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Necromania: A Tale Of Weird Love

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    Ian Jane
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  • Necromania: A Tale Of Weird Love



    Released by: Alpha Blue Archives
    Released on: September, 2014.
    Director: Edward D. Wood Jr.
    Cast: Maria Arnold, Rene Bond, Ric Lutze
    Year: 1971
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movie:

    Necromania, the last film directed by Edward D. Wood Jr. (under the pseudonym of Don Miller) before his death in 1978, doesn't really have much in the way of a storyline to explain. Basically, the film follows the tale of a young couple who are having problems with their love life. Danny (Ric Lutze), the husband, can't get it up and he feels like less of a man because of his erectile dysfunction. To help them with this, his wife Shirley (Rene Bond) decides that the couple needs to pay a visit to a necromancer named Madame Heles (Maria Arnold).

    The pair first meets Tanya, Hele's personal assistant, who leads them to their room where they fool around for a while. Tanya, on the other hand, messes around with a human skull and then takes it upon herself to sexually satisfy first Danny, and then Shirley - individually of course. Once she's laid them both, Tanya decides that they're ready to meet Madam Heles once and for all and they're brought into the ceremonial chamber (which looks like someone's living room decorated with cheap Halloween props).

    Soon Danny finds out that he 'needs the personal sex teachings of Madame Hele' and is forced into the coffin (which is rumored to have been loaned to Wood by his personal friend, Criswell) where she lays to bang her like a maniac and regain his manhood. Fade to a skull with the words 'The End' spelled out over top, and our film is finished in much the same way that our hero is.

    Necromania was released on DVD some years ago by Fleshbot in its (reportedly) completely uncut hardcore version running approximately fifty three minutes and forty five seconds in length. The version presented as the 'feature' on this DVD from Alpha Blue Archives runs 48:54 and it is, for all intents and purposes, a softcore variation. There are some scenes that come pretty close to hardcore and one or two seconds where the movie may cross the line but most of the naughty bits have been excised here. But more on that in the extra features section of this review.

    Typical of Ed Wood's films, the acting is terrible as is most of the direction, set design, lighting, sound recording, and overall production values associated with the movie. Those who dig Wood's unique style of very passionate but totally terrible movie making will find all sorts of 'Woodisms' to point out, from the cheap plastic knocker on the door of the mansion (which then leads into a hallway that looks suspiciously like an apartment - if it's a mansion it sure is a tiny one) to the terrible stilted dialogue to the acting that would embarrass even the worst of high school drama teachers - and that's most of the movie's fun right there.

    The sex isn't particularly well filmed nor is it all that erotic as the performers don't act out their roles with much passion - though you've got to give Danny credit as he does a good job of playing someone who can't get it up. He's about as erect as a wet noodle for most of the film. The score is great though, full of odd cues and weird sounds that somehow fit the pornographic horror tone that the film tries, but just completely and utterly fails to really inject itself with. It's a beautiful disaster of a film, and on top of that any time you get to see both Rene Bond and Maria Arnold in action, well, you've got a movie well worth watching.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Considering this movie was supposedly shot for seven thousand dollars over a couple of days, it'd be unrealistic to think that it would really look amazing but the film sourced transfer on this disc isn't half bad at all. Presented in its original fullframe aspect ratio, Necromania has its share of minor scratches and blemishes throughout but it never reaches the point where it distracts from the film itself. Colors are a little faded probably due to the fact that cheap lighting was used during filming but for the most part they come through looking okay. Overall, the image is pretty clear and the print damage is minor. The color fades are forgivable and while the image isn't perfect, considering the film at hand it is perfectly acceptable. This looks like a cleaner, brighter and more colorful transfer than the one that came out on the Fleshbot DVD.

    The Dolby Digital Stereo soundtrack is presented in English as it was recorded, there are no closed captioning or subtitle options available. Dialogue is rather flat and the score sounds kind of tinny but most of Ed Wood's movies sound this way so it would almost be disappointing if this disc really sounded any better. There is some mild hiss and background noise but it isn't too much of a problem and the skillfully written dialogue is easy enough to follow.

    So yeah, the feature presentation of the movie is soft but in the extras section we get 18:33 worth of XXX footage from the alternate version of the movie. These are, as you could imagine, more explicit versions of the different sex scenes featured in the film so between the soft version and this material, you basically get everything. This material doesn't look as good as the feature version does and it would make sense that it was taken from a different source, but it's here and it's perfectly watchable.

    ABA has also included three other short feature films here, each one featuring Necromania's leading lady, Maria Arnold. The first is Pleasure Between Heaven And Hell and it runs just over fifty-one minute. It starts with a sex scene between a man and a woman, some crazy jazz playing over top. They finish and a narrator tells us that many people believe that when you go to Hell, you'll have to give up certain pleasures and take care of things yourself. We then voyage to the underworld where a few people in weird body paint strut around. Cut back to what is probably Earth and we see how some people turn a hellish situation into a good time as a disc jockey and a model get it on. It turns out they had a torrid love affair had some problems but they overcame those problems and now they're screwing like rabbits in cheap hotel room. Meanwhile, in Hell, more body-painted denizens dance around. We then learn about a voyeur named Tommy Blake could only know Hell… which we see as he takes photos of a nude hottie named Agnes and then screws her. As they fool around, three 'desert dwellers' that live in no man's land, hide behind a rusty washing machine and watch the couple do the deed. We get a few more vignettes, a quick trip to go-go dancing Hell in between each one, like a four way between two brothers and two sisters that takes place on a floral couch, a man and a woman in another hotel room who have 'tasted the drug and liquor scene' and a guy who gets it on with two chicks. At one point, in Hell, an oily guy flexes a lot and spins around in circles. The movie finishes with two chicks in Hell getting it on, which then turns into an orgy with everyone else in Hell screwing under red lighting gels to the soothing sounds of some elevator music. There are some drop outs here in the narration, but it's unintentionally hilarious regardless.

    The second feature is Oakie Maid and it not only features Arnold but her Necromania co-star Rene Bond as well. This thirty-three minute movie starts off with some credits written in pencil crayon that appear with banjo music overtop. A couple screws and three dudes watch. The three dudes head back to their house, they're hardcore hillbilly types and they bicker at one another about a porno magazine. From there they realize they 'need some wimmin around here' and so they decide to solve that problem. Cut to a girl selling herself to a guy with a camera out in the desert. She strips and he teaks pictures and then… we get the footage from the last movie of the guys hiding behind the washing machine again! Back at the house one of the guys, Zeke, makes a phone call to a French Woman named Miss Frenchy (Rene Bond) who he hopes can get him a maid. She offers to send him one… likely they girl that's going down on her while she takes this call! Meanwhile, over at a water fountain, a girl is washing her hoo-haw and digging it the mostest. Rene sends her over to Zeke's place where his two rowdy brothers immediately rape her on the kitchen table and then out by a rusty old car. Rene shows up and Zeke gets some himself, and then everyone heads outside to have an orgy under the tree.

    The third bonus feature is For Love Of Money, which was previously released on DVD-r by Something Weird Video. There's a film from 1967 directed by Don Davis called For Love And Money which is supposedly an uncredited adaptation of Ed Wood's novel The Sexecutives but this is definitely NOT that movie. In this feature the lovely Ms. Arnold plays a victim of Allen Breck (Fred Huber). His modus operandi is to sweet talk willing females into getting down and dirty with him and then to blackmail them with photos they didn't realize were being taken. This little scheme of his works well until he works his magic on Dorothy Austin (Jane Clayton). when he subjects her to his blackmail scheme, she refuses to him and instead uses her money to hire a private detective named Daggit (Joey Silvera). Of course, Daggit gets it on with Dorothy too, but after dipping his wick he comes up with a plan to beat Breck at his own game.

    Outside of that we get a 'Retro Starlets Trailer' advertising other ABA releases and a static menu screen.

    The Final Word:

    Necromania isn't really effective at all as either a porno film or as a horror film. In fact, it isn't a good film at all. But it is a good Ed Wood movie in the sense that it delivers everything you would expect it to for a cheap ass dirty movie made by the director of Plan 9 From Outer Space and Glen Or Glenda. It's good, goofy fun and Ed Wood fans already know that they need this disc - it's a horrid film but a great curiosity item and somehow completely entertaining. Additionally, we get some pretty fun bonus features here, giving you more Maria Arnold action for your hard earned dollar. The presentation won't win any awards, but this is a fun disc.





























































    • Thomas Wood
      #1
      Thomas Wood
      Senior Member
      Thomas Wood commented
      Editing a comment
      NECROMANIA is the last known film directed by Wood. He supposedly shot a number of adult loops and perhaps other features under other names. FOR LOVE OF MONEY is a 1975 film directed by Ben Koran (have no idea who that is but it was not directed by Chuck Vincent as IAFD claims). Besides Something Weird, it's also available from VCX is a standalone release.
    Posting comments is disabled.

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