Directed by José Ramón Larraz
Distributed by Mondo Macabro / CAV Distributing
One of my favorite film labels is Mondo Macabro. They have some of the best releases out there...most of which are very obscure films you might have never heard of before being released by Mondo. Such is the case with one of their newest releases, SYMPTOMS. I had never heard or seen anything of this film before getting this new Blu-ray. I knew nothing about it going in, which is a good thing in my opinion. Here is the basic plot of the film courtesy of the CAV Distributing website:
A dark and haunting study in psychological horror, Symptoms takes us deep into the twisted mind of a damaged girl.
Helen, who lives alone, invites her new friend Anne to stay with her in a lonely house, lost in the English countryside. The house, the woods that surround it and the figures fleetingly glimpsed through its windows, all seem imbued with a deep sense of mystery. Helen appears to be hiding a secret and the more Anne tries to uncover it, the deeper she is pulled into its dark heart.
Symptoms was the official UK entry to the Cannes film festival in 1974 and was highly praised at the time. Subsequently the film sank into obscurity and was recently listed as one of the UK’s top 75 “lost films”. This release, taken from the original negative and fully restored, brings this quiet masterpiece back into view, where it can now be appreciated as one of the most under rated films of the 1970s.
I have to start out by warning you that this is a very slow moving film. It is not action packed by any means, and there is no gore or real violence. SYMPTOMS is a very different horror film, one that a lot of people might not be used to. It's more of an artsy, atmospheric film. It is very eerie and moody, and just gives you a tense feeling throughout the entire film. While I am usually blown away with most of Mondo Macabro's releases, I am on the fence with this one. I didn't dislike it by any means, but it was definitely not one of my favorite films that they have released. It's somewhere in the middle for me.
Now, I do have to say that the special features that Mondo has included on this release is reason enough to own the Blu-ray. The documentary on director Jose Larraz was very entertaining and informative, which was great considering I knew very little about this director before viewing this doc. Check it out for yourself and see what you think.
SYMPTOMS is out now from Mondo Macabro and CAV Distributing and contains the following special features:
* On Vampyres and Other Symptoms - documentary about Jose Larraz directed by Celia Novis;
* Eurotika! - documentary about director Jose Larraz
* Interview with Angela Pleasence
* Interview with Lorna Heilbron.
* Interview with editor Brian Smedley-Aston
* Mondo Macabro previews
* Specially commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx
CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the Blu-ray