Vinegar Syndrome

Villages of the Damned: Three Horrors From Spain

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This listing is for the standard edition 2-disc Blu-ray set. The limited edition hard slipcase + slipcover combo (designed by Richard Hilliard and Dani Manning) was limited to 5,000 units and is sold out. The two versions are identical, aside from the packaging and the 40-page book.

Beginning in the late 60s, and lasting through the end of Franco’s iron-fisted rule, genre filmmakers working in Spain began using the horror genre to astutely comment on issues of class, religion, governance and the horrors of day-to-day life. Collected here are a trio of unique and unsettling tales of distinctly Spanish horror, all of which are making their English-friendly Blu-ray debuts, sourced from new 4K restorations exclusively prepared by Vinegar Syndrome! 

EL BOSQUE DEL LOBO (The Forest of the Wolf)
90 min / 1.66:1 / Spanish Mono / © 1970 Amboto, P.C.

The first in a series of dark folk horrors directed by multi Goya Award-winning auteur Pedro Olea, EL BOSQUE DEL LOBO (The Forest of the Wolf) tells the story of Benito Freire, an impoverished peddler and frequent petty thief who may - or may not - be a werewolf. Nevertheless, he is often overcome by animalistic instincts to kill, resulting in superstition and panic in the nearby villages.

A cold and unsettling study of a serial killer set against a backdrop of religious conservatism in 19th century rural Spain, Olea’s masterpiece of dread was barely seen outside its native Spain and has been newly and exclusively restored in 4K from its original negative! 

LAS FLORES DEL VICIO (The Sky is Falling)
94 min / 1.85:1 / English Mono / © 1975 Equiluz Films S.A. Madrid

A group of spoiled, middle-aged Americans living on the outskirts of a poor coastal community are visited by a mysterious foursome of “beautiful” youths, who seem to have been sent to fulfill their darkest desires. But it quickly becomes apparent that these sensual and attractive youngsters have a far more sinister, and deadly purpose...

An incredibly colorful, oftentimes surreal, and darkly humorous morality fable decrying the perverse excesses indulged in by the rich, LAS FLORES DEL VICIO (The Sky is Falling, The Sky is Falling) was the sole Spanish production directed by Canadian-born British filmmaker Silvio Narizzano (Georgy Girl, Redneck). Starring Dennis Hopper (Easy Rider) and Carroll Baker (Paranoia, Bad), this would-be cult hit has remained shamefully unavailable on Blu-ray until now!

85 min / 1.66:1 / Spanish Mono / © 1976 Lotus Films Internacional, S.A.

While walking through the woods, young Juan witnesses a group of bandits attempting to rob and kill a friar, only for the priest to end up slaying several of his attackers. Seeking refuge in Juan’s family home, where he lives with his mother and sister, Beatriz, the Friar becomes an object of both lust and fear for the members of the household after a mysterious illness befalls Beatriz, as suspicion mounts that he might be an agent of Satan...

A cryptic tale of possession, Goya Award-winning arthouse filmmaker Gonzalo Suárez's BEATRIZ was the director’s only folk horror feature and remains among his most tense and unsettling works. Dripping with gothic atmosphere, though treated with a low-key, neorealist sensibility, BEATRIZ is a startlingly dark period drama long overdue for reappraisal.

directed by: Pedro Olea, Silvio Narizzano, Gonzalo Suárez
starring: Dennis Hopper, Carroll Baker, Carmen Sevilla, Nadiuska, Jorge Rivero, José Sacristán, José Luis López Vázquez, Amparo Soler Leal, Antonio Casas
1970-1976 / 269 min (combined) / 1.66:1 & 1.85:1 / English & Spanish Mono with English subtitles

Additional info:

  • 2-disc Region Free Set: Blu-ray x2
  • Newly scanned & restored in 4K from their original negatives
  • "Lobishome" - an interview with EL BOSQUE DEL LOBO director Pedro Olea, by Diego Lopez-Fernandez (38 min)
  • Introduction to EL BOSQUE DEL LOBO with film historians Angel Sala, Carlos Benitez and Xavi-Sanchez-Pons (11 min)
  • Interview with Ivonne Sentis, actress in LAS FLORES DEL VICIO (17 min)
  • Interview with José Lifante, actor in BEATRIZ (19 min)
  • 40-page perfect bound book with essays by Erica Schultz and Alexandra Heller-Nicholas (Note: only included with the slipcase edition)
  • Reversible sleeve artwork
  • Newly translated English subtitles