Tag Archives: giallo

La coda dello scorpione/ The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail (1971)

 

Director: Sergio Martino

Starring: George Hilton, Anita Strindberg, Alberto de Mendoza,Ida Galli.  Italy. 1h 33m

Martino’s The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail is an engrossing Giallo film but strangely it focuses more on the investigation than outlandish slayings. A woman,  Lisa (Galli)  inherits a massive fortune when her husband dies in a freak accident which results in his plane blowing up mid-flight, she leaves her lovers embrace and collects her money. Close on her heels is the suave and seductive an agent Peter Lynch (Hamilton) sent by the insurance company, checking to see if she had anything to do with the freak accident. They become close as a mysterious stalker starts slaughtering the people around Lisa including her husband’s bit on the side who also wants a cut of the fortune, their marriage of convenience is nothing of the sorts now, with a deluge of lovers and mysterious people entering the frame it’s a total nightmare to work out who the culprit might be, but the local police look clueless and are unable to offer answers or protection, Lynch eventually falls for and investigates the murder with an ambitious anchor woman, Cléo Dupont (Strindberg). A small heirloom holds the key to identifying the deranged killer but will the lovers find the answer before it’s too late. Continue reading La coda dello scorpione/ The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail (1971)

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Last Night’s Movies 25.07.2017

 

I got new art supplies so while I was tinkering with those I managed pull out a few golden oldies but then when I realised a new DVD was pretty short I crammed in one priceless Giallo too!

Bullitt (1968) –  I remember watching my mother get all excited about Bullitt, she’s a huge fan of Steve McQueen and as a kid I didn’t know why but i’ve been converted, I brought Bullitt a few years back and was totally blown away by it time and time again, I’ve had a passion for retro/vintage cars and while I’ve always adored Mercury Lead Sleds I finally caved in and I want a Dodge now.. But the film is quite strange, famed for being “that car film” there’s a lot of crime thriller going on as well. McQueen plays a toughen San Francisco cop who is out for blood, his target is a local king pin who has killed a witness who was left in his care. McQueen’s need for speed sparked him to insist on doing all the car chases and he made a point to keep his head near or out of the window in all the scenes to the audience that it was him at all times… damn I love car chases!! 9/10 Continue reading Last Night’s Movies 25.07.2017

Last Nights Movies 09.03.17

I keep forgetting these updates but I managed to watch a couple of films last night, both brilliant in very different ways, and two classics, one new and one old and close to my heart.

The Fly (1986)

Despite being “not a fan” of remakes this film has always been a great favourite of mine, it’s simple and effective but taking the science and horror brilliance from the 1958 classic and letting it lose in the hands of Cronenberg resulted in some spectacular effects and a highly entertaining gory film, that still has some cult status, those amazing pods, the body shocking gore which rocketed Goldblum’s career, although he still plays the same character in all his films. One person I think we all forget is Stathis Borans (John Getz) an actor I only recognise when he has a beard, I’m going to write a piece about him, the only character who successfully makes it in both films although massively scarred for life both mentally and physically. So for those who haven’t seen the film (many shames on you), this remake is similar but much more daring that the it’s much older original, I’ll get into the differences in another post. But a brilliant and recluse scientist Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum)manages to build Telepods that transport objects via particles through space, while conducting a test he manages to transport himself through space but unfortunately a fly is present in the pod and they are genetically spliced together. It’s that simple but becomes so complicated for him as he mutates into a 6ft human fly.. queue The Cramps! Cronenberg, well known for his obsession with the flesh turned a retro horror into buckets of puke and lose body parts gore romance, and we can’t forget this romance as it was pretty real, Gena Davis who plays the love interest did in fact become involved with Goldblum. For me it’s brilliant and still stands the test of time. 9/10 Continue reading Last Nights Movies 09.03.17

The Sweet Body of Deborah/The Body/Married to Kill (1968)

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Director: Romolo Guerrieri.
Starring: Carroll Barker, Jean Sorel, Luigi Pistilli. Italy/France. 1h 35m.

A couple return to Geneva from their honeymoon flaunting around various parts of Europe, the rich Deborah (Barker), and beautiful lover Marcel (Sorel) are only in town for one night before things start to become strange. Marcel notices an old friend, Philip, who totally blanks him in a nightclub, after catching up with him again during the evening, Philip announces that Marcels former fiance Susan is dead and it’s all his fault, despite her death being a suicide Philip still strongly blames Marcel for her death. Continue reading The Sweet Body of Deborah/The Body/Married to Kill (1968)

Black Cat (1981)

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Director : Lucio Fulci
Starring: Patrick Magee, Mimsy Farmer, David Warbeck, Al Cliver. Italy.1h 32m

A giallo tribute to the brilliance of Edgar Allen Poe, but as Fulci was the king of gore it pulls away from the gothic nature of the original stories and lathers it in slasherific fun.  

In a small English village there is something macabre going on, a man notices a cat on the backseat of his car that appears to  hypnotise him which results in him crashing his car and his death, the car cheerfully scampers off home to the cottage is shares with Robert Miles (Patrick Magee), a retired; hateful professor who doubles up a psychic or medium and spends most of his time recording in at the tombs or graves of the recently deceased.  Meanwhile an American tourist Jill Travers (Mimsy Farmer) wanders into a tomb to take photos and finds a microphone, she’s eventually warned off b a local bobby Sergeant Wilson (Al Cliver). A young couple sneak into an airtight room in a boat house to make out, when a black cat appears suddenly the key goes missing and the two are seen dying from an unfortunate lack of oxygen. Continue reading Black Cat (1981)

Oasis of Fear (1971)

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Director: Umberto Lenzi.
Starring:Irene Papas, Ornella Muti, Ray Lovelock. Italy. 1h 30m.

What a chance find in CEX helps me find one of the missing items from my Shameless collection, they can’t be all that bad right!?

A couple of hippies are bumming around creating an artistic mayhem until they get caught at a gas station for trying to sell porn photos, they go on the run but soon run out of petrol. Luckily for them, they are near a lush house and grounds (the Oasis) and try their luck at the house, initially all they discover is a frightened woman awaiting the arrival of her husband but what other secrets are locked away in this house!? The hippy couple are used to having the upper hand and out numbering the fragile woman they try to befriend her while also trying to rip her off. But gradually she starts showing her true colours and can play them at their own game, be it fueled with erotica or intense conversation she’s quite a vixen and a cat and mouse games unravels everyone’s plans. Continue reading Oasis of Fear (1971)

L’assassino e costretto ad uccidere ancora/The Killer Must Kill Again (1975)

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Director: Luigi Cozzi.
Starring: George Hamilton, Antoine Saint-John. Italy. 1h 28m.

This nifty little Giallo film is actually quite intriguing if not totally underpowered. A juggalo boyfriend, Giorgio(Hamilton) is about to be cut off from his stunning rich girlfriend and her fortune after she’s had enough of his player ass, so he storms out and witnesses a man dumping a woman’s body into the river…instead of calling the police he confronts the man, invites him out, get his prints on his lighter and blackmails him into killing his girl, a similar setup is manufactured in Strangers on a Train (1951), but starts spinning his own web of deceit by claiming that she has been kidnapped and asks her father to pay up a million for her, which is about the figure the two haphazard dial a crooks got in Fargo (1996), the local police aren’t ready to buy that bullshit so keep on digging,  the only minor problem is that the killer has lost the body, a couple of hipster kids managed to steal his car with the body in the trunk so the killer (who is only known as “the killer throughout the film) must chases them down and must kill and kill again until he can put things to rights… Continue reading L’assassino e costretto ad uccidere ancora/The Killer Must Kill Again (1975)

Profondo Rosso / Deep Red / The Hatchet Murders (1975)

 

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Day 17 of 31

Director : Dario Argento
Starring :  Macha Meril David Hemmings Daria Nicolodi Gabriele Lavia Giuliana Calandra Glauco Mauri Clara Calamai Piero Mazzinghi. Italy. 1h 46m.

Giallo films are one of the more iconic and unusual forms of horror, terror and suspense, a genre that’s easy to define but not very easy to predict, when I was first introduced to the eccentric brand of Italian slasher, in the weekend marathon I pretty much watched all the biggest names from Dario Argento and Lucio Fulchi. But only a few stood out, this was an instant favourite, not only because of the extensive nightmarish story, but the variety of violence that everyone can identify with. Continue reading Profondo Rosso / Deep Red / The Hatchet Murders (1975)

Opera (1987) AKA Terror at the Opera

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Day 12 of 31

Director: Dario Argento.

Starring: Christina Marsillach, Daria Nicolodi, Urbano Barberini, Ian Charleson . Italy. 1h 47m

 

Slightly arthouse but very gothic, this epic giallo film from legend Dario Argento see a fusion of opera and slasher collide in this suspense filled macabre horror. Seemingly inspired by the tragic Macbeth, that is the exact plat which Betty, a stunning understudy is working on when she is stalked by a hooded sadistic killer whose main objective is to torture Betty by forcing her to watch him kill but how’s cunning managed to keep his anonymity. On the opening night of the Verdi Opera, a stage hand is killed and all of the ravens that were brought in for the tragic opera, but the curse of Macbeth lives on and Betty is soon on the run. As the film slowly progresses every new character is a potential killer and Betty soon realises she can trust no one, a bulk of the film is literally Betty randomly getting pounced on, then upon waking up in a bound/gagged situation and unable to look away as an innocent person is brutally slaughtered in an outlandish way.

There is a unique feel in this gothic art house giallo, it has the loud badly dubbed soundtrack like so many others but the killer toys with the victims in such a bizarre manner, being one of the few gialli that focuses more on the torture aspect than bizarre settings and a horrific murders.

Poor (not so ugly) Betty, grapples to find sanctuary from this nightmare, one of the more memorable scenes is when she’s getting fitted for a costume when she finds herself bound with tape placed on her face with needles poking up ensuring that she can’t avoid watching the tailor get brutalised,and then a impromptu autopsy is performed on her after she swallows the killers bracelet. Each attack is like a small drama stage play in itself, with the intense lighting and pounding music. The torture method was one conjured up by Argento himself when joking about people shying away from his murder scenes in the cinema, he threatened to tape pins under their eyes so they couldn’t look away and materialised the fascinating idea here.

Verdi’s opera is infamous for bringing bad luck but the aesthetics inspired Argento to be a little bit more experimental with the visuals, from the early scene filmed from the black reflection of a crow’s eye to the haunting dream sequences and flashbacks suffered by Betty. The varied and well executed effects and camera work pays off, everything about the film is about an voyeurism and being centre stage, and every element is arranged in such a way where it’s all very much centre stage and “look at me”, and Argento didn’t really need to force us to look at this marvel as his attempts to make it stunning have mesmerized fans for years.

After several grisly murders and lots of flashbacks there are two epic endings, one follows on nicely and the other hits you like a bat out of hell.. And shouldn’t be missed,

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Rating 8/10

 

 

R – Watch me when I kill, New York Ripper, Bird with Crystal Plumage
L – A-Z of Giallo, Italian Cinema, Crazy endings
A – My love affair with Giallo
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Messiah of Evil (1973)

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Director/Screenplay/Producer: Willard Huyck, Gloria Katz
Starring: Marianna Hill, Michael Greer, Elisha Cook Jr . USA. 1h 30m.

Also known under the delightful title of Dead People this early 70’s horror co written, directed and produced by the husband and wife team of Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz is a often overlooked deeply atmospheric and psychotropic horror movie.

Starring Marianna Hill as Arletty who drives to Point Dune, California to visit her estranged father, an artist who has abandoned his home but upon uncovering his diary she finds vital information concerning the horrible nightmare that is consuming the town and ignoring her father’s pleas to NOT look for him, she continues her search and tracks down the owner of a gallery who sells her father’s work, but he vaguely remembers him and informs her about the vibrant “art culture” that thrives in Point Dune. Still searching for information she meets a visiting Portuguese/American aristocrat, Thom (Michael Greer) and his two extremely provocative groupie companions Toni (Joy Bang) and Laura (Anita Ford). Thom interviews Charlie (Elisha Cook Jr) an old eccentric who tells of dark and chilling tales of his mother and “the dark stranger” who will return after a 100 years hiatus, he also informs Arletty that her father is one of “them” and moments later he’s murdered. Continue reading Messiah of Evil (1973)