Plot: What’s it about?
Dr. Michael Sharrington (Bill Curran) is a scientist, but he is interested more in experimental notions than the usual science subjects. Sharrington loves to tinker with human cells, how they work, how they can be altered, and what happens when different variables are introduced, such as chemicals. His experiments involve humans, getting them into a state of hibernation and then injecting various chemicals into their bloodstreams, to monitor the changes the introduction of the chemicals has caused. This seems odd to be sure, but when he chooses to have this done to himself, things take an even more bizarre turn, though it goes much as Sharrington had planned. The tests are performed on his body, then he is taken to a local graveyard and laid to rest, though of course, he isn’t dead. When he finally rises from his premature tomb, he has changed a bit, now looking like a hideous lizard monster, complete with cravings for human blood & flesh. What will become of him now that he has become this creature?
Also known as Necrophagus, Graveyard of Horror is an unusual addition to Image’s Euroshock Collection, to be sure. Yes, it has a monster, plenty of tension, and some eerie atmosphere, but it lacks the “shock” element of Euroshock. While other films in the series have been blood soaked, violent, and laced with naked women, Graveyard of Horror has none of those ingredients, which could lower interest, without question. This Spanish import has a lot to offer however, especially if you’re interested in atmosphere and tension, as well as a pretty solid storyline, involving some weird situations. The movie moves at a nice clip, but you might feel a little lagged sometimes, though that’s expected, as the film is sometimes confusing. I think this was intentional, like the filmmakers wanted us a little off balance as we watched. I also like the creature effects, as the monster looks cool and really adds to the fun. Image’s disc is not as good as hoped however, thanks to a full frame only visual effort and an English language dub, which serves as the sole language option. I would have liked a new anamorphic widescreen transfer, original Spanish language track (w/ English subs), but as we all know, we can’t have it all. I still recommend this release to genre fans, but let’s hope Image releases a better edition down the road.
Video: How does it look?
Graveyard of Horror is presented in a full frame transfer. As this film was made in 1971, I doubt it was intended to be shown in full frame, but I was unable to spot any pan & scan, which is good news. I am unsure of the exact intended aspect ratio, but I do wish Image would have included a widescreen option, without question. Aside from that, the image looks solid and as far as the material goes, I couldn’t find any glaring problems. The print shows some wear, with debris and nicks present, but not too much grain can be seen, which enhances the visuals and cuts down on softness. The colors and contrast come across in decent enough form, but like this transfer on the whole, remain unremarkable in this presentation.
Audio: How does it sound?
The included mono option is acceptable on technical merits, but as it is an English dub track, it leaves a lot to be desired in other respects. Graveyard of Horror was filmed in Spanish, so we’re forced to watch bad synch and substandard voice work, which of course, alters the entire tone of the movie itself. I can’t imagine why a Spanish mono option couldn’t have been tacked on, but whatever the reason, we’re stuck with this soundtrack. I was glad to hear that time hadn’t ravaged the materials much, giving us a clean and more than acceptable audio presentation, but without the original language offered, I was left wanting more.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes a House of Terror live show promo, as well as a host of bonus trailers, though there isn’t one for Graveyard of Horror to be found.