"La Campana del infierno"

La Campana del infierno (1973), or a Bell from Hell, is a French/Spanish co-production horror offering shot in Franco's Spain. A young man has been confined to an asylum under psychiatric care by his aunt and three cousins after his mother's suicide, so they can control his inheritance. He is released on a sort of trial basis just before he returns to court. After a brief stop working at a slaughter house, he returns to his aunts house, where we get the idea that he will be seeking revenge. Initially, we see him making elaborate and somewhat cruel practical jokes. Then, in act three, his actions escalate. Act one does establish the characters, but is mostly about imagery, much of it surrealistic.

Among his early jokes, he wears arm casts and braces, and gets a man he is after to hold his dick while he urinates, and tears his eyes out in front of his wife, so convincingly that she faints. He removes her panties, unbuttons her blouse, and leaves a note claiming to have had sex with her. I will leave it up to you to discover what his final revenge plans are, how the new bell for the church fits into the plot, and why he took the time to learn how to butcher cattle.

The slaughterhouse scenes show actually killing and butchering of cattle. Nuria Gimeno shows breasts and buns. Maribel Martín was also naked, but all of the interesting bits were cleverly covered. Remember, this was Franco's Spain, with serious censorship.

IMDb readers Have this at 6.5. It was intended as a condemnation of bourgeois hypocrisy in Spain. The final act is inventive, and makes the film more than just watchable. It is dubbed in English, and the slaughterhouse scenes, which were historically cut, have been restored. The English dubbing is rather well done. This is a solid C, and one of the better Spanish horror efforts I have watched.

In an interesting side bar, the original director, Claudio Guerín, either jumped or fell from the church bell tower on the final day of shooting, and the post production work was done by Juan Antonio Bardem.

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  • Nuria Gineno (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12)

  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)
    • Charlie's French Cinema Nudity site has been updated. Big update this week, including Julie Delpy's full frontal nudity in Tavernier's unrelentingly grim Passion of Beatrice.


    Descending Angel:

    Complete spoilers.

    It's a Holocaust drama. It's a cuddly romance. It's a thriller. It's three {click} three {click} three {click} films in one!

    Eric Roberts and Diane Lane are just a happy young couple in love in Quebec, but pretending to be New York, when Eric finds out that his father in law (George C. Scott) was a prison guard at a WW2 concentration camp and a participant in some famous historical massacres. This discovery kind of cools Eric's ardor and turns him into Mr Junior G-Man Investigator. It kind of pisses Diane off when Eric runs around crying and screaming like a girly man and shrieking, "Your father's a murderer. Nanny-nanny-boo-boo." But the young lovers do take a break every now and then to sneak off for some kissy-face before continuing the debate about dad's war crimes.

    You think that lacks subtlety? Well, Eric has the smooth cunning of Volpone compared to ol' Patton. Just to make the moral dilemma completely lopsided, and allow no shadings at all, the script dictates that George C. not only massacred women and children in the Romanian camps, but continues to order murders to this day when anyone comes close to discovering his secret. Eric even proves that Diane's own mother was locked away in an insane asylum because she found out the secret and was considered a risk of exposure. Since Eric knows the secret, his own life is in danger!

    But, darn it, for all his high-pitched whining, Eric just can't convince Diane to believe her father is evil, so he seeks out some top-secret evidence files hidden away in some locked cabinets in a church basement. Yup, I know if I had committed war crimes, I would never destroy the evidence. I would keep everything around, just as a souvenir, so I could relive the good times. What the hell, no need to destroy the evidence as long as it's safely locked away in office-strength file cabinets! The silliest part of the whole thing is that Eric doesn't even know for sure that there is anything incriminating in those cabinets. He just breaks into the Church files on spec! There are many cabinets, and everything is written in Romanian, but since the files are all neatly arranged, Eric does find some important double-secret incriminating stuff in about 30 seconds.

    As he flees from the Church, he is pursued by Patton and two of his toughest henchmen. Eric is on foot and the henchmen are in a vehicle, so of course he chooses to make his escape in an open field, even though there is a dense growth of trees nearby that would be easily navigated by a running man, but would prevent a vehicle from passing.

    Anyway, I suppose you can guess that as they get out of the car to run Eric down, he is running back toward the church, and the bullet zips by him and hits Diane Lane, who has just emerged from the Church to ask her father what is going on. Since George C. did truly love his daughter, and she him, this is apparently enough cinematic justice to give him what he deserves for being the world's most evil man, and the film ends right  there, with Diane badly wounded and police and ambulance sirens wailing toward the scene. Did she die? Dunno. Did George C come to trial for his crimes? Dunno. What happened to Eric Roberts? Dunno. That's it, Jack. End of story. No sequels.

    Not only is the plot a shameful exploitation of a historical tragedy to create a cheap genre film, but this film is just a confusing mess in many ways. It was made by HBO films in the days before they became the Masters of the Universe, and it's just plain sloppy. You already know about Eric's instant discovery of "important evidence" in unfamiliar files, and his escape through an open field. In addition to such breaches of logic, there are big, obvious, confusing continuity errors that Ed Wood could have spotted. At one point, Eric Roberts goes for his morning run. As he leaves the house it is Winter and all the trees are barren, when he see him a little later, he's running through a tree-lined street, and the leaves have mysteriously returned to all the deciduous trees. He is a Phys Ed teacher, so I guess he was in good enough shape to run from Quebec to South Carolina.

    Other scenes seem totally unnecessary. Patton and a henchman take Eric hunting. They wander through the woods. A pheasant is flushed. Shots are fired by Mr. Henchman. The action cuts away to something else, and we never find out why we were watching the hunting scene in the first place.

    I was just watching this with my jaw slack, wondering how such an important theme with George C. Scott as a war criminal could possibly have devolved into an erotic thriller. It is not surprising that his film virtually disappeared from the face of the earth for ten years.

    I feel kind of guilty saying this, but for the record - Diane Lane did show her breasts in some light-hearted sex scenes in between the war crime tribunals.

    • Diane Lane (1, 2, 3, 4)



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    • The yellow asterisks indicate that I wrote the review, and am deluded into thinking it includes humor.
    • If there is a white asterisk, it means that there isn't any significant humor, but I inexplicably determined there might be something else of interest.
    • A blue asterisk indicates the review is written by Tuna (or Junior or Brainscan, or somebody else besides me)
    • If there is no asterisk, I wrote it, but am too ashamed to admit it.

    Jr's Polls
    This week's poll is another look at a poll from a few years ago...

    Best Sex Scene in a Mainstream Movie
    For this poll it's A-list only. No skinemax or adult stuff. You'll also notice a lack of lesbian lovin'....I'm saving that for another poll.

    Here are the results of our most recent other polls...
    The Top 20 Nude Scenes of 2004
    The Best Nude Film Debuts of the 80s
    The Best Nude Film Debuts of the 90s
    Which actress has been the most convincing playing a stripper.
    Who has the best bum in Hollywood?
    Best All Time Television Comedy
    Best Nudity in an Oscar-winning performance.

    Email Scoopy Jr. with more nominees, comments or suggestions.

    Crimson Ghost
    NOTE: We currently have to do all of our movie files in zip format. Instead of viewing them online, save the zip files to your hard drive in the directory of your choice, un-zip and play from there.

    Today the Ghost takes a look at the Skinemax flick, "Visions of Passion" (2003).

    • Foot fetish adult-film babe AnnMarie showing breasts and some pubes while doing a dude. The scene is in both color and B&W. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
    • AnnMarie zipped .wmvs (1, 2)

    • Mia Zottoli aka Ava Lake. Showing off her robo-boobs in links 1 and 2, and going full frontal while flying solo in links 3 and 4. (1, 2, 3, 4)
    • Mia Zottoli zipped .wmvs. In #1 she has some sex. In #2 we see her masturbate. In #3 she has a lesbo scene with someone I can't ID. (1, 2, 3)

    • Regina Russell is topless in 1 and 2, shows all 3 B's in #3. (1, 2, 3)
    • Regina Russell zipped .wmvs (1, 2)

    • Regina Russell and Mia Zottoli have some lesbo lovin' (1, 2)
    • Regina Russell and Mia Zottoli zipped .wmv

    'Caps and comments by Striplight:

    Here are a few 'caps from the 1972 Jesus Franco flick, "The Demons".

    For the most part, this is mostly start to finish Franco-sleaze. We have naked nuns either seducing each other, or getting themselves tortured (they had to undress for that too, of course). Noble ladies either walking around in their nightgowns or indulging in the odd bum fondling session, etc. Oh and there’s some story too. It seems there is a possessed nun who can turn people into skeletons just by kissing them. I guess we’ve all known rubbish kissers in our time...

    • Anne Libert (1, 2)
    • Britt Nichols (1, 2)
    • Karin Field (1, 2)

    Another batch 'caps featuring some of the latest Prime Time Skin.

    Jessica Alba
    (1, 2)

    Here is a blonde Alba throwing a lasso around Letterman....a skill she learned for her role in "Sin City". Look for "Sin City in theaters next Friday!

    Bianca Lishansky
    (1, 2)

    Genevieve Howard

    A few more bikini 'caps from the made for TV flick, "Spring Break Shark Attack".

    Carmen Electra Carmen wearing a skirt and a nice n' tight shirt while beating up a dude during a recent guest appearance on the Kirstie Alley show "Fat Actress".

    Jennifer Sky The star of the ultra-cheesey "Cleopatra 2525" and the direct-to-vid movie "My Little Eye" looking great on Monday night's episode of "CSI Miami".

    Jeri Ryan
    (1, 2, 3)

    Seven of Nine showing plenty of cleavage during a guest spot on the Charlie Sheen series, "Two and a Half Men".

    Erika Christensen The "Swimfan" and "Perfect Score" star showing truckloads of cleavage during a recent Letterman appearance.

    Sally Kirkland
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

    Flautista 'caps of Kirkland showing off her robo-big'uns in scenes from "Amnesia" (1997).

    Lois Chiles
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

    Jeremy Green
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

    Señor Skin takes a look at "Creepshow 2", the less than stellar sequel to the 1982 tag team effort from Stephen King and George A. Romero. In these 'caps we see both ladies topless in two different scenes. Most folks will recognize Chiles as former Bond Babe Dr. Holly Goodhead in "Moonraker".

    Pat Reeder
    Pat's comments in yellow...

    No Bush - Some Republicans are angry over the new issue of Maxim. As an April Fool's gag, the men's mag ran a photo of Barbara and Jenna Bush's heads very realistically PhotoShopped onto the bodies of two hot swimsuit models. The editor said they didn't want to step on anyone's toes, but when they needed a prank for the "Girl Page," everyone suggested the Bush Twins first, and since they worked on their dad's campaign, they decided they were fair game.

  • Republicans replied that they never put Chelsea Clinton in a bikini!...And thank God for that.
  • One problem with the picture: they used the wrong Barbara Bush.
  • They e-mailed the photo to White House staffers for comment, but the women refused to comment, and the men all had their hands full.
  • The Bush twins saw the photo, and now they're both on crash diets.

    Invest In Vaseline Stock - OnHD.TV magazine claims High-Definition TV may ruin today's stars the way talkies did silent actors. They listed the top 10 best and worst-looking stars on HDTV. Cameron Diaz was the #1 loser: they said her acne makes her look like a burn victim. Brad Pitt also has bad skin, Britney Spears' wrinkles make her look "10 years older," Renee Zellweger's rosacea is "very visible," Bill Maher is "scary," and you can count Joan Rivers' surgical stitch marks. But some look great on HDTV, including Anna Kournikova, Charlize Theron, Sting, Halle Berry and Angelina Jolie - although they say Jolie has a small mole on her forehead that in high-def "looks like Mt. Everest."

  • That's because it's actually a tiny tattoo of Mt. Everest.
  • You can count Joan Rivers' surgical scars on regular TV.
  • On HDTV, Britney Spears looks 10 years older...than Joan Rivers.
  • All these women look so bad on HDTV, Bill Maher wouldn't sleep with them.
  • On regular TV, Barbara Walters is filmed through gauze...On HDTV, they use a flannel shirt.

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