Always entertaining Spanish filmmaker Amando de Ossorio, the genius
who gave us Anita Ekberg in a vampire castle in Malenka,
or old, bloodthirsty and ultra-mean dead blind templars in the Blind
Dead series, and charming vampire women in leopard bikinis in
La Noche de los brujos, here presents his glorious vision of the old
German myth about the siren creature of the Rhine river - Lorelei.
In my eyes this is Ossorio's best film even though the monster/creature
admittely looks a bit ridiculous when finally seen closer.
The film is actually quite atmospheric and has a mix of great gore,
fantasy myth and gorgeous women. No, maybe even beyond gorgeous
as Silvia Tortosa plays the teacher Elke and red-haired genre favourite
Helga Liné is the murderous creature, Lorelei, siren of the Rhine.
Yes, it's delightfully trashy also, but the elements
of German folklore, myth and fantasy and the fine acting from Tortosa,
Kendall and Liné
makes it work ... and the gore is well made too. Also, in my case, i'm
a sucker for horror films based on myths about sirens and mermaids
and i really appreciated the Serbian film Mamula/Nymph, or the 2014
Spring, Curtis Harrington's 1961 Night Tide or Siren from 2016, and
the 2015 Polish Corki dancingu i haven't seen yet but i guess it's interesting
at least. And let's not forget about the original tale by Homer
about the Ithaca king and hero Odysseus dealing with the sirens in the
classic epic The Odyssey, or the poem by Heinrich Heine.
Above: Helga Liné and Tony Kendall
In a village at the Rhine, somewhere in Germany, people
are attacked by some reptile looking green monster, maybe made in papier-
maché and/or rubber with ping pong balls as eyes, but still ...
the monster is murderous and rips out the hearts of it's victims.
Ms. Else Ackerman (Silvia Tortosa) a techer at a boarding school for
girls ... eeh, women really and scantily clad such, is worried and
wants protection and a local hunter, Sigur (Tony Kendall) is hired to
protect the school. The heart-ripping gory murders continue
and a beautiful mysterious red-haired woman with porcelain skin shows
up at their funerals. Could she have something to do with
the murder spree? Yes, she can as she's the mythical entity Lorelei,
living at the bottom of the Rhine river who needs the hearts for
some reason, staying young maybe. She sits at a throne and has amassed
a lot of jewels, gold and stuff.
The villagers starts to murmur about the Siren being
the cause of the killings and Sigur start to investigate. Could the
woman who's fallen in love with him really be the fearsome Siren of
Elke: "There are many stories about this river. The Rhine gold,
protected by the Nibelungs, and the fearsome presence of Loreley,
combing her hair with a golden comb. The sailors who followed her call
would disappear forever" (Lorelei ate sailors).
Above: Pic from the 2017 US Shout! Factory Blu-ray edition
The Loreley's grasp were filmed entirely in Spain with stock footage
from the Rhine included, and it works pretty good with added
atmosphere. OK, when Lorelei seduces Sigur and then disappears down
into the river the river clearly is a Spanish swamp in some
barren marshland and not the Rhine river. Maybe the same Spanish swamp-lake
used by Aured & Naschy in Horror Rises from the Tomb?
Regarding the German street signs these obviously
were put up in some Spanish mountain village to resemble Germany-
Lorelei's servant Alberich is played by the grim-looking Luis Barboo,
seen in 1970's horror and spaghetti westerns.
Final thought: A very enjoyable B-movie take on the
Loreli and Nibelung myth combined with fine gore and gorgeous Spanish
The 2007 DVD was presented in anamorphic widescreen
1.85:1 with spanish or english mono audio and english subs. The Spanish
sounded the best i think. Extras: a textsheet (se pic above), a trailer,
gallery and the Spanish opening scene