‘Beauty after beauty dragged to a sunken crypt… Petrified play-captives of’
The Embalmer is the English release title for Il mostro di Venezia (“The Monster of Venice”), a 1965 Italian mystery horror thriller film written and directed by Dino Tavella from a story by Antonio Walter.
Maureen Brown, Luigi Martocci, Luciano Gasper, Anita Todesco, Francesco Bagarin, Alba Brotto, William Caruso, Viki Castillo, Roberto Contero, Gaetano Dell’Era, Alcide Gazzotto, Antonio Grossi.
Despite a few creepy encounters in The Embalmer‘s lair and a fluid finale, this Edgar Wallace inspired horror-giallo is a fairly run-of-the-submerged-monastry affair. The necrophiliac theme was perhaps still shocking to Sixties audiences but the subtle way in which this nefarious activity is implied will leave modern thrill-seekers cold.
The filmmakers obviously had a great deal of assistance from the Venice Tourist Board because the movie is jam-packed with overt plugs for a gorgeous city that surely needs no promotion. The addition of dire comedy relief and an Italian Elvis impersonator are also unwelcome distractions.
Adrian J Smith, MOVIES & MANIA
‘ … a quirky little movie, made during a respected and beloved period in Italian horror, and it’s not successful on a whole, but does have its moments. Most of those moments are saved for the climax, when the hooded and skull-masked killer is given the most screen time in his eerie, darkly lit catacombs’ George R. Reis, DVD Drive-In
‘In terms of a thriller, The Embalmer fails on almost all accounts. The plot is extremely over-the-top, the villain at times almost comical, and the music rarely fits the mood of any given scene. Yet ironically at the same time those failures are what make this film quite entertaining in an entirely different way.’ Common Sense Movie Reviews
‘The Embalmer‘s lack of excitement (or its deadly dullness) is also a bit sad: it’s not difficult to imagine what a better director (or even someone just vaguely competent) could have made out of the same elements Tavella used to brew a sleeping draught.’ Denis Um, The Horror!?
Trieste and Venice, Italy