A BELL FROM HELL
Dir: Claudio Guerin and Juan Antonio Bardem, 1973.
91 min, Spain.
In English.

The "Easy Rider of Spanish horror"- according to some guy on IMDb - A Bell From Hell is a revenge tale about a young man, Juan, returning home from an asylum in order to get vengeance on his aunt and her three daughters for putting him there. As Juan's "practical jokes" on the women get more and more nasty, the movie amps up the psychological terror, as well as the dark humor. Think of it as a Hammer film from Spain.

But the movie isn't just all scares; it also contains some scathing, if subtle, critiques of Spain under Franco, particularly Juan's work in a slaughterhouse. It's maybe not a surprise, then, that director Claudio Guerin either fell, or was pushed from the film's bell tower on the last day of filming. The pitch black humor, social critique, and mysterious background make this underappreciated Euro art-horror offering one to check out.

Trailer by Darren Bauler

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