Bell from Hell – Spain, 1973

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Bell from Hell  – original title: La Campana del Infierno and also released as A Bell from Hell and The Bell of Hell – is a 1973 Spanish horror film directed by Claudio Guerin Hill. It stars Renaud Verley, Viveca Lindfors (The Exorcist III; Silent Madness; Cauldron of Blood) and Alfredo Mayo.

A bell from hell

On the final day of shooting Bell from Hell, director Claudio Guerin fell (or jumped?) to his death from the central bell tower constructed for the film.

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A young man is released from an asylum and returns home for revenge on his aunt and her three daughters, who had him declared insane in order to steal his inheritance…

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Reviews:

“Though it adheres to the commonly used plot devices of vengeance and family inheritance, the story is still well written and kept interesting thanks to the quirky dynamics of the young, mischievous, and darkly humorous protagonist, John. Whether or not viewers end up liking him, John is still an entertaining, multidimensional character, a man-child that’s part hero and part villain.” At the Mansion of Madness

“The repeated imagery of the village church’s new bell, which is being hauled to town and installed as the lurid events of John’s saga play out, work so well as a metaphorical motif that when it moves from a symbol to an actor in the events, it’s quite a shock … Fascinating, beautiful stuff, and always with a storytelling purpose.” Mad Mad Mad Mad Movies

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A Bell from Hell suffers from the equally bizarre circumstances under which it was made. In the end, what Guerìn intended, and what is up on the screen never seems to effectively gel. Consequently, what should have been a violent slice of madness-mired vindication is frequently too dreamy and disjointed for its own good.” Bill Gibron, DVD Talk

“The complexities of the central character are well-handled, and there’s enough evidence to suggest that some care went into the film’s making. So even when the plot flags, it remains good to look at (a mixture of Buñuel and Roger Corman), apart from some graphic scenes in an abbatoir. Lindfors is excellent as the aunt.” Chris Petit, The Time Out Film Guide

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We are grateful to At the Mansion of Madness and VHS Collector for a couple of the images above.

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