Director: Lamberto Bava
Starring. Michele Soavi, Andrew Occhipinti, Fabola Toledo, Anny Papa. Italy. 1h 50m.
The literal translation of the title is The House with the Dark Staircase which is a little bit more appropriate; at least for the opening scene. Initially cast as a mini-series the film was scraped by Italian TV moguls for being too violent, so re edited as a much shorter film.
Starting with a peculiar scene a groups of boys dare each other to go down some dark stairs (hence the name) eventually one of the boys is forced down into the darkness where he meets his grisly fate, from there Bava leisurely sets the pace of a whodunit with some impressive jump scares. Continue reading La Casa Con La Scala Nel Buio / A Blade in the Dark (1983)
Director: Alfonso Brescia.
Starring. Robert Hoffman, Irina Demick, Pilar Velazquez, Adolfo Celi. Italy. 1h 32m.
I’m not sure what the fascination is with the Giallo scene and parks, houses being on the edge, and girls getting killing in them. But this was a bit of a jumbled mess for me, I got the story but some of the characters were a little too bat-shit-crazy to make the film all that plausible. Continue reading Ragazza Tutta Nuda Assassinata Nel Parco / A girl killed in the park (1972)
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)
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)
Director: Andrea Bianchi
Starring: Henry Silva, Barbara Bouchet, Vittorio Sanipoli, Mario Landi, Fausto Tozzi . Italy. 1h 26m.
I adore Italian cinema and the more violent the better, this was off my radar and I suck for taking so long to see it.
A family are stopped at a border patrol, their son is passed out from travel sickness but they are ushered through, they crash the car and everyone is killed, but the coroner notices that the boy was dead prior to the crash, crude stitches are unpicked and drugs are removed from the tiny cadaver. Continue reading The Cry of the Prostitute (1972)
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)
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)
Director: Emanuele De Santi
Writer: Emanuele De Santi
Stars: Jade Matthew, Carol Bolt, Ashleigh Whitfield. Italy. 1h 20m
The previews, trailers, reviews and DVD cover for this movie look absolutely beautiful, they all contain strong imposing grotesque images, that I thought had resulted from amazing and powerful horror film, brutally deadly and messy but unfortunately that’s not the way the cookie crumbled.
“Bad things happen to bad people” that’s what the ringleader of a deranged group of Street performers called the crows always says and she decided to unleash the wrath of a gang on a woman and her dog. Mary and Judy, I’d just like to point out that Judy is the dog, stop at some traffic lights and Mary did the worst thing ever!!! she actually ignored a street performer trying to get money out of her, just an freakish old woman in clown make up (nightmare fuel) and somehow this in self that turns into a brutal stalking and takedown mission on her and her dog. Continue reading Judy (2014)
Director: Luigi Cozzi
Starring: Ian McCulloch Louise Marleau Marino Masé Siegfried Rauch Gisela Hahn. Italy/Germany. 1h 22m
A ship carrying coffee,pulls into a New York harbour, but no one is on board, instead it’s filled with glowing “eggs” when tampered with they explode, spraying toxic liquid that causes massive tissue damage to anyone near them, an expert is called in to investigate the matter, Colonel Stella Holmes (Marleau) and her journey to discover the source is exciting and dangerous. Initially she freezes the samples but when more are found she brings in the flamethrowers, but how can we be sure that they have all been destroyed, where do they come from and what’s going on? WIth all these questions she digs deeper into the physiology of the “eggs” and soon comes to the conclusion that they are not from this planet, she tracks down one of two astronauts who have recently returned from Mars, but now Commander Ian Hubbard (MuCulloch) is a shabby down and out alcoholic but after some prompting he sorts his shit out and helps out the stunning Colonel. Continue reading Contamination (1980)
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)