Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Certified Video Nasty-Visiting Hours

Here's a blast from the past that I totally forgot about.  This is another one of those video boxes that beckoned me as a wee lad in the back of nearly every Mom and Pop video store.

Of course, I never got around to watching it until tonight.

So...how was it?

Barbara (Lee Grant) is a news reporter and a "strong, independent woman."  Cue Destiny's Child song.

This is evidenced by a confrontation she has with a lawyer regarding a battered wife's self-defense claim against her attacker.  The fight goes a bit too far and her producer (William Shatner) pulls it from the news program.

However, the creepy, woman hating station janitor Colt (Michael ironside) has seen the whole thing.  And he isn't too happy.

So he beats Barbara to her house and kills the cleaning lady before putting on all of her jewelry/makeup and trying to kill her.

Barbara survives the attack, and when Colt finds this out, he goes to the hospital to finish what he started.  And of course, it doesn't go as easy as planned.

Visiting Hours probably wasn't a Video Nasty because the film is covered in wall-to-wall gore.  The movie is a bit dry.  Some murders are offscreen, while others are relatively bloodless.  If anything, the Nasty status most likely came from the scene where Colt makes a local Valley-Girl looking hottie (played by Lenore Zann, who I remember was the voice of Sizzle on Stunt Dawgs and Rogue on X-Men) strip before beating her.  More specifically, he traces a knife across and down her body.  Not exactly BBFC friendly, guys.

Visiting Hours itself is a mixed bag.  The film starts out well enough.  But then at one point things split into two films.  Colt decides stalking one woman isn't enough, so he decides to stalk Barbara's nurse, Sheila (Linda Purl), as well.  However, he decides to stalk Sheila at her home rather than at the hospital.  This causes many shifts between Sheila's house and the hospital setting.  The film becomes very inconsistent as a result.  Too bad, because if the film had stayed in the hospital, it could have been a tense little sleeper.

Why aren't there that many horror movies that take place in a hospital?  Hospitals are creepy places.  I've spent a few nights alone in a hospital room as a kid.  It's cold and strangely empty and the night nurses aren't attentive as they should be...but that's another story for another day.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Certified Video Nasty: Zombie

As y'all who have followed my blog know, I've kinda had a hard time getting into Lucio Fulci's work.  While I thought he had some decent stuff, the majority of his work came across as super-cheap gorefests with lots of cheap gore.  I do still think he made some stinkers (Manhattan Baby), and some frustrating movies (I know I'm gonna dodge some projectiles for this one, but House by the Cemetery falls into this category for me).

I started to turn the corner when I decided to check out The New York Ripper.  Yes, the subject matter isn't exactly uplifting or something you'd want to revisit on a constant basis (unless you hate women and their lady parts...in which case, go to therapy).  But it was actually a well done little thriller.

Now comes Zombie.  This is one of those movies where the video cover has beckoned me for as long as I remember.  It had one of those big-ass cardboard boxes with that zombie with worms all over his right eye.  One of those covers that made my sister cringe every time she swung by the horror section to see if I had (finally) made a decision.

I'm pretty sure I even had this one in my hand once or twice before switching to something else at the last minute.  Wonder what I chose instead.  Whatever.

Anyhow, onto today.

I had a free rental that was gonna expire if I didn't use it soon.  So I swung by Blockbuster and picked up this bad boy.  And a 1 liter of Coke.  And a box of Starburst Sour Gummies...that I only had three of.  Those things are nasty.  Blech.

So.  How'd it go?

I actually kinda liked it.

Zombie was an obvious attempt to cash in on Dawn of the Dead's success (Dawn was titled Zombi in Italy, so Lucio titled this one Zombi 2.  Try doing that in America.  I'd make millions with The Twilight Saga: Eclipse 2.  But the tweens would freak out when instead of sparkling, they'd explode in gushes of blood when in contact with the sun--and the female lead would actually be able to breathe with her damn mouth shut).

That said, it actually manages to hold its own.  Sure, there are some dull spots here and there, but when Zombie hits, it hits HARD.  Flesh-munching, gut chomping, splinter-in-the-eye, zombie vs. shark (Interrobang)...damn.  And the climax is actually quite engaging, taking place in a medical cabin overrun by zombies.

One element I enjoyed was the score.  The composers mixed African drums with a synth beat and managed to make it entrancing yet menacing all at the same time.  Well done.

All in all, I actually liked the movie.  Dunno how often I'll visit it, though.  Next time probably won't be until it gets its eventual Blu Ray release.

Should be getting a couple more Nasties in my mailbox before long...I love renting by mail.  Just wish they had The Beyond.

Yes, I actually want to see another Fulci movie...

Fulci Lives (?)!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pimping Myself Out...

Okay.  Here's the deal.

I signed up for the Clash of the Comics at the Virginia Beach Funny Bone.  I need to bring as many people as I can to get onstage.

So I'm pimping myself out.

Here's a free pass you can print out.  If you bring this and are one of the first 150 people, admission is FREE.  After the first 150 peeps, it's 1/2 price.

So print this bad boy and come out and see ME!


Monday, June 21, 2010

It's been a while...

My bad.  After the giallo marathon, I needed a break.  Watched The Blind Side and Halloween 2.  Just did blank, non-giallo related activities.

Though I did buy a copy of Puzzle.  After being KO'd by Death Occurred Last Night, I had to catch up with Duccio Tessari.  I've seen Bloodstained Butterfly, too, but my VHS copy got lost and mixed up with Dad's movie collection when he moved to Michigan...and I don't have a VCR anymore, anyway.  I'll eventually re-buy that.

I still have a couple gialli I haven't watched.  I'll visit them soon...once I get the giallo overload out of my system...Fiber bars can only do so much at a time...

I am taking a screenwriting class in the fall when I start at my new school.  I'm gonna try to see if I can write a giallo.  I have a few different ideas that have been rolling around in my head for a while.  To put one on paper (well, computer screen, anyway) should help me get the other ones together.

Okay.  I gotta start getting ready for work in a bit.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Palette Cleansers

Just watched Inglourious Basterds.  Very good film.  Thanks for voting.

It's a long film, though.  One I will rewatch every now and again, but it won't be for a while.  I always have a hard time with long movies...

BTW, all four of the movies on my palette cleanser poll were movies that I own but haven't gotten around to watching.

Traded in two of my gialli to Blockbuster (they were part of the rent-by-mail thingy) for two more palette cleansers: The Wolfman and The Blind Side.

Yes.  I rented a Sandra Bullock movie.  Guess the month of gialli did do a number on me.

I'm gonna watch one of them soon, then return it so I can get the MYA DVD of Absurd in the mail.  The plot sounds like Halloween 2 w/a killer that actually heals himself (!).  Plus it's a bonafide Video Nasty.  Always a plus.

That's probably gonna be my next project...Video Nasties.  I won't do a marathon again anytime soon, but I'll spend some time catching all the Nasties I can.  The whole ordeal of the Video Nasty era fascinates me.

Anyone got a copy of Ban The Sadist Videos I can borrow?


Monday, June 14, 2010

Day 30: Opera

Well, ladies and gentlemen.  It has arrived: Day 30 of the month of gialli.

It has been a long, arduous journey, filled with some great surprises and some nights that tested my butt-cheek fortitude.  But I did it.  30 gialli in 30 days.

So what did I choose to close out the month?

Opera.  By that great maestro of gialli: Dario Argento.

The plot revolves around Betty, a young understudy who gets her big break after an opera diva is hit by a car.  Betty's breakthrough role?  None other than the female lead in an Verdi's rendition of The Scottish Play.

I'm a thespian.  If I say the name of the play, I have to spit, cuss, and turn around three times.  And if I spit on the floor, I think my mom would have a shit conniption.

After Betty's triumphant debut, some sicko ties her up and kills her lover.  And here's the kicker: He taped needles under her eyes so she has to watch every single moment of it.  If she closes her eyes, the needles will tear her eyes apart.

The killer frees her, only to continue to toy with her and kill those around her.

It's been too long since I last saw this film.  I totally forgot how great it is.

I mean, I always held it in high regard, but this film packs more of a wallop than I remembered. Merely the taping of the needles under Betty's eyes would have made this film memorable.  But there's so much extra.  The sheer brutality of the murders, the psychosexual themes, the twitching brain (if ever there were a need for an interrobang, it would be here), the autobiographical character in the horror movie director turned opera director.

And the ravens.  Oh, man.  The ravens.

Interesting thing I thought about while revisiting this movie.  The use of the ravens in this film builds upon some ideas Dario touched on in his previous film, Phenomena.  The ravens ultimately uncover the identity of the killer, much like the fly leading Jennifer Connelly to the killer's lair.  Strange how I hadn't thought of that until recently.

There are a couple of stumbles, however.  First off, the soundtrack.  Claudio Simonetti did compose some lovely, lyrical themes for the film, but the murders are scored by heavy metal music.  The same thing happened with Phenomena.  Simonetti's compositions for both films rank among my favorite musical works associated with Dario's films, but the heavy metal just throws things off.  The thing that baffles me, however, is how some Argentophiles feel the metal music works better in Opera than in Phenomena.  I've always thought the opposite.  But more on that at a later time.

The second stumble lies in the final final ending, set in the Swiss mountains.  While there is nothing wrong with the ending itself, it belongs to a completely different film...a sequel to Phenomena, perhaps?

That said, Opera is still a fantastic film that every self respecting giallo fan...heck, even overall horror fan, needs to check out.

In upcoming posts, I will have more giallo reviews, a write up of my palette cleanser (Inglourious Basterds, voted for by you), and reflections on this past month.

As for right now, I'm spent.  It's been a great journey.  Thanks for taking it with me.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Day 29: The Strange Story of Olga O

Basic Instinct is often referred to as an American giallo.  I dunno how accurate that is, because I've only seen bits and pieces of it.  And most of us only remember seeing Sharon Stone's bits and pieces in it.

After Basic Instinct, a small boom in "erotic" films occurred, not only in America, but in the rest of the world.  Of course, Italy jumped on the bandwagon, bringing Serena Grandi on board.

Serena Grandi was not new to the giallo game.  I mainly remember her as Gioia in Lamberto Bava's Delirium.  But apparently she was kind of a sex symbol back in the day.  I'll admit she's very good looking, but she's no Edwige or Nieves.  Doesn't help matters that her nudity is usually obscured somehow.  The 70's giallo queens were freely nude, but Serena plays it prudish here compared to them...and even compared to her costars.

The story revolves around Olga, who has recurring nightmares about her mother being covered in blood and shooting her father.  Turns out she blames her now deceased mother for her father's suicide.

In an attempt to put the past behind her, Olga and her husband go to the town where Olga grew up.  Olga catches up with her old flame, who has since married her old rival.  But of course that doesn't mean they're not gonna hook up.

Olga also begins to get strange phone calls, threatening her.  Later, her friends start dying.  What's going on?  And how long before two randomly matched characters do the horizontal mambo?

The giallo elements take a backseat to the soft core elements of the film.  The story mostly serves as a way to string sex scenes together.  I'm normally never one to bash soft core Skinemax movies.  But this one really holds back the goods.  The sex scenes are tame.  More like the R-Rated mid-90's movies that would play on HBO at 10:00...with Ron Silver showing up to grab a paycheck.  If you're gonna go soft core, throw some more boobies and booties our way.  Show her on top.  Show her.  Period.

Sorry.  I've gone a long time without sex.  26 years, two months, and 23 days to be exact.

The movie starts to become a giallo again about an hour in.  For the most part it isn't too involving, but the resolution provides a decent twist.  One that wouldn't have tested well with American audiences back in the 90's.  Or even now for that matter.

Well, tomorrow is the last film on the month.  How has it been for you?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Day 28: Rorret

I finally got the answer to a question that's been bugging me since I got my copy of Blood and Black Lace by Adrian Luther Smith.

On page 145, there's a full-page picture of someone peeking out from behind a curtain.  There's no caption, I'm assuming from some editorial gaffe, since every other pic in the book has a caption.

It's from Rorret!

Always nice to have questions answered.

Rorret begins with Carlo showing up at a new movie theater specializing in horror movies called the Peeping Tom (a reference to the Michael Powell film of the same name--more on that later).  Carlo is there to inquire about a projectionist job.  He, along with a bunch of others, show up at 3:00.  But nobody lets them in.  Hours pass, and everybody else gets fed up and leaves.  Carlo stays and somehow manages to let himself in.

When Carlo enters, a phone rings in the office.  Carlo answers.  On the other end of the line is Joseph Rorret.  Carlo passed the test.  He's now in charge of running the movie theater, with instructions to be given to him every day.  Rorret refuses to meet Carlo in person, saying things are better this way.

We then shift focus to Rorret.  He lives in an apartment behind the movie screen, spending his days peering at the women in the audience as they watch movies like Blood In The Shower (a riff on Psycho).  Rorret then finds a way to weasel himself into meeting the women that intrigue him the most, gaining their trust and then killing them.

Rorret (spell it backwards) could be best described as a horror buff's Peeping Tom.  And director Fulvio Wetzl doesn't hide his influence whatsoever.  At least two scenes are recreated and played in the theater in the film.  The film also lifts a lot of the themes of Michael Powell's picture, but manages to be different enough to keep from being a direct remake.

Rorret was a pleasant surprise.  It's another slowly paced movie, but one that is worth a watch.  It managed to build some suspense, and boasts a killer performance by Lou Castel.  Check it out.

And while you're at it, definitely do yourself a favor and check out Peeping Tom.  It's one of my favorite thrillers of all time, and a film that is terribly under the radar.  When I get the money, I am so ordering it.  Mad at myself that I don't have it yet.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Day 27: The Weapon, The Hour, and The Motive

The home stretch, ladies and gents.

I noticed something tonight.  Murderous priests are a staple of gialli, yet this month I haven't yet watched one giallo which reveals the killer to be a priest.

Well, this one continues the trend.  The killer in this one isn't a priest.  Rather, the first victim is a priest.

Don Giorgio is a young priest who has been carrying on affairs with two women: Guilia and Orchidea.  Consumed by guilt, Don Giorgio punishes himself by whipping himself at night.  He finally can't take it anymore and makes a decision to end one of the affairs.

Not long after, Don Giorgio turns up dead in the church.  The nuns move his body, tampering with the scene.

All the while, a young boy who is being cared for by the nuns, knows more than he's been letting on.

The Weapon, The Hour, and The Motive is truly a slow burn giallo.  The story unfolds deliberately, but in a manner that is always engrossing.  While those who prefer their gialli wild and crazy (Argentophiles and Fulci fans) will be let down, those who invest in the film will be greatly rewarded.

Truly a great find, and one I'm glad I finally got around to watching.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Day 26: One on Top of the Other


Decided to watch today's entry early.  I'm performing at Cozzy's tonight.  If any local followers aren't doing anything, come check it out.

One on Top of the Other (aka Una Sull'atra aka Perversion Story aka many other titles) is an early Fulci giallo.  It may have been his first, but I don't have my reference material on me at the moment.  While it isn't the world's greatest giallo, the pitfalls of this film come more from the style of the proto-gialli of the mid-to-late 60's than from Fulci himself.

Jean Sorel plays a doctor whose wife dies while he's out with his mistress.  See, ladies and gents, men can be whores in gialli, too.

Anyhow, the doctor stands to inherit $2,000,000 now that his wife is gone.  Meanwhile, he goes to the strip club.  What better way to mourn?  While there, he finds a stripper who looks exactly like his wife...but blonde...

The strongest parts of the film lie in the beginning and the end.  The scenes in the strip club, as well as the copious amounts of nudity, spice up the first half hour or so. But the second act really drags on.  When the third act starts, things pick up, but the resolution is a clunker.  Yes, everything is explained, but instead of showing us the action, we have some reporter on a news program telling us what happened at the end.  Dude, SHOW US WHAT HAPPENED!  Show, don't tell!  It's a movie.  Not a radio program.

Too bad the final moments brought the film to a screeching halt.  If Fulci had actually shot the ending, rather than have some long monologue, the film would have had a satisfying conclusion.  Now I understand what my screenwriting books meant by "Show, don't tell."

Four days left.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Day 25: 2 Males For Alexa

Decided to watch today's selection a bit early.  Gonna try to do that tomorrow, too.  Ended up getting booked for a local comedy showcase on Thursday.  And I don't wanna do another double feature.

Let's make this one short and sweet.

Alexa is a young college dropout who meets Roland, the father of one of her friends.  After a whirlwind romance, the two get married.  However, Alexa's a whore.  And she's sleeping with Pietro on the side.

Roland isn't quite fond of this, and he's planned revenge.  He walks in on the two making love and kills himself.  Then all the doors and windows suddenly lock and nobody can get out.

The plot is relatively simple, and the film makes for a breezy 75 minutes.  While I expected an hour-long two-person show in one setting, the film decided to go back and forth in time.  Alexa's relationships with both Roland and Pietro are examined in flashback, breaking up what could have been monotonous.

All in all, not bad.  Not brilliant, though.  At least the beginning has Rosalba Neri nudity.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Day 24, Part 2: Black Sabbath, "The Telephone."

Okay.  My copy of The Room Next Door was a VHS-DVD copy.  About an hour or so in, the tracking got so screwy I couldn't watch it.  Eh, I don't think I missed much anyway.

Onto The Telephone.  Very simple story.  Rosy (Michele Mercier) comes home and starts to undress.  She gets a phone call from someone who wants to kill her.  She then hears about her ex, who has escaped from prison.  Of course, any logical person would call the police. But she decides to hide her valuables.  After repeated threats over the phone, she calls her friend to come over.

I dunno about you, but if someone threatened to kill me, I'd call the police.  But that's where suspension of disbelief comes in.

Anyhow, Mario Bava's touch is all throughout this segment.  The photography is gorgeous.  The story itself is short enough to not wear out its welcome.  Pretty good.

Maybe it's a good thing The Room Next Door got all busted.


Day 24, Incomplete: The Room Next Door

I got about an hour into The Room Next Door, a pseudo sequel/remake of the classic House With the Laughing Windows, but then my copy started going willy-wonkers.

All I saw of the film wasn't very intriguing, anyway.

I'm gonna probably watch the Telephone segment of Black Sabbath to make up for it.  After the Kathy Griffin special on Bravo.

Not gonna start a whole new giallo.  This is really starting to fatigue me.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Day 23: Calling All Police Cars

After being blown away by Death Occurred Last Night, I decided to visit another giallo with a similar theme.

However, if anything, Calling All Police Cars just proved how great last night's choice was.

The story is somewhat similar, with a missing girl who's involved in some sort of sexual shenanigans.  One thing about gialli: schoolgirls and priests are never up to any good.

But everything Death Occurred Last Night has, this film lacks.  I didn't care about any of these people or situations.  I wasn't engaged.  Not even the nudity managed to keep me interested...and I'm always a sucker for nudity.

Ah, well.  There's always tomorrow.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Day 22: Death Occurred Last Night

I was originally going to watch a sleazy, softcore-esque movie, but at the last minute I decided to change things up and pop this into my player.

And all I can say is--


Just.  Wow.

This movie knocked me on my ass.

Of all the new gialli I got to catch this month, Death Occurred Last Night is far and away the best.  It's a gripping, tense, and ultimately heartbreaking work that I'm honestly surprised isn't discussed often in genre circles.

The film revolves around Amanzio.  His daughter is 25, but has the mental capacity of a three year old.  In her state, she has been taken advantage of by men who use her for sex, so Amanzio has to have six locks put on every door to keep her safe while he has to work.  One night, he returns home, and she is missing.

Honestly, I hate to do this to you.  Again.  But this is truly a case where I do not want to divulge any more.

The story, the direction, and the performances (especially by Beryl Cunningham, who almost steals the show) are almost perfect.  I give this film one of my highest recommendations, and want to tell you this gives me the energy to finish the month.

Go find a copy of this film somehow.  Now.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Day 21: All the Colors of the Dark

Back to the bonafide giallo, ladies and gentlemen.  No pseudo gialli or other miscategorized movies.

All the Colors of the Dark has pretty much everything you'd expect from a giallo: Mystery, 70's fashion, Edwige Fenech, Nieves Navarro, George Hilton, Sergio Martino directing, Bruno Nicolai scoring...I could go on, but I won't.

After the tranquil opening credits, we are thrust headfirst into a nightmare involving a pregnant woman, stabbing, some woman who looks like Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, and some creepy dude with unnaturally blue eyes.

We then see who's having this nightmare: Jane, played by the impossibly gorgeous Edwige Fenech.  Seriously, I have a major crush on this woman.  Cartoon heart bubbles.

Jane wakes up from her nightmare and proceeds directly to the shower, dazed, and turns the water on even though she still has her nightshirt on.

Jane's been having these nightmares since a car accident where she suffered a miscarriage.  But soon the creepy dude from the dreams starts showing up while she's awake.

She then meets Mary, her new neighbor, who says she belongs to a group that could cure her of her mental illness.  Turns out it's a Satanic cult.  Well, it worked for my old boss.

This is one of those movies where all of the ingredients are there, but something falls somewhat short.  The main problem lies within the plot.  It's engaging, but with everyone involved, you expect a bit more.

That said, everyone is in fine form, especially Edwige.  Granted she isn't given much except to run around looking scared, but she can do that like nobody's business.  The camera loves her, too.  She's always beautiful in the picture.  Probably because her lover at the time, Luciano Martino, was producer.  Anyhow, if you knock it, you must be gay.

Nice to come back to a real giallo.


Friday, June 4, 2010

Day 20: Double Feature Part Two: Kill the Fatted Calf

So...last night...

I went to Cinema Cafe last night to perform.  Mostly the same set with a few new jokes sprinkled in.  My tennis bracelet joke really hit.  I may have to try to put it in regular rotation.

So, after the show, I got invited to Hooters with the other guys, including one comic I hadn't seen since I started almost two years ago.  I had to go.

By the time I got home it was 1:35.  I was tired and knew I wouldn't get to sleep until at least 4 unless I went to bed immediately.

Sorry again.  No performances next week, so this oughta be my last double feature.

Let's get back to the giallothon, shall we?

I totally forgot I had this movie in my collection until a couple days ago.  I kept all of my ZDD purchases in one spot because I knew I was going to use them for this giallo marathon, but this one somehow didn't make the pile.  Dunno if I set it aside because I wanted to see it or what.

Anyhow, I decided to watch it tonight as part of my double feature.

However, Kill the Fatted Calf isn't a true giallo (WTF, ZDD?).  No black gloved killer, no hot chick in peril.  There is a bit of a mystery, but the film is mainly a drama.

The patriarch of the Marlo family dies under somewhat mysterious circumstances.  Enrico (brilliantly played by Maurizio Degli Esposti) thinks something fishy is going on.  He investigates his father's death and finds out more than he wishes he had.

Meanwhile, Enrico is still tortured by the death of his mother ten years ago, playing reel-to-reel tapes of conversations between the two over and over again.  He had strange Freudian love feelings for his mother, which he eventually transfers to his sister.

I'm going to leave it at that, because Kill the Fatted Calf is an engrossing drama.  It's a slow burn the entire way through, but you can't look away.  The centerpiece of the film has to be Maurizio Degli Esposti's performance as the youngest child, Enrico.  I honestly wonder why his career stopped so soon after this film.  He had potential.

Another highlight is Ennio Morricone's score, a forgotten gem that is now available on Amazon.com (as both a physical CD and as an mp3 download).  Check it out.

Okay.  I'll let y'all go.


Day 20: Double Feature Part One: AAA Massaggiatrice Bella Presenza Offresi...

All apologies for missing last night.  I'll supply an explanation after finishing part two of tonight's double feature.

Anyhow, onto the first part: AAA Massaggiatrice Bella Presenza Offresi...

I am SO not retyping that title again.

AAA revolves around Christina, a young girl who decides to move away from home and be independent.  This irks her father, who works tirelessly to provide for her and feels like she doesn't appreciate him.

Christina decides to make ends meet as a "masseuse."  Um...yeah...Really, she's a call girl.  Her freshness on the circuit makes her a popular commodity, especially amongst creepy rich guys.  However, somebody starts killing her clients.

AAA is mostly a vehicle to showcase Paola Senatore's assets.  And when I say assets, I mean T&A.  Any movie with ample nudity gets a semi...er, I mean extra half star rating from me.

That said, AAA is actually a better giallo than its hard-to-find status would lead you to believe.  Yes, the production values are slight, and it's a good long while before the first murder takes place, but the film is a fun little time waster that I'm surprised hasn't been released on a legit DVD.  Other, lesser gialli have made their way to home video.  I'd love to see Mya get a hold of this.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to take care of part two.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Okay, so, here's the thing...

I went out again with the guys after performing.  It's 1:35.  It's honestly better for both of us if I do a double feature tomorrow.  Besides, I'm still sweating from the 911 boneless wings.  It's not pretty.

But 30 gialli WILL be watched in 30 days.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Day 18: The Double

I'm starting to wonder if the fatigue has set in.

Just watched The Double.  But honestly, I can't really tell you much about it.

Because I didn't get it.

I just spent 90 minutes staring at my TV and I still have no real clue what was going on.

Jean Sorel is with Lucia.  He meets Lucia's mom and tries to bang her, too.  There's also this American duder named Eddie that he's jealous of (at least I think so--there are a few fantasy sequences where Jean Sorel kills him).

That plus constant flash-forwards to Jean Sorel getting shot in a parking garage.

That's all I got.

The parking garage scenes are well done, I guess.  And the score is quite nice.  But other than that, I can't say much.

So I'll just leave it at that.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Day 17: Suspected Death of a Minor

Day 15 and 16 were a total acid trip.  Between the pure craziness of Death Laid an Egg and the dreamy crashdown of Footprints, I decided to put the trippier gialli on hold for a day or two and go for some grittier works.

Suspected Death of a Minor isn't 100% giallo.  Instead, Sergio Martino's film is part, giallo, part police procedural, and at times, part spoof.  While I do enjoy the mixing of genres, this time it doesn't always work.

Inspector Germi is at a dance hall where he meets the intriguing Marisa.  Marisa speaks cryptically, acting as if she were hiding from something...or somebody.  After a dance and a kiss, Marisa leaves.

On the way home, Marisa is chased by a man with long hair and mirrored sunglasses.  She breaks free, only to run into him again in her boarding house.  This time it doesn't end well, as she is slashed to death.

Germi ends up getting involved in the case, which involves a teenage prostitution ring, a wealthy banker, and all sorts of sleazy lowlifes.  Along for the rise is Giannino, a petty thief who helps Germi.

The bulk of the film isn't really a giallo, but more of a poliziotteschi, another popular form of pulp cinema from 70's Italy.  When the giallo boom of the late 60's/early 70's began to die down, many directors either completely jumped ship or began mixing poliziotteschi elements to keep filmgoers interested.  Another example of the poliziotteschi/giallo cross breeding is What Have They Done to Your Daughters.

The film itself manages to be somewhat intriguing, even if it isn't filled with the true giallo elements we've come to know and expect.  Claudio Cassinelli proves to be a very charismatic lead as Germi, the cop who plays by his own rules.  Also noteworthy is Adolfo Caruso as Giannino, the petty thief who stays involved in the case long after he's needed.

The main problem lies in the comedic elements of the film.  While not nearly as horrible as that Franco and Ciccio movie from Day 5, these moments pull you out of the film.  Luckily these scenes don't completely ruin the film.

Short post, I know.  Forgive me.  Until next time.