The Hanging Woman (1973) – Movie Review

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hanging-woman coverThe Hanging Woman (1973)
I had wanted to purchase this for a long time, but having been burned by a bunch of Jesse Franco and Jean Rollins duds, I was hesitant. Finally, I saw it for $3.95 at Oldies.com (and if I purchase 6 movies, as usual, the shipping comes out to $1 a piece.) Okay, for $4.95 I would give it a try and I’m glad I did. The Hanging Woman is similar to Roger Corman’s early gothic horror films (with Vincent Price) or Hammer’s early gothic thrillers (Paranoiac, The Hounds of Baskerville). It begins as a mystery but there is a solid horror element revealed near the end of the film. The rich atmosphere of the Old European Villa, catacombs, tombs, and a castle with a scientist lab in the cellar, add to the overall flavor of the film, set in the late 1800‘s. When Count Mihajli dies, relatives converge upon his estate for the reading of the will. Immediately after the funeral, one of the Count’s daughters is found hanging by her neck alongside the gravesite. An investigation shows that she had been killed first, then strung up to make it seem like a suicide. Nephew, Serge Chekov sets out to solve the mystery of her murder and finds the castle of Count Mihajli has plenty of secrets to unravel within its gloomy corridors. Paul Naschy plays a strange grave digger who is the prime suspect in the murder. By the end, the in-house doctor, Professor Droila, releases his experiment only to have it turn on him and the survivors at the castle. José Luis Merino directed this fantastic old style horror-thriller. The bulk of Merino’s directing work had been in spaghetti westerns and some of that music style is evident in this film’s soundtrack. On the merit of this film I am going to check out the only other horror film directed by Merino, Blood Castle/Ivanna. Sure, its a bit melodramatic at times, but I enjoyed it. Worth a watch if you like the above mentioned film genres. I hear the Troma Classics release is the best quality for dvd purchase.
(aka: The Orgy of the Dead, Bracula, Terror of the Living Dead)
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10 thoughts on “The Hanging Woman (1973) – Movie Review

    • Yeah, I don’t have netflix or anything like that so I usually buy dvds (not even blu-rays). I finally got the interest to buy it again. It is a decent flick and I’m suprised no one ever talks about it. The spagetti western music is a little weird but didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the movie.

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