This film, i think are Eugenio Martin's Masterpiece and not his more
famous Horror Express (Pánico en el Transiberio)
even if that
film is very good too. With atmospherical cinematography by José
F. Aguayo from a sleepy Spanish mountain village, Eugenio
Martin gives us an unforgettable crime thriller and horror with outstanding
performances from Spanish actresses Aurora Batista
and Esperanza Roy. He also gives us a blistering attack on a society
(Generalissimo Franco's Spain) drenched with religious bigotry
and repressed sexuality. This is one of the Best Spanish genre films
ever from the Golden Spanish Era of the late 1960's
Batista and Roy are just fantastic and .... Aurora Batista is
Monstruos and Glorious at the same time.
Yes, Una vela para el Diablo is so
good it's even on my Spanish Top Ten Gialli and Horror List along with
"La Campana del infierno (A Bell from Hell)", "The
Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll (Los
Ojos azules de la muñeca rota)",
"The Loreley's Grasp (Las Garras de Lorelei)", "La
Residencia (The House that screamed)" and "The Corruption
Chris Miller" and here it is in a bluray release to enjoy.
US Scorpion Releasing, one of the great US distributors of strange and
esoteric grindhouse movies, others are
companies like Code Red and Vinegar Syndrome, released this Spanish
classic in a fine DVD release too.
The film takes place in a beautiful spanish village
in the countryside and seemingly very popular among the foreign
tourists as buses full of them keep coming in. Two middle-age sisters
Martha (Aurora Batista) and Veronica (Esperanza
Roy) run a Tavern - " Las Dos Hermanas" (The Two Sisters)
where they serve food to the locals and also provides a
couple of rooms for staying guests, tourists.
In the intro of the film we are shown how one of the guests, british
tourist May (Loreta Tovar) is sunbathing in the
nude upon the roof of the Tavern. The local boys have noticed her and
shouts obscenities at her, which makes the
elder of the sisters, Marta, to have a rage attack and shove poor May
down the stairs, and killing her.
The evil harpye calls the girl a "whore" and justify her deed
with being "divine punishment". The sisters then drags
the body into their kitchen where they dispose of it (chopping it up
and burning it).
The next day more tourists arrive and one of them is
Laura Barkley (Judy Geeson) and she's looking for her sister
May as they were supposed to meet at "Las dos Hermanas". She's
told by the sisters that May have left early in
the morning, and a confused Laura takes a room and decides to wait for
her to turn up, good luck with that..
The US Scorpion Releasing DVD
Middle-age Marta (Aurora Batista 1925-2012, was almost
50 years old when filming Una vela para el Diablo) is almost
exploding from repressed sexual cravings and she's peeping on nude boys
bathing, whereafter she punishes herself
by running through a field of thorny bushes making her bleed, and at
home she caresses herself in front of her mirror.
Marta is a religious nutcase, she's evil, scary and a disgusting bigot,
and .... she's still a sexually attractive woman.
Once she was abandoned by her groom at the day of her wedding, he took
off with some floozy, something which
fucked up her mind.
Veronica, the 10 year younger sister (Esperanza Roy,
born 1935) is afraid of her dominant sister and reluctantly helps
Marta with the disposal of the bodies. Veronica has a sexual relation
with the young handyman Louis (Charley Pineiro)
and she's deadly afraid of her harsh sister getting to know about it.
Esperanza Roy has a Killer Body and is seen gloriously nude, and Batista
can be seen half topless. Both of them two
MILF espanolas but also two crazed killers.
Then another free-spirited half-nude girl tourist turns up, she's the
Dutch tourist Helen (Lone Fleming, danish actress)
and to Marta's annoyance she's obnoxious and self-confident, so another
body is soon on it's way into the kitchen.
Meanwhile Laura has been searching for her little sister
in the village and has met a man who knew her (Vic Winner,
AKA Viktor Alcazar) and he has heard of the sunbathing on the roof.
When also the Dutch tourist disappears from
the Tavern Laurs starts suspecting the worst and decides to sleuth around
in the sisters house.
A young woman, Norma (Blanca Estrada) with a baby child has moved in
there and as Marta suspects that she's may
be unmarried, something that enrages also the other harpye religious
nutty women of the village, she has to go too.
Now it's starting to get really Nasty and you genuinely hope for Laura
to succeed in stopping The Sisters from Hell.
This Bluray presents the film in widescreen 1.85:1,
with an english audio LPCM mono (it was probably shot mostly in
english and it sounds as Batista and Roy speak themselves with heavy
accents), region ALL and only a trailer as extra
Final words: A Minor Horror
Masterpiece due to amazing atmosphere of the village
(presumably shot in beautiful
Sierra de Grazalema in Andalucia) and due to the Glorious performances
from Aurora Batista and Esperanza Roy and
Judy Geeson was good too, and to the portrait of the sexually repressed
by religion villagers
The Scorpion Releasing DVD presented the film in a ratio
of 1.78:1 with an english mono audio, and as extras:
An interview with actress Judy
Geeson (19 minutes) where she speaks about this film and her other british
a trailer .... False virtue leads to crime, and an introduction to the
film by Catherine's Nightmare Theatre