Oh, you love it when I get foreign, don't you? You love it when I get obscure and use the Spanish poster for no goddamn reason. Actually, there is a reason. 1974's The Loreley's Grasp (a.k.a. When the Screaming Stops) was shot in Spain by a real-life Spaniard. I'm speaking of Amando de Ossorio, he of Blind Dead fame. No one ever talks about his contributions to the genre outside of the Blind Dead series, which is a flagrant shame. I dig the Templar Knights as much as the next pantaloon, but his other experiments in terror deserve a day in the midnight sun. Most of them are on DVD/Blah-ray. If you can't find Grasp, try on 1975's Demon Witch Child (a.k.a. The Possessed). You're welcome. And yes, Ossorio's films have multiple titles. Get with the times.
This baby feels Italian. To be specific, it feels like a giallo, but it's a monster mash. It combines the "creature suit'' horseplay of the 50's with the dubbing and bloodletting of Opera or Deep Red. Personally, I would describe it as The Monster of Piedras Blancas...if it were directed by Dario Argento. So yes, it's pretty cool. Something is stalking the beautiful students at a boarding school in Germany. There are whispers of a local legend, a sea siren who transmutes into a scurfy, furfuraceous beast when the moon is full. Loosely based on real myths (now that's one fuck of an oxymoron), the story is somewhat refreshing, seeing as how the villain is neither a vampire nor a ghost. Nor a dude!
Surprisingly, there isn't much nudity on display. We see boobs, but only when they are being ripped asunder. It's not a pleasant sight, folks. The women are stunning, but unfortunately for them, they are fucking dolts. A bodyguard is hired to patrol the area and he gives the lodgers of the academy very basic instructions. VERY basic. Just lock your doors, lock your windows and don't flap your wings outside at night. Maybe it was simply "don't go outside at night." Whatever. My point is, dear reader, a distressing majority of the apprentices (?) choose to ignore these safety measures. I get that characters need to die, but find a more creative way for the Loreley to probe the institution. Know what I mean? Like, try harder.
Furfuraceous! Sorry, I love that word, and I'm going to jam it into as many sentences as possible. The definition? Fuck off; you have an Internet connection. Use it. Bitch. Give me your Wi-Fi password! Insert segue here...the dialogue is awful. The only players I found to be inviting were Old Professor and Blind Violinist (traditional German names, I guess). Of course, they are both mangled. The gore effects are winsome. Slightly shitty, yes, but once you witness a beach lizard in a hoodie literally break a man's heart, you stop caring about the superficial. Okay, it's a robe. No, it's a hoodie. It's a fucking hoodie, and I dig it. I dig The Loreley's Grasp, too. No one will agree, but in my opinion, it tops the first two Blind Dead chapters.
Calm down. I realize that this is not a seamless shocker, but it does gallop a bit quicker than a Templar Knight. Undead Robert Z'Dar says, "I use moisturizer daily to keep my chin from becoming furfuraceous. There, I used it in a sentence. Now give me my fucking money."
Posted by Dom Coccaro at 11:44 PM