Friday, August 27, 2010

'Sound of Horror' brings little, not even fury

Sound of Horror (1964)
Starring: Auturo Fernandez, James Philbrook, Soledad Miranda, Ingrid Pitt, Lola Gaos, and Jose Bodalo
Director: Jose Antonio Nieves Conde
Rating: Three of Ten Stars

A group of treasure hunters blast some openings in a series of caves and unleash invisible, flesh-eating dinosaurs that have been dormant for thousands of years.

"Sound of Horror" shows some degree of cleverness on the part of the filmmakers and their answer to the question, "How do you make a monster movie with you don't have a budget to create decent-looking creatures?" (Their answer wasn't "Don't do it", their answer was "Make the monsters invsible!")

It's an answer I can appreciate. Too many filmmakers have embarrassed themselves over the years by making movies that had concepts beyond the available budget. At least the filmmakers here had a keen enough understanding of their craft to know their limitations... and for that I applaud them. No one embarrasses themselves in this production... except perhaps Ingrid Pitt and Soledad Miranda with their back-to-back dance routines of questionable quality.

During its second half, with shocking gore effects and some real suspense once the characters realize they need to find a way to fend off what they can't see or be reduced to monster-chow, this film features some pretty effective moments. Unfortunately, the sound you'll be hearing during the film's first half isn't one of horror, but one of the guy next to you snoring because boredom has put him to sleep.

The overly slow pace of the early part of the film is bound to put off most viewers before the action gets going. And I'm not even sure it gets good enough to warrant sitting through the shots of an empty cave set (which, I suppose, are there to show us the... um... invisible monsters) and the aforementioned dance routines of Miranda and Pitt.

The only people I can recommend this film to is to hardcore fans of the film's two leading ladies--it's of particular note for Pitt's carreer as it is her film debut--but everyone else should probably take a pass on it. It might be entertaining to view if you have friends who are able to carry on a MSTK-3000 style banter, but otherwise the first half of the film almost unbearably dull.

Note: "Sound of Horror" is among the movies covered in my forthcoming book, 150 Movies You Should (Die Before You) See. If you've enjoyed my reviews on the Cinema Steve blogs, please check it out.

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