Orgy of the Living Dead (aKa. The Hanging Woman, Orgy of the Dead, Beyond the Living Dead, Return of the Zombies and Terror of the Living Dead, and La orgía de los muertos) is a 1973 horror film co-written and directed by José Luis Merino (Crime Story, Slaughter on the Khyber Pass, Pirates of Blood Island, and Zorro franchise). It was written by Enrico Colombo (Scream of the Demon Lover, Hell Commandos, The Bloody Judge, and Requiem for a Gringo). It was produced by Ramona Plana. It was originally distributed by Troma Entertainment!!!!
Serge Chekov (played by: Stelvio Rosi from Pirates of Blood Island, Dead End, Paths of War, Something Creeping in the Dark, and The Great Treasure Hunt) inherits his uncle’s estate, only to discover that mad scientist Professor Droila (played by: Gérard Tichy from Pieces, The Corruption of Chris Miller, Hatchet for the Honeymoon, and Doctor Zhivago) has taken residence in the basement. As Chekov investigates further, he learns that Droila is reanimating the dead with the help of a necrophiliac grave robber by the name of Igor (played by: Paul Naschy from A Werewolf in the Amazon, Tomb of the Werewolf, Howl of the Devil, Night of the Werewolf, and Night of the Howling Beast)!!!!
Orgy of the Living Dead is a fantastic title and it definitely grabs your attention right away! This one starts out a little slow so you have to be patient with it. This slow burn horror builds up it’s momentum and it’s worth the wait. Orgy of the Living Dead has excellent production design, solid fx, and a quality score behind it. Stelvio Rosi is a decent lead but they could have done better here. Horror Icon Paul Naschy steals the show here and he’s the best thing about this production. This has been repackaged over the years various times and it promotes Paul Naschy as the main character but he only has a supporting role in Orgy of the Living Dead also known as The Hanging Woman. It has a solid supporting cast that includes Gérard Tichy, Dyanik Zurakowska (The Killer Is One of 13, The Vampires Night Orgy, and Frankenstein’s Bloody Terror), Maria Pia Conte (Spasmo, The Arena, and Day of Violence), Carla Mancini (Beyond the Door, Lover of the Monster, Death Smiles on a Murderer, and Flesh for Frankenstein), and Aurora de Alba (Vengeance of the Zombies, Frankenstein’s Bloody Terror, and The Terrorist). This horror feature has a nice creepy atmosphere to it. This is one of the better overseas horror from the Full Moon catalog so far and it’s great to see it get upgraded in high definition.
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation and special features from Full Moon Features! This 1080p (1.85:1) transfer remastered from the original 35mm negative is a big improvement compared to all those low quality VHS, DVD, and bootleg home video releases over the years. This under-rated 70’s horror flick has had some average restorations in the past and this is the best it’s ever looked in it’s cinematic history. It has a English Dolby Digital 2.0 track. This is also a big upgrade compared to past releases. All of the dialogue is clean, all the action is elevated, and the music has a nice boost to it. If you own the older Hanging Woman DVD release, you might want to hold on to it because none of the extras were carried over here. The only extras it has is a few “Euro-Cult Trailers” which includes Orgy of the Living Dead, Barbed Wire Dolls, Love Letters To A Portuguese Nun, Satanic Sisters, Voodoo Passion, and Women In Cell Block 9. This release is fully uncut and all region. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!