Blu Release – 3.5/5
Love After Death
Director – Glauco Del Mar (Tigress, Tono Bicicleta)
Starring – Guillermo De Cordova, Robert Maurano, and Carmin O’Neal
Release Date – 1968
Rating – 2/5
Tagline – “A shock thriller of lust and terror”
The American Genre Film Archive, or AGFA, has been wonderfully restoring and releasing iconic cult and exploitation films for sometime. The last few years saw AGFA teaming up with Bleeding Skull, Something Weird, and Vinegar Syndrome to bring some truly strange and iconic films to disc. If you follow my reviews then you may have noticed that every few months I review their releases and I’m a huge fan.
When Vinegar Syndrome announced the release of AGFA’s newest double feature Love After Death and The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful. Just like every other AGFA release I had to have it so I quickly jumped on it.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a wealthy man who falls into a catatonic state so his wife and his doctor, who she is cheating on him with, quickly buries him so she can collect his insurance. However, he awakens in his grave later and is able to escape and soon finds himself part of a sexual awakening. **Spoiler Alert**
I’ve been surprised by several of AGFA’s releases over the last few years. They’ve releases some films that I find utterly fascinating and a few films I’ve added to my favorite film’s list. However, AGFA does occasionally release a movie that I just don’t care for. Love After Death is one of them. That doesn’t make it a bad movie but it’s one I just didn’t care for.
The acting in this one is not the worst I’ve seen but I did find myself laughing during most of the scenes involving the man’s “widow.” The way she acts around the other male characters is meant to be erotic but I found it extremely hysterical. I can’t explain why but the way she approaches men, especially the doctor who she was having an affair with, made me cackle out loud. The rest of the cast tries to deliver a decent enough role but they do fall short. The story for this one does not deserve a feature length running time.
The story following a man who awakens in a cemetery only to have his own sexual awakening is fun in theory but the way it was executed could have been told in a 30 minute film. Instead, we get these long and drawn out scenes with people attempting to be sexy with very awkward dialogue. These scenes are boring which is not what you want with a scene attempting to be sexy. A lot of these could be cut out.
Finally, don’t expect blood and gore. This is a skin flick of sorts so be prepared to see the female form over gore. Overall, Love After Death was not for me. It was a weird and awkward watch that had me laughing when it shouldn’t have. I love AGFA and what they are doing but I didn’t care for this one. Skip it.
The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful
Director – Robert Canton (Orgy Girls ’69, A Run for the Money)
Starring – Harold Herbsman (The Defenders, A Woman in Love), Janis Young (The Boston Strangler, Another World), and Jennifer Welles (Confessions of a Young American House Wife, Sugar Cookies)
Release Date – 1970
Rating – 2.5/5
Tagline – “POLITICIANS — Their private lives and loves — their cruelties and perversions are… all exposed in… The Good, The Bad And The Beautiful”
There has been a few instances where AGFA has released a double feature with the main film in the set was a bit of a disappointment but the second, or bonus film, was surprisingly fun. It’s not often that this happens but it has happened a few times. After watching Love After Death I couldn’t wait to check out the second film in the set in hopes that it was better. Thought The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful was a better film it was still a difficult one to finish. I was not a fan of this one.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a politician and his wife who are trying to live the picture perfect life. However, both of them are caught up in their own scandals. The politician finds himself in an affair while his wife is being blackmailed by a man she doesn’t remember about a night she can barely recall. **Spoiler Alert**
The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful did have a better story than Love After Death but that’s not saying much. The improvement in the story is a welcomed change but the acting and pacing is all off.
The acting in this one is extremely awkward and put me in mind of day time soap operas. The character over do their reactions in almost every scene which makes for a few laughs but that overstays it’s welcome fairly early on. The characters are very unlikable and the cast feels like they would rather be somewhere else.
The story for this one could have been a lot more entertaining if it would have focused on the drama rather than the scandal itself. I’m all for sexploitation films doing what they do best but these “sex” scenes are a chore to watch and way too long. I feel that the team behind the counter had no idea what kind of film they wanted to make and the end result is a mixed up film with an identity crisis.
Finally, no blood or gore in this one. However, if awkward sex scenes are more your speed then you will be in luck. Overall, The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful was a bit of a step up from the previous film but it’s a real chore to finish. I could recommend a few other AGFA releases to check out instead of this one.
LOVE AFTER DEATH:2K preservation from the only known 35mm print in existence
THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE BEAUTIFUL:2K preservation from the only known 16mm print in existence
Shorts and trailers from beyond the grave
Reversible cover artwork
English SDH subtitles