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Maneater of Hydra / The House That Screamed (Double Feature)
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Let's begin, shall we? 19th century European gurls gone mild, buttoned to the teeth a la Audra Barkley, whilst minding their manners and ballet lessons. The boarding school fronts as an elite academy, but in reality, it's just an exalted dumping ground for girls who are troubled or troublesome.
Lilli (Pictures of...) Palmer is head mistress Mme. Fourneau, a woman with a secret sealed with a kiss; She has a teenage son, Luis, with mummy issues - nay subscriptions - who is literally a kid locked in a candy store. Luis isn't a Peeping Tom per se...he much prefers "Unauthorized Biographer." In his heart of hearts, Luis' theme song is "I Want a Girl Just Like the Girl that Married Dear Old Dad." The problem is he's working on a puzzle with too many missing pieces.
Mary Maude plays the character Irene: a regal, aloof lezzie gang leader brandishing a big whip with a bigger smile. Irene is right rambunctious, not to mention bent, and rocks the school uniform until the break of dawn. However, Irene hosts the worst tea and sympathy parties, so it's best to just play dead.
Oppressive sexuality, grand architecture, and a midnight rambler to boot...Who could ask for anything more in a horror film? This is one boarding school with a student body count.
When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightning, or in rain?
Nah, meet me in "The House That Screamed."
These movies are both campy and fun. Perfect for Elvira to take a whack at. The MST3K kids, as fun as they are, should thank Cassandra Peterson everyday for making this genre hip and fun again. Maneater of Hydra is a knock off of The Day of the Triffids with a monster instead of a bunch of trees eating the cast. The House that Screamed is a pretty good little movie in the spooky drive-in movie category. It was loosely remade in the eighties as Pieces. It has been unavailable in the US years except in bad VHS copies from Europe.
All-in-all the entire package is just silly fun and thanks to Elvira and her sometimes priceless one liners, well worth the price. We love you Cassie, Happy Halloween!
Yet in his Psychotronic Encyclopedia, Michael Weldon dismisses THE HOUSE THAT SCREAMED as "a sick made-in-Spain movie."
At least Tohill & Tombs recognize the film's historic importance. In Immoral Tales: European Sex and Horror Movies 1956-1984, they write: "the [Spanish] horror 'boom' really began with the success of THE HOUSE THAT SCREAMED (LA RESIDENCIA) in 1969." But remarkably, they say no more about it, only alluding to it later when discussing Serrador's ISLAND OF DEATH: "Like Serrador's earlier THE HOUSE THAT SCREAMED, the pacing of [ISLAND OF DEATHD] is excellent. ... Again, as in his earlier film, Serrador's story deals with the effects of repression and the notion that the worlds of adults and children are separated by an unbridgeable gulf."
You'd think a book about European sex & horror cinema would say more about the film it credits with popularizing horror in Spain. No matter. I'll say more: The film opens with the arrival of "eighteen and a half years-old" Theresa (Cristina Galbo) at an all-girl's boarding school, in 19th century France (not Spain). She appears privileged, the school an elite academy (as in SUSPIRIA). But the school is really an exalted dumping ground for girls who are troubled, troublesome, or just trouble. Insolent, thievish, wanton, or simply unwanted.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The House that screamed a classic horror story brilliant scriptPublished 1 month ago by stephen.hallmen
Great movie -- quickly and well delivered! Thanks!Published 20 months ago by Micheal K. Eichelberger
This was a gift for a friend of mine, so I didn't get to see it personally, but it was exactly what I was looking for.Published 21 months ago by Pamela S.