Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Crimson, Sadism and Brain Transplants

Horror from Spain has been popular on this blog, of late.  We've looked at Jesus Franco and Amando de Ossorio films, but to really appreciate Spanish horror, we must also chat about Paul Naschy.  Later this month will be the fifth anniversary of Naschy's death.  Born in Madrid, this muscle bound writer, actor, and director molded horror in his country for 50 years.  His films often included eroticism, as well as creatures.  1973's "Crimson" (aka "The Man With the Severed Head" or "Las Ratas No Duermen de noche") is a minor classic.  Gun fights, brain transplants, sexual sadists, hints of lesbianism, and mad scientists highlight this film starring Naschy (see picture below).
The plot:  A botched jewel heist results in a chase, as the cops close in on an  incompetent gang. During their eventual escape, the beloved gang leader, Jack (Naschy), is shot in the head.  The gang take Jack to Dr. Ritter (Carlos Otero), a drunk quack.  The head wound is above Ritter's pay grade, so naturally he suggests bringing Jack to his mad scientist pal, who specializes in brain transplants.  The "experienced" Ingrid is summoned, Jack's hot main squeeze.  Ingrid will do anything for Jack, and will soon be asked to.  Uh oh, the gang has arrived at the mad scientist's isolated mansion (equipped with a lab, of course) and find our Professor with disabled hands.  But wait!  The Professor's hot wife, Ana (Silvia Solar) can operate, guided by the professor's instructions.  The gang abducts their eight year old daughter to force Ana to do the operation.  The professor advises our miscreants that he needs a fresh brain in order to transplant a frontal lobe into Jack's head.
The idiots come up with a brilliant idea....use the brain of Jack's arch enemy...a man referred to as "The Sadist."  As Ingrid seduces the Sadist, the gang abducts him. They then lay him across some train tracks, and let a train decapitate him.  Ana is then able to successfully effect the transplant.  Our gang gets cocky, and send the remains of the Sadist to Barbara (Evelyne Scott), the Sadist's main squeeze.  By the way, Barbara and Ingrid used to be lovers.  Now the Sadist's gang is out for revenge, and after abducting Ingrid, Barbara is summoned to torture her.  Meanwhile, Jack recovers, but the part of the Sadist's brain in his skull slowly takes over.  Now Jack is bent on raping and strangling every woman who comes within 500 yards of him.  As Jack becomes a danger, not only to his cohorts, but to Ana's virtue (see photo below), Barbara and the Sadist's gang close in.
Crime drama/Mad scientist movie....a combo we don't see much of anymore.  Paul Naschy, an incredibly creative sort, and very expressive actor, was inspired at an early age by adventure comics and movie serials.  He saturated himself in these mediums at a young age to mentally escape the horror of the Spanish Civil War.  The wars that have dotted history for us all have given way to innovation, invention, medical breakthroughs, and really fine horror.  Will Ana be able to sustain her virtue and keep her family alive?  Is there a future for Ingrid and Jack, or will the jealous Barbara turn Ingrid into a piece of Swiss cheese?  Will Paul's new frontal lobe spell the end for attractive virgins in Spain?  Available on Netflix as "Crimson, The Color of Blood," this film will entertain, and arouse.  

1 comment:

  1. You got to hand it to the Spanish. I might have already asked you this (bear with me, I'm old) but have you ever seen El Dia de la Bestia? (The Day of the Beast).It is not gory horror, more like some sort of crazy dark comedy but I highly recommend it. Meanwhile, I'll really have to check this one out