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Horror Crush: Lara Wendel

It's time to honor another beauty from our genre, as we once again, induct an actress into the Horror Crushes section of our site. For this induction we are go with German beauty Lara Wendel star of many Italian horror films. 

Lara Wendell was born in Munich, Germany on March 29, 1965. Her parents were German actress Britta Wendel and American football player/ actor Walt Barnes. At four, she was modeling for ads and by age seven she made her acting debut in 1972 with giallo flick My Dear Killer (1972, Mi Caro Assassino). She appeared in many ontroversial films like Maladolscenza (1977), La Petite Fille en Velours Bleu (1978, Little Girl in Blue Velvet), Mimi (1979), and Desideria: La Vita Interiore (1980). Why were they controversial? Well they featured underaged actors nude and/ or involved in sexual situations. 

At around the same time, in 1979, she appeared in a horror movie called Ring of Darkness, AKA Satan's Wife. Have any of you seeing this one? I haven't but would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section down below. 

Her next horror flick, is the one that I first saw and crushed on her in: Dario Argento's Tenebrae. One of my personal favorite movies, and Argento's third best film (after Suspiria and Deep Red) this stylish and bloody tale of an author who inspires brutal killings of beautiful women is an absolute masterpiece. It also might just be Argento's most gory movie with an incredible wall painting amputation via axe being an absolute highlight. It ends on of one the best finales in genre history. There is also some incredible camera work, a great soundtrack, and some truly gorgeous women. 

One of these stunners is, of course, Wendel, who plays a student and plumber who assists our main character with fixing his pipes. I mean this literally not figuratively. Who knew plumbers were this beautiful? The scene where she gets dumped by her date, then chased by an unrelenting doggy, and ends up at the killer's house is not just a great example of someone having a really shitty night. But, it's also a fucking killer scene from start to finish. Well, actually all of Tenebrae is!

In 1986, she came back to the genre in Lamberto (Demons) Bava's Midnight Killer. This is another one I have never seen but apparently is a giallo where a cop is suspected of being a serial killer. Anyone of you guys seen this one? If so let me know your thoughts below.

1987 saw her in Joe (Beyond the Darkness) D'Amato's Zombie 5: Killing Birds (AKA simply Killing Birds). Fuck, this movie is awful. It is incredibly stupid and, honestly, not very interesting. It fails both as a zombie movie and a killer animal movie. But, hey Wendel is in it, so it has that going for it. Oh and the poster art (right) is really cool, too. Oh wow, I came up with two nice things to say about this one!

Wendel continued to work with Italy's most renowned horror directors by appearing in 1988's Ghosthouse from Umberto (Cannibal Ferox) Lenzi. This movie is Italy's gore drenched answer to Poltergeist and The Amityville Horror. It's stupid as hell, for sure, but has some incredible splatter scenes including blades to the throat, acid meltdowns, body bisections, and more. It's ultimately good, braindead fun. Wendel actually plays the lead here, as she accompanies her boyfriend in investigating a haunted house.  

Her final horror role came in the form of The Red Monks, which would also end up being her second to last movie. This is another one, I haven't seen, but she again plays the lead. This time as a new bride, who wonders why her hubby spends more time in the basement than with her. OK, seriously, what is wrong with this moron?! Anyway, apparently this film also features some nudity from her. So, I definitely need to see this flick! Any thoughts on it, from you guys and gals?

And so, two years later, in 1991 she would appear in her final movie Husbands and Lovers. She would retire soon after. But, with her exquisite beauty and work with some of Italy's most legendary horror directors, Lara Wendel has achieved legend status, herself. It is with that, that I feel honored to induct her into Horror Crushes!