LAS GARRAS DE LORELEI (The Loreley’s Grasp - 1974, Armando De Ossorio)
A horror movie recapturing the myth of the German water nymph Loreley (German: Lorelei), associated with a rock (also called Lorelei) on the banks of the river Rhine. In this movie she lives in grotto under the water level and every night when the moon is full, she turns into a reptile creature lusting for blood.
Sounds (and actually feels a little) like a Hammer movie, but there’s no Peter Cushing or Christopher Lee here. We have to settle for Italian actor Tony Kendall as the big game hunter (apparently Loreleys are big game), hired to protect the female students of a nearby boarding school against the attacks of the reptile. As usual De Ossorio shows some sense of style and the references to Wagner’s Ring des Nibelungen are nice, but the movie is betrayed by the low budget and the silliness of the premise. The horror scenes are unusually graphic (the Loreley ripping out hearts), but the special effects are so poor that it all looks rather innocuous, occasionally almost funny.
Silly and cheap, but still enjoyable.