giallo

Here's a new one! The gang promoting "Paranormal Activity 2" have set up a phone number that you can call and listen to some spooky fun. Which is awesome because normally I have to pay $2.99 a minute to have a women fake being frightened for her life. Don't judge.

If you love "Glee", and who doesn't, then there's a solid chance you love "The Rocky Horror Picture Show". Well I have good news for you, kid who is overweight but still wears shirts two sizes to small! Ryan Murphy, the creator of "Glee" has just wrapped an entire episode devoted to the camp classic and is in talks to possibly do a remake. Good, I haven't been assaulted by a tranny coming out of a late night movie in years.

Adrien Brody has taken legal action to try an stop the release of the Dario Argento film "Giallo". Apparently Brody had never watched any of Argento's other films and when he picked up the script said out loud, "No way could this be a pile of crap, people love this guy. Sign me up!". You made your bed big nose, now lie in it with the weird Italian model who can barley speak English but for some reason plays the staring role.

Mario Bava’s 1964 film “The Girl Who Knew Too Much” is widely credited with being the movie that launched the Giallo craze of the 1960s and 70s. Bava even gives a nod to the yellow-covered Italian crime novels that gave the genre its name by having titular girl Letecia Roman be an obsessive fan of the books in the film. Roman plays an American girl who travels to Rome to care for an ailing aunt. Her first night in Rome plays like a propaganda film intended to dissuade Americans from travelling to Europe. After a run-in with a drug smuggler on the plane, she arrives at her aunt’s house just in time for the old lady to die. As she walks to a nearby hospital to alert the authorities, she is mugged and knocked unconscious. She comes to long enough to witness what appears to be a murder on the Spanish Steps. When she reports the crime the next morning, the police believe she was hallucinating due to the fact that there is no body to be found and no evidence of a murder. The fact that a shady figure came along and revived her with a shot of whiskey just before the police arrived also doesn’t do much for her credibility.

Ethics and movie reviewing can be uneasy bedfellows. I think this is mostly because we all start developing tastes well before we start in depth critical thinking about the construction and overall effectiveness of the films we watch. And though all of us may try to fall back on some techniques of objective critique, it can be difficult to apply what you know about film theory to a film like John Mikl Thor's “Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare”. That said we all have some thumbnail idea about what makes a film worthy and rules that help us to determine that.

“Don’t Torture a Duckling” is the story of Accendura, a remote village in Central Italy that is beset by a rash of child murders. The police race against the growing rage of the community to find a killer in a town of myriad secrets. Accendura’s residents are closed off and superstitious, augmenting Catholicism with provincial spirits and the charms of a local shaman. The influences of early seventies Italy on the closed world of Accendura comes mostly in the form of hookers, outcasts, and in the middle of this crisis, a band of soulless reporters.

In 1972, director Massimo Dallamano teamed up with cinematographer Aristide Massacessi (aka Joe D’amato) to make “What Have You Done to Solange?” Dallamano was an accomplished cameraman in his own right, having shot Leone’s “A Fistful of Dollars” and “For a Few Dollars More”. Directorially he had a made a name for himself 3 years earlier with the infamous “Devil in the Flesh (aka Venus in Furs)”. Ultimately though, Solange’ would prove to be his best known and most highly regarded work.

Lucio Fulci is probably most famous for his role as accelerant in the Italian gore arms race of the late 70’s and early 80’s. If Argento and Umberto Lenzi were Kiss and Alice Cooper then Fulci was Gwar. His signature works of grue abandoned logic and cohesive narrative in order to push the splatter factor past revulsion to near parody. Films like “Zombi 2”, “City of the Living Dead” and “The Beyond” sought out increasingly severe and unconventional ways of getting entrails, connective tissues, and the four humors onto the screen by the bucketful.