Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Blood Screams (1986)

...aka: Bloody Monks, The
...aka: Maldición del monasterio, La
...aka: Monjes sangrientos, Los
...aka: Monks of Blood

Directed by:
Glenn Gebhard

16th century Mexican monks are tossed to their death from a bell tower by Cordova, a guy who thinks they stole his gold. When police seize the monastery, Cordova slits his own throat and is sealed up in a secret room. Years later, an aimless (and brainless) redheaded American girl (Stacey Shaffer) follows a complete stranger named Hymie (Ralph Navarro aka Rafael Sánchez Navarro) into the same small town where locals prohibit anyone from going into the cursed monastery. A mysterious, unnamed witch (Isela Vega, who is not credited in the version I saw unless she's using an alias) makes the girl have weird, colorful, Argento-like nightmares featuring lots of fog and fire, zombie monks, shadowed figures, burning candles, red and blue lighting and feathers falling from the sky. There's some talk about a hidden treasure, but this (which at least takes place in an authentic, great-looking old Mexican town) doesn't make a lick of sense. Former star Russ Tamblyn has a co-starring bit as a comic magician in a multicolored leisure suit who gets to do what look like some pretty dangerous stunts on a train. Released in 1988. The director also edited, wrote and co-produced.


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