"Decent Slice of Grisly Gothic Horror"
Writer-director-cinematographer Sean Ellis' EIGHT FOR SILVER (retitled THE CURSED in some other countries) gets a UK Blu-ray and DVD release from Mediumrare Entertainment.
Rural France in the 19th century. Wealthy landowner Seamus Laurent (Alistair Petrie) is having problems with a band of gypsies who are claiming 'his' land belongs to them. Unable to reach a compromise he and his cronies kill them all, saving the worst fate for their leader who has his hands and feet chopped off before being crucified. A gypsy woman is buried with him, as is a set of silver teeth.
Soon children in the village are starting to have weird dreams, leading to them meeting in the field of the crucified man. One digs up the teeth, puts them in and proceeds to bite Laurent's son. It's just the start of a curse that will lead to those around Laurent transforming into hideous beast creatures to wreak revenge on him and his family.
The press release for EIGHT FOR SILVER cites Hammer Films, but those of us justified ancients of horror will more likely get a distinct Tigon vibe, which is no bad thing. The evil spreading through the community is reminiscent of BLOOD ON SATAN'S CLAW (we even have an 'I need nails and some wood!' moment) and there's a scene straight out of THE CREEPING FLESH as well, when Boyd Holbrook's pathologist mixes monster blood with his own and sees it absorbed on a microscope slide.
There's plenty of gore (some of it brutal), some really decent transformation stuff, the occasional bit of nudity for the 'audience sophisticates' and a decent enough sense of period that anyone fancying a bit of good old fashioned gothic exploitation will find a lot to enjoy here. On the downside the acting is all rather one-note, the photography tries to render everything a little too authentic and as a result ends up a bit drab, and the music score could have been much better (but again that's par for the course with much of modern horror). Even so, these are actually minor quibbles in a film that's engrossing, atmospheric, and likely to be one of the better horror offerings to get a disc release this year. Here's the trailer under its other title:
Sean Ellis' EIGHT FOR SILVER is out on Blu-ray and DVD from Mediumrare Entertainment on Monday 30th January 2022