Archive for the ‘Site Updates’ Category

Hardware – Mondo Esoterica goes HD!

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Like it or not, HD is here to stay and it is time I got on the bandwagon, so I present the first ever HD Mondo Esoterica review:

Hardware (1990) is a superb cyberpunk horror film that has the artistically free feel of a short film more than a commercial production. It comes highly recommended and Severin’s release includes a superb selection of bonus features including three short films.

I’ve made a few changes to the reviews page for Blu-ray – click any of the images on the page to get an enlarged view which should fill your monitor and click on the logo in the bottom left to view at full resolution. You can scroll through all the images on the page with the cursors. The images are straight off the disc and uncompressed thus they are very large (up to 1Mb each), so you might have to wait a moment for them to load. (Obviously any feedback on how this looks on different browsers/operating systems would be appreciated).

I will be publishing more HD reviews in the near future, but don’t worry Mondo Esoterica is still all about cult and obscure films and I’m more concerned with tracking down new films than replacing perfectly good DVDs with Blu-ray, so the site will continue to move forward with both SD and HD reviews.

Paul Naschy – Night of the Werewolf and new biography

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

So at long last, I complete my 2010 projects with the final chapter in the Paul Naschy series, his fantastic werewolf film – Night of the Werewolf (1981). Although the storyline is largely copied from Werewolf Shadow, visually this film is packed full of unmatched gothic opulence. Recommended.

I can also finally reveal the end result of several weeks very hard work, an all new 3000 word Paul Naschy biography.

As a bonus – all the existing Naschy reviews are now updated and there is an all new biography of Leon Klimovsky.

Major fix posted

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Sorry readers, another slight delay to the Mr Naschy bio – I have been publishing a major fix that should allow Internet Explorer users to be able to see the website properly. IE users, check out some of the recent reviews to see what should hopefully be a more visually pleasing look with the text aligned centrally rather than stuck over on the left – then go and download Firefox (which was working fine all along!)

I also took the liberty of adding a new links section to the bottom of the review pages.

Still about half my reviews are still in an old, non-CSS format which I am going to be working on in 2011, but it is a very slow and manual process to get these all updated, especially since I like to fix and rewrite things as I do it!

Any feedback, particularly on compatibility issues – or anything else you fancy – just drop me an e-mail or post a comment.

Mondo Esoterica will return in 2011

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

I was hoping to wrap up my Paul Naschy series with a final flourish tonight, but I want to get everything done properly so I will be delaying the update by a few days so I can get my new 3000 word (!) biography properly proof-read and all of the Naschy reviews updated.

So have a great new year and see you on the other side!

Dark Dreams

Friday, December 24th, 2010

While his Hombre-Lobo series could never be called comic, the films were often on the lighter side of horror. However, Naschy did have a dark side and so for the latest entry into the Paul Naschy series I have taken a look at two of his darkest films. Hunchback of the Morgue (1973) has a rather simple premise, a look behind the life of the mad scientist’s assistant, making this tortured supporting character into the main attraction. Quite what Human Beasts (1983) is all about is rather harder to say, but for Naschy fans it is well worth watching.

I’ve got more Naschy coming after Christmas including the all new biography page.

School Killer

Monday, December 13th, 2010

It looks like Mr Naschy was not so keen on his review month being hijacked by school kids, so he got some rather bloody revenge.

From the trailer and the DVD case, School Killer looks like it should be nothing more than a generic slasher movie, with an aged Paul Naschy dragged out of retirement to add some name value. It is nothing of the sort. Genuinely scary, well directed and eschewing most of the modern genre clichés, it has a clever and well written script and gives Naschy probably his best role in the 21st Century outside of Rojo Sangre, he plays the ghostly villain part with aplomb and certainly makes this one well worth seeing.

Screwballing around

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Lets take a break from the horror with a couple of classic high school comedies from Roger Corman.

Produced when the legendary exploitation producer heard above the rave reviews coming from audience test screenings of Porky’s, the first film Screwballs takes a very cartoonish approach to its gags, while Loose Screws is a more straight forward sexy comedy.

Naschy Goes Giallo

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Why not? A second entry for the Blogathon – two of Naschy’s often overlooked Giallo films. The first is a subpar film with Naschy in a supporting role – Seven Murders for Scotland Yard (1971) – not recommended except for die-hard Naschy collectors, if you want to see it the Televista DVD is not the best quality and barebones, but at least it is anamorphic widescreen.

Far more effective is Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll (1973) – Naschy co-wrote this one and it has all of his usual traits. If you can get hold of the BCI DVD, it has a gorgeous print, plus an audio commentary and more.

Some more Naschy reviews coming next week…

The worldwide Paul Naschy tribute

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

The legend of Spanish horror Paul Naschy passed away on November 30th 2009. A year on, cult film fans around the world are paying tribute to the horror icon with a series of reviews, comments and more. Visit the dedicated page on the Mad Mad Mad Mad Movies blog for links to the other sites taking part.

Here at Mondo Esoterica I am kicking off an all new series of Paul Naschy reviews with a double-bill. Away from his best known werewolf pics, Naschy made a number of horror films in his trademark style and  Horror Rises from the Tomb (1973) and Panic Beats (1983) and undoubtedly among the best.

I’ve got loads more Naschy reviews upcoming throughout December, plus an all new biography page and new rewrites of all the existing reviews of his films.

Laura Gemser

Monday, November 29th, 2010

All good things must come to an end, even Naughty November, but I hope you have all enjoyed it.

I wanted to wrap things up with probably the most iconic of the 1970s erotic actresses, Laura Gemser. Star of the classic Black Emanuelle series as well as innumerable softcore and sleazy erotic films during the late 70s, she also had quite a long career into the early 90s and you can read all about it in my new Laura Gemser biography.

I finally completed my review of the Black Emanuelle series with reviews of the original Emanuelle Nera (1975), the sleazy Emanuelle in America (1977) and the most unusual Emanuelle e gli ultimi cannibali (1977) which all but drops the sex from the series in favour of gory cannibal action. Plus I have updated my reviews of the rest of Laura Gemser’s films, so why not re-read these as well.