Cosmotropia de Xam is back with more “arthouse horror” with his latest feature, MALACREANZA: FROM THE DIARY OF A BROKEN DOLL.
JASON COFFMAN wrote:
This film, his follow-up to DIABOLIQUE, is touted as both “arthouse horror” and “experimental giallo,” and while it is similar in tone to DIABOLIQUE, it is even further removed from standard narrative than that film. MALACREANZA only features one actor on screen during its entire running time, and features imagery more traditionally associated with experimental film than narrative features.
Anna (Shivabel) wakes up, nude, near what appears to be an abandoned factory. She wanders around and hears voices that seem to control her. These voices are the only other presences in the film—other than Anna, no actors appear on-screen. The voices taunt and command, as Anna wanders from one bizarre nightmare world to the next, similarly to how the characters in DIABOLIQUE would float from one place to another, but even more abstract in both its narrative structure and visual style. Continue reading
Robert Firsching in All Movie Guide:
Though not a giallo film in the strictest sense, this crime/revenge film merits attention by fans for its genre cast and an unusual approach to familiar themes. Raf Vallone plays anguished father Avanzio Berzaghi, whose 25-year old daughter Donatella has been kidnapped. Donatella has the mind of a toddler, and her beauty and agreeable naivete make her a perfect choice for Milan’s seedy prostitution racket. Frank Wolff is a dedicated Inspector with bad sinuses who shakes down a sleazy pimp and a desperate black prostitute (Beryl Cunningham of The Snake God), as well as visiting scores of local brothels for clues. Continue reading
Silvia Hacherman (Mimsy Farmer) is an industrial scientist who is completely devoted to her job. She has been going out with the handsome Roberto (Maurizio Bonuglia) for a little over four months, but he is understandably perturbed by the fact that she seems to value her work more than him. One night, while attending, with Roberto, a party at the home of a renowned African professor (Jho Jenkins), his discussion of voodoo rituals and human sacrifices seems to unroot a memory deeply buried within her psyche. She begins to hallucinate, seeing disturbingly vivid images of her mother, who died under uncertain circumstances. As the hallicunations become more frequent and more lifelike, Silvia begins to lose her grip on reality as her sanity slips away… Throw into the mix phantom girls, grisly murders, mysterious gift shops and a possible conspirary involving her boyfriend, and you have the makings of an incredibly baffling psycho-shocker that, while following some of the giallo genre’s conventions, is too anarchic a piece to fit comfortably into that particular category.
Michael Mackenzie on The Digital Fix Continue reading
The French Sex Murders
Representing the trashier side of European exploitation, this Dick Randall produced Italian/German giallo is the kind of film that, lacking style, substance or budget, instead throws in everything bar the kitchen sink in a bid to attract audiences.
The big gimmick is the presence of Humphrey Bogart-a like Robert Sacchi as the detective in charge of investigating the a series of call-girl murders. He can’t really act – or doesn’t get the chance to – but does make for a passable Bogart, with the look and mannerisms down pat. Continue reading
Some movies are watched. “The Strange Color Of Your Body’s Tears” is a movie you live inside. This new film from directors Helene Cattet and Bruno Forzani touches you repeatedly, inappropriately, from the front and, delightfully, from the rear. To synopsize the film is folly, though it will be fun to see viewers try. This is the magic that Cattet and Forzani have weaved from their debut effort “Amer,” a hypnotic trip down the giallo rabbit hole. Very few filmmakers today are working with a radical new vocabulary, but Cattet and Forzani are using genre of the past to toss us, shouting, into the future. Continue reading
There are three key ingredients that make an excellent giallo production. First, you need a drop-dead-gorgeous starlet that will readily take at least two showers in front of the camera, naked of course, and during the course of the film will not shy away from further revealing her “acting skills”. Second, you need a good amount of red paint, preferably not the Ferrari-red type. And third, you need a relatively good mystery story complimented with a few catchy tunes to bring that extra bit of chill. Now imagine that you throw in the mix one of the sexiest European stars to ever grace the exploitation genre canvas-Edwige Fenech, a legendary Italian director-Sergio Martino, and a script based on a short story by celebrated writer Edgar Alan Poe…and there you have it…Il Tuo vizio e una stanza chiusa e solo ion e ho la chiave a.k.a Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I have the Key (1972), a spectacular giallo production that mixes all the right ingredients with just about the right amount of style we pointed out above.
Mario Bava’s Black Sunday (1960) and Black Sabbath (1963) were world wide commercial successes. As a consequence, Bava was given creative control over Blood and Black Lace. An Italian-West German co-production, the film’s backers were expecting a routine murderer-on-the-loose yarn in the Edgar Wallace-tradition. In Europe during the early 1960’s, movies based on the murder mystery novels of the incredibly prolific Wallace had become a mini-genre of their own. Forty or so of these movies were ultimately made, most of them produced in West Germany. Although some of the murder sequences could be vicious, the emphasis was on the police procedural and mystery aspects of the narrative. Continue reading