Giallo is a mess. It lacks any semblance of Dario Argento's style. The killer is one of the lamest in giallo history. It looks like a TV movie. The score is horrible.
And, yet, I strangely like it.
Tonight marks the second time that I've seen the film. It is also the first film of the month that I've seen beforehand. There will be more, though.
Anyhow, onto the plot. Linda (Emmanuelle Seigner) is a stewardess who comes to Rome to visit her sister Celine (Elsa Pataky), a model(!). After taking a turn on the catwalk in a fashion show (by designer Farhad Re, who makes a cameo), Celine takes a taxi to meet Linda. But unfortunately, Celine took the wrong taxi...one that goes nonstop to DOOM! Cue ominous music.
Linda ends up meeting Inspector Enzo Avolfi (Adrien Brody), who at first turns her away. After some clever stalking, Linda convinces Enzo to take the case.
The plot itself almost reads like a sequel to Dario's Il Cartaio. Yes, I know it's called The Card Player in English speaking countries, but I've always called it Il Cartaio. Anyhow, the elements are mostly the same:Torture porn committed against beautiful women, a race against time to save someone, an Inspector/Detective who plays by his own rules. Giallo is bloodier, however, with more violence actually shown, as opposed to the after-the-fact cadavers of Il Cartaio.
The film's biggest downfall, however, is the killer...also played by Adrien Brody. Under the pseudonym Byron Diedra. The killer is a jaundiced version of Sloth from The Goonies with a bad accent. Seriously, I now have to see The Pianist to prove to myself that Adrien Brody has an Oscar. This is quite bad.
That said, I will say check out the ending. It's quite reminiscent of Cat O'Nine Tails.
You can tell the producers meddled with this one. First clue is the fact that Alan Jones was never allowed on set, even though he has chronicled every film of Dario's since the 80's. Second clue lies in the choppy storyline. Scenes seem to be missing. Also, Dario claims the producers stepped in and made their own movie, disowning Giallo and saying it isn't his film.
If I were to compare it to Dario's past work, which I hate doing, I'd put it on par with his TV movie Do You Like Hitchcock or his work with the Masters of Horror TV show. Not brilliant by any means, and all over the place. The film still has its charms, though. One could honestly do worse...but I won't go there. Last time I did that, I started an argument on the Dark Dreams message board.
Happy Cinco De Mayo!
1 month ago