Thursday, December 02, 2004

Rue Morgue Massacres (1973)

Rue Morgue Massacres is a romantic and of course tragic horror film. Gotho the hunchback (Paul Naschy) wants nothing more than to pick flowers for his dying love, Ilsa. We are treated to 4 or 5 flower gathering scenes before and after Ilsa's death from illness. She was the only person who treated Gotho with care, others throw rocks and beat him, for no reason at all. I loved the first twenty minutes of this movie, because I knew that the scenes were setting the stage for one of the greatest themes in horror, revenge.

Rue Morgue Massacres in the big box

That's not all, the plot thickens as a manipulative Doctor Orla convinces Gotho that he will bring Ilsa back to life under the condition that he supply the lab with dead, and later living, bodies. Gotho remains fooled by the doctor even after Ilsa's body has been dropped in the acid bath. I don't want to give much more away, but I assure you there is lots of nastiness and gore and a fun set where the secret lab has been constructed in the hidden torture chambers of The Inquisition.

Unfortunately there is animal cruelty in this film. Most horror fans will be upset by this, even the most cynical horror fans don't like to see real harm come to animals. One of my favorite elements of horror is the creative ways that violence can be synthesized through prosthetics, costumes, and models. Even if you can clearly tell that the action is fake, it is not necessarily any less exciting or effective.

Not only is it morally wrong to use real violence, it's against the general premise of horror movie making, which I believe is to get a genuine reaction from people while producing a product that is not genuine or actually real at all. Horror is an illusion and a fantasy, not real shit like the news.

The only extended review of Rue Morgue Massacres that I found, at Exploitation Retrospect.


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