£12.00Current stock: 0
Director: Bill Davies, Enrique Carreras
Narciso Ibanez Menta
Country: USA | Argentina
Label: Something Weird Video
Well, whattaya know. Here’s a loony, virtually unknown, half U.S.-half Argentinean semi-Poe flick with stop-motion gore scenes!
Sidney, a cackling old psycho, has been imprisoned for killing his uncle because the man had a dead “imperfect” eye. In fact, Sidney has made a career out of killing anyone with a physical deformity: “I knew I must end his imperfection...” But Sidney also doesn’t mind killing the non-deformed so when his pet rat, Tommy, leaps on a guard’s neck, Sidney uses the opportunity to drive a knife through the guard’s face. Sidney and cellmate Pierre then escape from the prison (where they seem to be two of only four -- count ’em! -- four prisoners), slice the neck of another guard, and hide out in a spooky old cemetery.
There, Sidney tells Pierre all the gory details of killing Uncle Thorbert -- “I’ve thought many times about that bad eye!” -- leading up to a crackpot ending where the ghosts of Sidney’s victims surround him and chant, “Imperfect!... Imperfect!... Imperfect!” as the otherwise black & white film abruptly switches to garish color for the bloody climax...
Whoa! In a library full of odd films, Legend of Horror is definitely one of the oddest - a delirious, crazy-quilt patchwork that had an extremely limited theatrical release in 1972.
The murder of Uncle Thorbert -- flashback footage which occupies about half the film -- is, in actuality, the “Tell-Tale Heart” segment from the 1960 Argentinean Poe anthology Obras Maestras del Terror whose first two stories were released here in ’65 as Master of Horror. Buried under the booga-booga makeup of the old Uncle is the great Spanish character actor NARCISO IBANEZ MENTA (who also plays Drac in The Dracula Saga and the Nazi sex surgeon in I Hate My Body). Young Sidney is played by his son, NARCISO IBANEZ SERRADOR, who later directed The House That Screamed (1969) and the killer-kids film Island of the Damned (1976). Legend of Horror also boasts the screen debut of FAWN SILVER (Criswell’s cohort in Orgy of the Dead); stock footage from various Roger Corman Poe films; and the same library music used to perfection in The Astounding She Monster.
Best of all, the hilariously cheap U.S. footage has three shots in the motion picture miracle of “Magicmation” during which Sidney stabs people via pixilated, gory animation! It isn’t very convincing but it’s certainly quite startling (and makes one think just what Harryhausen could’ve achieved if he were a pervert).
From a crisp, ultra-rare 35mm eyeball-buggin’ print. -- Frank Henenlotter