Over the course of the two years that it sat on the shelf following a planned-but-aborted fall 2007 theatrical release, the Halloween-themed anthology film Trick ‘R Treat was embraced by genre fans who caught it at festivals and other special screenings starting that December. I think I can see what captured their sick little hearts — in an era when the state-of-the-art in popular horror films is split between the practiced cruelty and borderline hostility of neo-gore exercises like the Saw and Hostel franchises and the incidental soullessness of Friday the 13th and Last House on the Left remakes, this film, in its straightforward, low-concept fright-mongering, feels downright fresh. In fact, except for a couple of gratuitous tit shots, Trick ‘R Treat is earnest, uncynical, and nearly wholesome. What it’s not — and it pains me to say this — is very much good.
Image nicked from Tim Lucas’s excellent Video Watchblog entry on Night of the Werewolf.
It’s surely convenience, or just
coincidence–rather than any nods to quality or pent-up demand–that these are the first two Euro-horror titles to arrive in high definition on
Blu-ray Disc. This double-feature package from BCI and Deimos
entertainment pairs two films starring the well-loved (and prolific)
Spanish horror actor Paul Naschy. Vengeance of the Zombies (La
Rebelion de las Muertas, 1972) is a potboiler from cult director Leon
Klimovsky involving a charismatic Indian cult leader (Naschy), his
less-attractive brother (also Naschy), and a beautiful redhead (Romy)
from a cursed English family. And Night of the Werewolf (La Retorno
del Hombre Lobo, 1980) is a genre mash-up directed by Naschy
in which he stars as the wolfman Waldemar Daninsky and faces off against a
bevy of vampire women led by Elizabeth Bathory herself. (Scroll way down to read about some problems with these discs.)