Memory of the Dead (2011)
Review by Jude Felton
To preface this review, I’ll just note that the actual title of this film is La Memoria del Muerto, or The Memory of the Dead. So, I have no idea why Artsploitation left the first ‘The’ out of the title. Honestly though, it matters not one iota, as Memory of the Dead continues their great recent output to DVD, following the likes of Hidden in the Woods, Combat Girls, Horror Stories and Wither (more of which later).
Memory of the Dead, which hails from Argentina, is a movie which you don’t really need to know all that much about, in terms of plot. Instead, you should just strap yourself in and enjoy the batshit crazy ride that follows! For those that do want a rough idea, and it will be rough as I hate spelling out plots for folk, it concerns a group of family and friends who convene at a remote house after the death of Alicia’s husband.
Once there, the memorial service, which involves some readings, soon erupts into a mirage of crazy imagery, ghosts, blood, violence, gore, more blood, a bit more blood and a laugh dollop of humor. All in all, a good time is to be had by all, except those in the movie itself.
Horror, as a genre, is often criticized for its lack of originality, or good films in general, yet they are out there, in greater abundance than some would believe. Good horror does not start, or end, on your doorstep. Sometimes you need to look further afield to reap in the good stuff, and that is very much the case here.
Artsploitation are definitely on the ball when it comes to their releases on new horror, and drama. You don’t always need to look to the past to have a label putting out quality material, and Artsploitation are definitely proving that. With Memory of the Dead, unlike previous releases of theirs, is lacking in the extras department, but the film itself more than makes up for it; it is just so much damned fun to watch!
Whilst watching it I thought to myself that Memory of the Dead was akin to what a movie would look like if Wither (see, told you it would crop up again), which Artsploitation also released, and the Euro-headfuck, Amer, collided in battle. Maybe through in a little extra ghostly goodness, and you have Memory of the Dead. This is a visual film, much in the vein of classic Euro horror, but also with a very visceral heart, beating below its rotting skin.
I could honestly rave on about this gem for a lot longer than I am going to, but for the sake of ease and avoiding the perils declining attention spans, I won’t. If you haven’t formulated an opinion as to whether you want to see this or not by now, you probably never will.
To finish off, I will just say that this might have been made a couple of years ago, but Memory of the Dead feels fresh, fun and original. Worth watching? You bet your sweet damn ass it is!
Memory of the Dead is released on DVD by Artsploitation on February 25th.