to get horror audiences all hot and bothered. Cue Eurotika entries like Jean Rollin’s sensual French vampire favourite Lévres de Sang and Jordi Gigo’s satanic Spanish horror The Devil’s Kiss.
Gigo, who also helmed the Paul Naschy horror Exorcismo the same year, isn’t the biggest name in horror, but his handful of horrors have become cult favourites amongst devotees of Euro horror. Thus, his Devil’s Kiss (aka La perversa caricia de Satán) has been selected for re-release under the new ArrowDrome label, a spin-off of Arrow Films, that mixes the more osbcure cult titles – spanning horror, action, sci-fi, erotica, giallo and samurai fantasies – with some genuine classics for a new generation of films fans to enjoy. See below for the full list of releases coming at ya!
In The Devil’s Kiss, popular Spanish actress Silvia Solar (who died just this year) chews the scenery as Claire Grandier, a psychic Countess out for revenge against the Duke De Haussement (José Nieto), whom she blames for her husband’s suicide. On the pretext of getting rid of any malevolent spirits that might be lurking in the castle, the countess sets up house in the basement with a mad scientist (Olivier Mathot) and a dwarf assistant in order to create a Frankenstein monster that will do her bidding.
It’s certainly not the greatest horror every committed to celluloid, but it’s a riot of 1970s camp Gothic horror, complete with crazy characters in various forms of undress (the undead maid is hilarious) and some suitably way-out fashions that will have you howling with laughter. Best watched in the company of like-minded horror fiends at Halloween with a few Sangria’s under your belt.
McBain Out Now
The Man With The Severed Head Out Now (HMV Exclusive)
Dawn of the Dead Out Now
Day of the Dead Out Now READ PETE’S REVIEW
The House by the Cemetery Out Now
George A. Romero’s Trilogy of the Dead Out Now
The Devil’s Kiss (released 17 October – HMV Exclusive)
Lucio Fulci’s Gates of Hell Trilogy (released 7 November) READ PETE’S REVIEW
Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman (released 28 November)