The Dead Are Alive (1972)

Originally known as L’etrusco Uccide Ancora (The Etruscan Kills Again), this film comes to us from Armando Crispino, who made the quite enjoyable Autopsy and the fabulously named Frankenstein Italian Style. It’s based on a novel by Bryan Edgar Wallace, the son of the man who gave inspiration to both the krimi and giallo genres.

It was released in Germany as Das Geheimnis des Gelben Grabes (Mystery of the Gold Diggers), in France as Overtime and as El Dios de la Muerte Asesina Otra Vez (The Death God Kills Again) in Spain.

Two young folks are looking for a place to load the clown in the cannon, but while they’re aardvarking they are murdered within an Etruscan tomb. Oh, if only that tomb hadn’t recently been violated by Professor Porter (Alex Cord, Chosen Survivors) and his team of archaeologists!

Because of how the bodies are positioned, it seems as if they were sacrificed to the ancient Etruscan god Tuchulcha. The bodies soon pile up, but soon, as the title says, the dead seem to be alive. This is a giallo, but more on the supernatural side of the genre. If you’re looking for a movie that makes sense, you know — you’re watching the wrong kind of movies.

Samantha Eggar (Demonoid) shows up as Cord’s ex-wife, as does John Marley (who woke up with a horse’s head in his bed in The Godfather) as her rich new husband, as well as Wendi D’Olive from The Bloodstained Butterfly. Riz Ortolani makes it all better with his soundtrack, too.

The nice thing for non-hardcore fans of giallo is that this movie has the actual dialogue by the original actors, so it doesn’t suffer from a bad dubbing. It also has plenty of great locations and 70’s fashion, which makes it feel pretty fun once it gets past its initial slow going.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.