Welcome back! As promised, here is the review to The Loreley’s Grasp, the second film in the Scream Factory Blu-ray Double Feature that includes The Night of the Sorcerers. Also released in 1974, The Loreley’s Grasp is one part monster movie and one part Wagnerian opera. Mix together for goofiness.
A small town on the shores of the Rheine River in Germany is home to the legend of the Loreley, a creature that comes out on the full moon and must eat the hearts of human beings, so it can go back to its “centuries old dream.” The town is also home to an all-girls school which is a veritable smörgåsbord for the Loreley. That being said, the Loreley spends most of its time attacking and eating the hearts of the hapless villagers for some reason. After a particularly vicious attack, a teacher at the all-girls school (Sylvia Tortosa) demands that the town do something to ensure that the school is protected, and she is told that they have hired Sigurd, the Hunter (Tony Kendall). Sigurd arrives like a “Knight in a Shining Leisure Suit” and proceeds to hunt the Loreley (Helga Line). Oh, and if that’s not enough, there’s a love triangle between the Loreley, Sigurd, and the teacher.
The movie is chock full of blood and guts (very convincing blood and guts, actually), women in bikinis, lizard lycanthropy (apparently Ossorio was all about the lycanthropes in 1974), and the word “Legend” (note the capital “L”). The word “Legend” is used quite often, to the point where a “Legend” drinking game could cause alcohol poisoning. Like The Night of the Sorcerers, The Loreley’s Grasp moves along at a good pace, balancing some really long scenes of exposition with short bursts of ultra-violence, which are a trademark of Ossorio’s works.
During the second act, Ossorio takes the movie in a completely different direction by introducing elements of Richard Wagner’s operatic opus, The Ring Cycle, as the Loreley is a mystical creature that was placed in the Rheine River by Wotan to protect his treasure. It’s a neat plot twist that helps the movie rise above the tired and hackneyed tropes of the genre and one that was completely unexpected.
Of the two films I find that The Loreley’s Grasp has a tighter narrative and better story. It also has a much larger budget, as is evidenced by the location shooting in Germany and a brief underwater sequence toward the end of the film. As I had indicated in my review of The Night of the Sorcerers, Ossorio’s movies always had BIG ideas and The Loreley’s Grasp, achieves a greater measure of success than some of his other films. It is one that is definitely worth watching.
Spain/C-85m./Dir: Amando de Ossorio/Wr: Amando de Ossorio/Cast: Tony Kendall, Helga Line, Silvia Tortosa, Josefina Jartin, Loreta Tovar, Jose Thelman, Luis Indui, Francisco Nieto, Betsabe Ruiz, Luis Barboo, Angel Menendez, Sergio Mendizabal, Marisol Delgado, Victoria Hernandez, Maria Vidal
If You Like: Fans of low budget Euro-horrors, including Jess Franco’s Zombie Lake, may also like this one.
Video: The Scream Factory release
The Night Of The Sorcerers / The Loreley's Grasp [Double Feature] [Blu-ray] is a nice 1080p HD widescreen master in the original aspect ratio of 1.78:1. The original Castilian dialogue track with English subtitles and the English-Dub are both available with a DTS-HD Master Audio Mono track. Like The Night of the Sorcerers, I watched this with both language tracks, and again the English Dub does have a slightly “crisper” sound. As I mentioned in my earlier review, I do love to watch movies in their original language if at all possible. I think that it is important to watch films in the language that they were originally shot in; a bad dub can sometimes ruin a movie for me. Special features include the theatrical trailer, both the original Spanish and English versions, and a commentary with Rod Barnett and Troy Guinn from the podcast, NaschyCast.
Streaming: Not currently available.
More to Explore: I’d recommend The Tombs of the Blind Dead, the first in Amando de Ossorio’s Blind Dead tetralogy.
Trivia: The movie never had a German release during its initial run. The Austrian label, Shock Entertainment released it in 2012 and created a German Language track in a 1970’s style.
For More Info: Check out santoandfriends.com for a filmography of Mexican and Spanish Horror films.