Genre blending can go horribly wrong be it apocalyptic horror and comedy which resulted in Sharknado or romantic comedy which results in boredom. You need to be careful how you mix and match established flavours, if dont right, it can birth a tremendous gripping film such as this stand out item from Italian maestro Massimo Dallamano, being a big contender with a host of really notable titles the classic cinematographer comes into his own with a trio of brilliant movies, for me the golden trio, for me at least are, Dorian Gray, What have you done to Solange and similarly titled, What have they done to our daughters? A film with takes a the best of the poliziotteschi movement, ultising daring police chases, shoot outs and crime sleuthing, and let’s lose a terrific Giallo serial killer, clad in leather this psycho deptaches their victims with a cleaver and rides a powerful motorbike.
Director: Fernando Di Leo Starring: Gastone Moschin, Mario Adorf, Barbara Bouchet. .UK. 1h 42m
Well famed for being the ultimate super cool, cult hit, this is the first of a trio of virtuoso politicization films, the following movies, La Mala ordina/The Italian Connection and Il Boss/The Boss, are all based on a short story collection all using the original names by Giorgio Scerbanenco. Each film stands out for their own powerful impact with straight forward stories harnessing beautiful women, treachery and tons of gratuitous violence.
AKA Hired to Kill, Manhunt in the City, Manhunt in Milan, Manhunt
Director: Fernando Di Leo. Starring. Mario Adorf, Henry Silva, Woody Strode, Adolfo Celi. Italy. 1h 40m.
After a shipment of drugs vanishes a rather charming Corso (Cyril Cusack) settles down two confidants and describes the mood for them, Dave Catania (Silva) and Frank Webster (Strode) listen patiently while they are given clear instructions to travel to Italy, where they are to act as American as possible in order to gain the attention of their target, both men speak the language fluently and are more than capable of finding the man suspected of being responsible for the missing drugs and making him suffer. A beautiful local assistant will be waiting on them hand and foot and aiding their mission but the blundering idiot they are sent after might not be quite a useless as everyone suspects.
Small time pimp and crazy headbutting tough guy Luca Canali (Adorfi), seems pretty low key, not the shifty character you’d expect to accidentally lose such a precious cargo. The film partially opens with him spending a pleasant day with his “girlfriend/bottom bitch”in the park then beating up two douchebags using Tekken 2 tactics.But the magic of this film is that Luca is a family man, his stunning ex and beautiful daughter get all his love and attention, and pretty soon the movie shifts from the two tough guys high tailing and it turns into the “Luca show” while he tries to keep ahead of all the mobsters who are now suddenly hot on his tail and all in his slightly comedic style.
Director: Michele Soavi Starring: Hugh Quarshie, Tomas Arana, Feodor Chapliapin Jr. Barbara Cupisti, Antonella Vitale, Asia Argento .Italy. 1h 42m
I’d like to suggest that Michele Soavi’s The Church (1989) is a good movie, but the least I could say is that it’s interesting, on occasions quite fascinating and occasionally on board with Clive Barker for it’s sexy bodies and ugly monster creepiness. But is it a good movie?! Between the incoherent plot and awkward characters it sells a mystical story and it’s highly entertaining and that’s what counts. Continue reading La Chiesa / The Church (1989)→
Director: Emilio Miraglia (as Hal Brady). Starring. Henry Silva, Beba Loncar, Keenan Wynn, Carlo Palmucci, Pier Paolo. USA. 1h 33m.
Emilio Miraglia has conjured up a vibrant Italian noir-crime thriller from a story co-written by Massimo De Rita who wrote the debut hit for Miraglia , Assassinsation (1967) which also stars Henry Silver who returns in this follow up as the heavy handed Inspector Sterling, a police inspector whose son has been brutally killed outside the family home in retaliation to his police work. Known for his brilliant Giallo and Poliziottesco movies such as The Red Queen Kills Seven Times (1972) and The Night Evelyn Came out of her Grave (1971), Miraglia’s successes came after these hard hitting Poliziottesco classics. Continue reading Quella carogna dell’ispettore Sterling / Frame Up / Falling Man (1968)→
Director:Lucio Fulci . Writer : Dardano Sacchetti Starring. Tisa Farrow, Ian McCulloch, Richard Johnson, Al Cliver, Olga Karlatos, Auretta Gay. Italy. 1h 31m.
I had seen a great deal of movies around the time I finally found a copy of this on DVD and being in my early 20’s I prided myself on seeing a lot of horror and gore films, banned movies galore, I honestly thought I had seen it all, but half way through this Zombie Flesh Eaters, I realised I hadn’t see anything quite like the Tiger Shark Vs Zombie scene… I got into more detail here, but the film is a testament to Fulci’s ability to try new things while being a staple in the 70’s horror scene. Continue reading Zombie 2, The Dead are Among Us, Zombie Flesh Eaters (1979)→
Director: Lars von Trier Starring: Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg . Denmark, Germany, Italy, France, Italy, Poland, Sweden. 1h 48m
This made a very interesting date night, a reconciliation with an ex and a movie filled with sexual violence and gnostic connotations, but in all honesty we both read that there were crazy genital mutilation scenes and being the sick twisted couple we were, we actually wanted to see this together, on top of this any film with Charlotte is usually a bit nutty and even with all this knowledge we were still a bit mystified and shocked at this dark and distinctively effective movie.Continue reading Antichrist (2009)→
Director: Andrea Bianchi. Starring. Karin Well, Cianluigi Chirizzi, Simone Mattoli,Antonella Antinori, Pietro Barzocchini. Italy. 1h 25m.
AKA Nights of Terror, Zombi Horror, The Zombie Dead, Zombie 3
This seems to be one of the long-lost zombie films of the 80’s, but there’s a reason why this isn’t talked about that much in the same circles as Fulci, Argento and D’Amato.
During the 70’s and early 80’s Italian cinema became saturated with dark tales of zombies and ghouls coming back from the dead to feast on the living. While Burial Grounds seems to follow all the popular trends of the golden age it somehow does this without much of a narrative. but still remains a fan favourite and is admittedly a very unexpected thrilling viewing experience. Continue reading Burial Ground : The Nights of Terror (1981)→
AKA: Demons III Director: Lumberto Bava Starring: Virginia Bryant, Sabrina Ferilli, Paolo Malco, Patrizio Vinci. Italy. 1h 34m
So many classic horror novels are produced from the bizarre dream of the writer, Frankenstein was a fever dream so powerful that Mary Shelly had to get the essence down on paper in a male dominated world, going against the grain she knew that her unique mix of man playing god and the promise of some dark everlasting life was literary gold. Other writers have often marveled how they bring their nightmares and dreams to live in their writing and films, which is the premise of this scrawny horror. Made for TV in the mid 80’s there’s a lot of 70’s backlash in this Bava effort, which made up a trilogy of direct to video/tv film series.
Director: Fernando Di Leo. Starring. Henry Silva,Woody Strode, Adolfo Celi, Mario Adorf , Luciana Paluzzi Italy. 1h 35m.
Following on from Caliber 9, De Leo hits back with another violent manhunt movie.
After a shipment of drugs vanishes a rather charming syndicate boss Corso (Cyril Cusack) settles down two confidants and describes the mood for them, David (Silva) and Frank (Strodey) listen patiently while they are given clear instructions to travel to Italy, where they are to act as American as possible in order to gain the attention of their target, both men speak the language fluently and are more than capable of finding the man suspected of being responsible for the missing drugs and making him suffer. A local assistant, Eva will be waiting on them hand and foot and aiding their mission but the blundering idiot they are sent after might not be quite as useless as everyone suspects.