Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A stylish film too disjointed for its own good

A Bell From Hell (1973)
Starring: Renaud Verley, Veveca Lindfors, Maribel Martin, Nuria Gemino, Christina Betzner, and Alfredo Mayo
Directors: Claudio Guerín and Juan Antonio Bardem.
Rating: Five of Ten Stars

John (Verley), a young special effects artist, is released from an insane asylum into the care of his crippled aunt and her three attractive daughters. He becomes convinced they were behind his being committed in the first place, and they intend to have him sent back, so he plots his revenge.

"A Bell From Hell" is too disjointed for its own good. It's well enough acted, and it moves along as a decent clip while offering many unexpected twists and turns, but there are a couple too many tangents and too many badly defined characters who are doing things for no discernible reason other than the script says so.

This is a very moody, creepy, and stylish film, and the last half hour ranks up there with some of the great horror movies--with John's fate the most chilling part of the film--but the story is just a little too chaotic for this movie to truly be considered worth the time to watch.

(Trivia: Director Claudio Guerín fell to his death from the tower housing the title bell on the last day of principle photography.)

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