Graveyard Of Horror (1971)

After watching this movie for 86 minutes, I have no answers. But I’m not alone — the synopsis on the back of the DVD case couldn’t even get the facts straight. We’ll just share this blissful illiteracy together.

Sam Sherman’s Independent-International Pictures rarely lets me down, especially when it comes to the strange stuff. Graveyard Of Horror, a Spanish production originally titled Necrophagus, does more than keep the ball rolling. In fact, this rabidly-edited creeper might be one of the strangest straight-up horror films from 1971. Yes, even stacked up against an eyeball-popper like Headless Eyes.

After a brief prologue/flashback involving fresh graves, we meet Michael. Michael’s wife died while giving birth to their stillborn child. Michael travels to the castle where it all went down and we meet a lot of characters, all of which seem to be immediately related to Michael (in-laws, sisters, nieces, etc.). Through an obtuse barrage of flashbacks and puzzling occurrences, the film presents mystery upon mystery, but never truly gets to the bottom of anything. I’m more than happy to let that slide though, especially when we’ve got snowy cemeteries, a couple of nightmarish gravediggers in old-man masks, and a minute long cameo by the greatest trash creature this side of The Evil One from Brides Of Blood.

Don’t worry, the plot isn’t that important. The real reason Graveyard succeeds, lies in its strict diet of technical insanity — dizzying handheld shots, nonsense edits, inanimate close-ups during times of action, and boffo music cues that could break glass. There’s no gore, no sex, and very little content that would raise eyebrows. But when you combine the crazed techniques with the spook elements, you get an obscure delight in genuine scares that moves fast and leaves no room for waiting around. I just wish the ending wasn’t the shits.

Logical thinkers could probably find a few things to dislike about this movie. But they don’t know what they’re missing. If you want bizarre surrealism, Graveyard Of Horror has it. Stop reading, get watching.

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