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Spectre
07-01-2001, 09:32 AM
I just watched this one last night. It's a British slasher from '71--and quite possibly the first of its kind. The review here didn't paint it in a particularly favorable light, but it appealed to me anyway. Besides that, it was a horror film that I hadn't seen before. So I gave it a shot.

Honestly, I was disappointed. The first 10-15 minutes, with its fog-shrouded setting and dead bodies, promised one atmospheric, little thrill ride. I thought the rest of the film failed to deliver on that promise though. Between the bland story and shallow, underdeveloped characters, the film never really managed to generate any kind of suspense. It doesn't even build up to a novel climax. It's like the director got 90 minuts into it and said, "Alright, people, I'm bored. Let's just wrap it up and go home".

In addition, the plot never really makes sense. I mean, it does but, at the same time, the explanation for the events in the film raises more questions than the 10-15 minute beginning. There's also a psychosexual element that seems very out of place, something about a golden statue of a Phoenician god (that bears an uncanny resemblance to "Zorak" from Space Ghost: Coast To Coast), and some mumbo jumbo about satanism that goes nowhere, and is ultimately dropped.

It does have atmosphere, though, and the girls are plenty cute. I didn't think it was as bad as the review here made it sound. It was still was disappointing though.

Has anyone else seen it?

y2doublet
07-01-2001, 02:47 PM
Saw bits of it on TV a couple of years ago. I definitely agree with you that it had some atmosphere but the lasting impression was that it moved a little slow and seemed a bit uninspired.

MacReady
07-01-2001, 10:10 PM
Never saw this one and based on both of your comments, I doubt I ever shall.

Yowie
07-02-2001, 08:39 AM
I think you should take a look. I have it on DVD, and I like it quite a lot. Also, the picture quality on the Elite DVD is extemely sharp and overall excellent. Very impressive colors, too. It looks much better than it deserves, actually. Sure, the movie does have its flaws here and there, like the usual idiot characters, but on the whole it works. I don't even think they went outside to film any of the scenes, it looks like it was all done on a soundstage. But I don't mind, that gives it an atmosphere all of its own. Those who like (cheap) 70's horror, British in this case, ought to see it.

dlundh
07-02-2001, 10:27 AM
The movie is an acquired taste. I thought the first 30 minutes could easily have been cut out of the movie for pacing reasons as it didn't really amount to much. Not very suspenseful and the ending was (can I get away with this? :) ) ridiculous.

The DVD transfer was underwhelming as well.

IMHO ofcourse.

ephilman
07-07-2001, 04:59 PM
I think that with a lot of these older, more obscure titles, a certain nostalgia evolves. I personally like this title. I can see many things in it that were well done, and I've always found the story intriguing.

The first time I saw this it was retitled as a sequel to THE FOG called BEYOND THE FOG and most of the gore and a few other scenes were cut. I felt betrayed and searched for a long time to see this in its original form. I found two things after reviewing many years later. One is that there really hadn't been that much cut out of it - it is a fractured and disjointed movie with little gore. Second is that the movie doesn't age well. It's like a time capsule of the early seventies.

I still like it though. I like how the story peels a layer at a time like an onion. I like the many non-reasons for the killing. Who can figure out why the malformed madman went berserk? The death of one of his parents? His identification with a god-statue uglier than himself? Was the isolation on the island making all of them mad? Was there some evil influence emanating from the Baal statue?

I guess you can see where I'm going with this. Anyway, there are a lot of good ideas here that have yet been exploited in other movies. So, leave your cares at the door and go back in time. Watch the flick and enjoy. It would be just a couple more years until THE EXORCIST changed horror movies forever, requiring a much more sophisticated and involved audience.

Yowie
07-07-2001, 07:49 PM
Ephilman, you're absolutely right there. The movie has its fair share of holes, but that's o.k. I watch it mainly for the atmosphere, anyway. We can't expect movies to always age well. Often people laugh at 70's stuff and call it dated, but so what. Movies are a piece of history, and they will wear the look of the times in which they were made, and we can't change that. Something like "Tower Of Evil" is a step back in time, and I like it partly because of that. Tell you the truth, I'd much rather watch a cheapie like this, than see George Lucas' CGI-altered "Star Wars" movies.