Graveyard of Horror (1971)

There’s something to be said about the last movie on a multiple film bill late night at a foggy drive-in. You’re half-awake, you’re probably trying to sober up and you might be the only one not sleeping. It feels like you’re surrounded by others but still discovering a movie for yourself for what could be the first time. That’s how I got to experience Graveyard of Horror, or as it’s also called, Necrophagus and The Butcher of Binbrook.

It’s written and directed by Miguel Madrid, whose film The Killer of Dolls has just been unearthed and re-released by Mondo Macabro.

Michael Sherrington travels via train to his ancestral castle, where he soon learns that his wife has died giving birth to his son. Then, we meet way too many characters for one movie, such as his brother, who seems to have become a mad scientist who buried himself alive and is being fed blood all to prove a point; various sisters-in-law who all like to argue and cheat on their husbands, Michael’s monther and two lcoal doctors who are keeping things from our hero. Oh yeah, there are also some graverobbers or thieves or somebody wearing Halloween masks skulking outside.

Unhappy with the answers he’s getting, Michael digs up his wife’s coffin, which he finds is empty just in time for those graverobbers to knock him out and a monster — none of the budget went to this monster — to attack.

Then, our hero disappears for an hour and all mannner of new plot and surrealism happens. This is either the worst — or the best, if you ask me — movie to watch when coming down from two straight days of horror movies in a secluded wooded drive-in. Anyone awake is going to be baffled and anyone still asleep would barely be able to keep this movie straight in their heads.

I mean, I was watching this movie through a slight fog — both in atmosphere and mental headspace thanks to multiple cans and jugs and bottles of all manner of drinks — and I gotta tell you, what I remember was lots of braying jazz, quick camera zooms that would make Lucio Fucli proud, sepia dream sequences, nausea-inducing handheld shots, editing that simultaneously makes no sense and all the sense in the world, outre camera angles and weird close-ups for no reason. If you ask me — and you did, because you’re reading this — I watched this in the absolute peak conditions by which this film should properly be displayed.

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