If you're not currently preoccupied with the manner in which that horny mummy in the corner is drinking in the seam lines in your girlfriend's bodacious Harley Quinn costume, then what better way to wrap up a solid spine-chilling and satisfying Italo-ween season this year, than to cover one from the undisputed platinum standard in gialli, the 'Italian Hitchcock' himself, Dario Argento, in the form of his recent, glorious return to sadistically violent form, 2001's Non ho sonno aka/ Sleepless, after having mostly floundered in unfamiliar waters of mediocrity with Trauma (1993), The Stendahl Syndrome (1996), and 1998's Phantom of the Opera, in the years following his blood-splashed magnum opus, Opera (1987). Phew...and Gabriel March Grandos thought his sentence was lengthy.
"Esplodere barattoli di marmellata??!! Chi e' il ragazzo saggio!"
Moretti (Von Sydow) is the police detective assigned to the brutal 'Dwarf Murders' (you hear that, Skittles?) investigation in Turin, promising a young motherless boy justice, after the wee lad sees the woman being force fed her own wind instrument, mind you. Moretti follows a trail of paper animal cutouts left at the gore-splattered crime scenes to a nursery rhyme by a local reclusive author of children's books known as 'The Dwarf' ( the rhyme itself was actually written by Dario's rather fetching daughter, Asia, who we all should be well familiar with, by now) who's driven to commit suicide by the allegations, effectively closing the case when the slayings cease afterwards, or so it would seem...
Heyyyy, I found a clarinet in the meat sauce...
Only, seventeen years later, a woman is horrifically snuffed on a train in an identical manner to the past slayings, leading Giacomo (Stefano Dionisi) , who's now grown up enough to face his childhood demons and return to the old neighborhood in Turin from Rome on the suggestion of an old school buddy named Lorenzo (Roberto Zibetti), to seek the assistance of the retired sleuth in solving the latest crimes that include an agonizing wall-smashed facepiece and a beheaded ballerina(!), which have the former detective wondering if his deceased dwarfish adversary was responsible for the original murders in the first place. I'll leave the mind-boggling finale for you to experience for yourselves.
"...we'll return to 'Maroon 5: Behind the Music' after these messages..."
Though Sleepless doesn't quite measure up (most of Von Sydow's supporting cast, and some artificial-looking CG effects come immediately to mind) against the vintage Argento gialli forever carved into the memory of genre lovers worldwide, like Profondo Rosso(1975), it's far and away his best effort in ages, a Halloween treat bucket that's overflowing with enough confectionery goodies like black-gloved psychopath hijinks, genre-friendly red herrings deftly woven around some (seriously) exotic murder set pieces by Stivaletti, the usual bang up score from Goblin perfectly complimenting the maestro's signature lush visuals, to bring the viewer back to those glorious eighties, when stuff like this wore the crown over everything. Three wops....oh, and, uh......Happy Hallowe'en.
More Kinski?? Despite burning through directors (Maurizio Lucidi, Pasquale Squitieri, Mario Caiano, producer Caminito, who ended up finishing the movie with some help from Luigi Cozzi, and reportedly Kinski himself, along the line) like Bette Davis through a pack of Lucky Strikes, tonight's review is an evocative, sometimes surreal follow up to Werner Herzog's 1979 remake of the silent 1922 F.W. Murnau classic.With the elegant beauty of Venice as a backdrop, the historically intolerable Kinski reprises his vampire role, famously refusing to sit in the make up chair for the ugly, pitiful Max Shreck-esque look of the original, and even attacking a few of his female co-stars on the set. Also on board are no less than Christopher Plummer, Donald Pleasance, Barbara De Rossi, and the natural beauty, Anne Knecht, in her only film appearance to date.
"Vould you direkt me? I vould direkt me...zo zo hardt."
Professor Catalano (Plummer), who's dedicated his entire life to researching and hunting down the legendary vampire, Nosferatu (Kinski), arrives in plague-ridden Venice on account of a letter from a woman named Helietta (De Rossi) who claims that a coffin in her family crypt houses the very same apex blood drinker (that may or may not just be a slight extension of Kinski's Paganini with fangs here, but who can tell for sure, anyway?) that he's been after. Catalano's skepticism drives Mrs.Canins to hire a psychic to attempt to contact the monster, and although he hasn't been kipping in Helietta's cellar as she had thought, the medium's seance awakens him from a centuries-long slumber among a caravan of gypsies, suddenly feeling compelled to return to Venice and endlessly cruise the city's waterways in his gondola when he isn't clacking through the shadows in his buckled high heel shoes, in search of those foolish mortals who would dare to disturb his silent peace...
"I'll do ze fanks....zumtimes. But not ze balt het."
Don Alvise (Pleasance) delivers some memorably rambling speeches about God and evil, then disappears entirely, and when finally faced with his nemesis and life's obsession for the very first time, Catalano naturally offs himself. Wait...what? Nosferatu lustily paws at the local beauties and wills poor old grannies to throw themselves onto spikes, though his old angst-belching soul has but one true desire; the finality of death that can only come at the hand of a virgin whose love for him is throughly unconditional, and ironically, when he's later tracked down by some vampire hunters, they can only manage to mortally wound Maria (Anne Knecht), robbing him of the one girl who can grant him what he needs. He mournfully carries her nude body through the swirling morning mist...
"Fangs for that orgasm, baby..." coos Maria (Anne Knecht).
Some consider the late actor to be little more than a waxy-lipped bundle of Germanic hormones or worse. Don't count me among those folks, as his participation in a film only boosts it's stock for me; sometimes only just slightly, but in instances like tonight's review, he's an insane spectacle that demands the viewer's attention for every frame he passes through, as though the actor's very ego itself was the vampire in question, hypnotically commanding the audience to note his presence like an eager virgin might await the kiss of blood in her bed, once the sun has gone down. As for the film on the whole, it's a bold and visual one, tasting surprisingly coherent despite it's multiple chefs, nearly matching the atmospheric perfection of Herzog's film, and scoring an impressive three Wops on the rating scale. If you can snag a copy, by all means, do so with all speed. Highly recommended.
"Time has no meaning in a life that never ends...", hisses Nosferatu (Kinski).
Four years removed from his first giallo, Giornata nera per l'ariete aka/ The Fifth Cord (1971), director Luigi Bazzoni serves up a visually interesting if not entirely engaging psychological thriller/mystery that lacks just about every identifying giallo characteristic; there's no black gloved killers, no beautiful model types being violently killed off with exotic weapons, and not much sci-fi to wrap your mind around here, either, despite the alternate "Footprints on the Moon" title. What there is, is some nice, atmospheric cinematography from Vittorio Storano, who also worked with Argento on L'uccello dalle piume di cristallo aka/ The Bird With the Crystal Plumage (1970), and a solid performance from lead actress, Florinda Balkan, with supporting appearances by Italian 70's ginger-kid extraordinaire, Nicoletta Elmi, and, of course, Klaus Kinski, misleadingly billed as a lead here.
"...all of this fucking cheese belongs to me now."
Alice (Balkan), a Portuguese translator, has no recollection of the past three days and a recurring nightmare vision about astronauts bouncing about on the surface of the moon that she attributes to an old movie (with the same title as the one the audience is currently watching, mind you) that she must have missed the ending to. A discarded photograph of a hotel on the isle of Gama compels her to pay the holiday hot spot a visit in attempt to piece it all back together. To further complicate matters, several of the island's residents seem to already know her from the previous week, only as Nicole, a red head who sought refuge from some sort of imminent danger there, despite having no memories of ever having been there, at least, as Alice, anyway...
"...e il mio capelli rossi fastidioso per voi?" asks Paola (Nicoletta Elmi).
More sleepless nights filled with images of helpless men in space suits left behind on the moon (I dunno, that's gotta be pretty high on anybody's list of unsexy things that could happen to a person, huh? Still, you can't hear the Dave Matthews Band from space, so that's a plus...) and an abrasive scientist named Blackman (Kinski), who briefly bickers with some off-screen colleagues about his mind control experiments, the results of which have stranded some poor bastard on the moon's surface, to test his mental resolve. The bad karma finds it's way into Alice's dreams from space, and thus, aligns her as the logical choice to be Blackman's next lunar guinea pig. In the end, we see her being dragged off, screaming, by astronauts, no less...
Dicono che alle mie palpebre, Klaus.
Bazzoni would only direct a series of documentaries on Rome during the nineties, never returning to feature films, which leaves the genre fan to much speculation on where he could have gone with the medium, had he chosen to continue. Sadly, he passed away in 2012. As for Footprints, it's a little too long-winded for me to recommend to anyone but hardcore Kinski completists and fanatics of visual style, though it remains ambitious enough an effort to avoid being totally boring, and for that, it earns a single Wop score. I prefer Fifth Cord, as space isn't really my bag, maaaaan.
Smettere di resistere...Pianeta Earth è blu, non c'è niente che puoi fare.
Tonight's movie, whose title translates to "Sun Spots" ( misleadingly released as Autopsy here in the States two years later), stands as an odd entry in the gialli sweepstakes, missing the trademark black gloved killer so prevalent in other films of the genre, but what it lacks in convention it more than makes up for with heaping dollops of sleazy sex, hallucinatory nightmare sequences, and the usual stellar evocative soundtrack from Ennio Morricone, not to mention one of the more delirious premises you're ever gonna find in movies like this. Director Crispino handles the frantic workload with lurid zeal, as though he himself had been affected by the magnetic activity on the star's surface, with an able cast that's headed by usual genre suspects, Mimsy Farmer and Ray Lovelock.
"Let go of my hand already, hippie, my nipples are getting fenceburn."
After opening with a disturbing montage of a sudden rash of suicides attributed to the titular solar phenomena, we head to the Roman morgue, where Simona ( Farmer) hallucinates the reanimation of a chunky female stabbing victim while other corpses come to life and copulate amid the limp come-on's of her assistant Ivo (Ernesto Colli), before her boyfriend Edgar (Lovelock) surprises her on a slab. Later, the body of a leggy redhead (Gaby Wagner) turns up on one of the young pathologist's gurneys just a day after meeting her, the victim of an apparent gun-inflicted suicide on the beach, with Ivo lustily squeezing her dead boobs like a package of ass paper on a supermarket shelf, and just as Simona is laboriously working on her thesis paper on real and staged suicides, what luck. While dining out with her playboy father, Lello (Carlo Cattaneo), she has a sun-induced migraine that tunes her into a clue about the deceased ginger, leading her back to the morgue, where she meets Father Lenox (Barry Primus), the dead girl's brother and a race car driver-turned-priest(!), who believes his sister's death was no suicide...
Empty a bottle of limoncello at the morgue, and this is what happens.
Lenox pummels the superintendent's face in the stairwell with his holy mitts, using the same reckless abandon in investigating his sister's death that forced him to prematurely retire from the racing circuit. As Simona gets closer to the truth at the criminal museum, a booby trap nearly erases her from the equation. Edgar walks away from his accident at the speedway, and shows Simona a vintage pornography slide show that ends in tears and a non-bj (the worst kind, I tell you). Lello does a high window flopper that leaves him mute and paralyzed while his daughter, who never bought a blouse with buttons, parries an attempted morgue-rape by Ivo with a fork. Finally, she goes in for some nudie prod games with Edgar, only realizing mid-coitus that she's in love with Father Lenox. Lello flatlines in the middle of answering a question about his attempted suicide, and in the end, surprise... it's Edgar, who's the right homicidal bastard, scheming with Lenox's sister to rob Simona's father of his fortune. After narrowly escaping a staged double suicide, the priest and doctor rush to the square for a high scaffolding intervention that naturally goes badly. Cue: stock footage of solar flares and Morricone.
...because"Wet Mimsy" doesn't need a witty punchline, at all, really.
Crispino's other directorial efforts include his first attempt at giallo, 1972's L'etrusco uccide ancora aka/ The Dead Are Alive, John il bastardo aka/ John the Bastard (1967), a western, and 1968's Commandos, a war movie starring Lee Van Cleef. The Chicago-born Farmer was no stranger to gialli, herself, appearing in no less than Argento's 4 mosche di velluto grigio aka/ Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1971) and 1974's Il profumo della signora in nero aka/ The Perfume of the Lady in Black (1974). Lovelock, always a favorite, regularly worked with directors like Fulci, Deodato, Grau, Di Leo, and Gariazzo throughout the sixties and seventies. On the scale, Autopsy garners a solid three wops, and comes recommended for anybody with a taste for the lurid side of genre film from the boot. Check it out!
We'll take a torrid turn towards the sexy tonight as we examine one of Papa Joe's sultry softcore Brass-esque period pieces from the mid-eighties, starring the source of my every Matool joke, Al Cliver, as well as the brunette bombshell from Avere vent'anni aka/ To Be Twenty(1978) and former Miss Italy 1975, Lilli Carati, D'Amato fave, the Black Emanuelle herself, Laura Gemser, and last, but never least, the angelic apple of my exploitative eye, Annie Belle, who'd not only outgrown the Lolita roles that comprised much of her early acting career by this point, but also the trademark bleached pixie hairdo in favor of lengthier brunette tresses. Naturally, you won't hear any complaints outta this guy.
"But I didn't want a slave, I wanted cornetti di crema!!"
Elio(Al Cliver) is a victorious soldier returning from an Abyssinian conquest to his Italian villa, bearing gifts for his lovely young wife Alessandra (Carati), who's been carrying on with his secretary Wilma (Belle) while he's been out expanding the empire for his Duce, who was political bedfellows with a fuehrer of his own, ahhh, you all know how that story goes by now... He surprises his spouse with a princess-turned-slave named Zerbal (Gemser), a gift from an African king, gracious for not having been snuffed out by the then-advancing fascist war machine. Alessandra initially hates the dusky gift ( Zerbal greets her with "Hello.Go and get yourself fucked." ), at least until she's given the lanky woman in a kooky saliva-heavy ceremony, after which she's wrapped around Zerbal's impossibly long fingers, in more ways than one, as you had to know was coming.
"...now this is a very cool place to hit...", exclaims Elio (Al Cliver).
Perhaps incensed at not being able to give Elio his usual post boot removal blow job, Zerbal defiantly switches radio stations, breaks windows, and climbs trees barefoot ("Treat her like a pet, not a slave!" Elio scolds) until she finally turns her new mistress' racial slurs into 'ooh's and 'aah's, leaving a jealous Wilma as the odd lesbian out in the mix. Meanwhile, the jilted pantiless secretary and self-proclaimed 23 year old virgin teases and resists the advances of his son Furio (Roberto Caruso), a fellow soldier and young guest, when she isn't wanking Elio off in the hallway as they both eavesdrop Zerbal and Alessandra in the bedroom. After a coke and champagne-fueled sass-off between the mistress and secretary, Elio returns with the equipment with which to make moving pictures, showing his three ladies what has to be the most vintage hardcore stag loop I've ever seen, and exclaiming, "We can do better than that!". Having gone belly up financially, he films his wife dressed as a nun, forcing her privates into the face of a bound up Wilma, before letting his filthy gardener Pepe rape her, on camera. Reunited with Furio, Wilma interrupts Zerbal getting a ceremonial slave lickdown from Elio, chucking the stolen stag film she'd made into a candle below, igniting the Abyssinian's gown, and bringing us to a fiery, vengeful climax.
My stone's gone from flint to jade over Wilma (Annie Belle).
The production values are top notch, and D'Amato has decorated the lush Italian countryside with appropriately beautiful people, none of which were strangers to softcore(only Carati made the jump to hardcore features), to play out his perverted power play here, and the performances aren't entirely flat as one might expect, given the prolific director's track record. I'd have given it three Wops if it didn't overextend itself towards the middle, but a solid double seems fitting for a movie whose plot mirrors the director's own life with a knowing smirk, having had to "resort" to pornography due to "economic" reasons, himself.
Amazing how she maintains eye contact with those obstructions in plain view. I know I couldn't do it.
The nastiness continues...Let's season our month of Italian genre cinema here at the Wop with a mondo documentary from the notorious Castiglioni brothers, Alfredo and Angelo, who would later bring you the famously foul Addio ultimo uomo, aka/The Last Savage (1978), a pair that probably never once flinched in exploiting the dark continent during their prolific partnership, as titles Africa segreta(1969), Magia Nuda (1975), and Africa dolce e selvaggia (1982) might suggest. This time around they enlisted Guerrasio and Pellini, figuring they'd be able to stage a whole lot more shocking and sickening footage as four men than they'd be able to as two, I'd assume. The results are both shocking and sickening, as expected. Not for the easily queasily...
Remember where you were when Lil' Wayne first got his grill hooked up?
After we see a dead, old, tribal gent chucked into a burial hole in the ground, and some brutish-looking "primitive women"(don't blame me, blame the narrator) doing their chores, we're treated to many shots of Nat Geo-level flabby pancake tits. Be forewarned, there might even be more flabby pancake tit here than in Babs Streisand's sex tape. But I'm proud to say, I'll never know for sure. Then we've got malnourished kids eating snot-looking goop out of a cauldron and frying some rodents over an open fire, and a child's burial ceremony that ends with a corpse's severed head in a tree. If you wince at the thought of a dentist's chair, there's some African body mods next that'll have you welcoming his humming drill with an open yapped smile. Then some scarification and the familiar plate-stretched lips, after which, it could only be circumcision time. Some women gather by a puddle to menstruate, then we see the original 'twerkers' shakin' they assets, baby. While some are shown to have converted to Catholicism, we're next treated to the tribe's dead dog dance. It's a gruesome, lively little number, that's followed up by the obligatory dog meat feast. Hey, save a nose for me, ya greedy bastiges...
Some African tribal body mods are a lot creepier than others, just sayin'.
After you've emptied your first chuck bucket, the brothers C show you a thorough shave, some more gruesome-looking body mods, some pre-Sally Struthers fly-eyed children, severed monkey heads, and bat meat on a stick. In the marketplace, a woman purchases a wooden phallus, and then the females have a go at circumcision, themselves. There's lively dancing, enhanced by double shots of goat blood straight off the tap, followed by some peeps chowing down on a live swarm of flying insects as they're being pestered by them. Bloody hospital hijinks precede a formal sequence at a night club that segues into some prostitutes preening for work in the Sudan, and by 'work', I naturally mean a groovy hashish party with 45 rpm pop records in Arabic and spear fishing. An antelope gets slaughtered and a hunter rubs animal poo all over himself as the tribeswomen make vases. After an elderly tribesman expires against a rock, the festivities come to a close with a pair of sloppy child births, as graphic as you like 'em. Cue: Italian lounge music. Roll credits.
Don't forget to wash him off in that rusty coffee can o' rainwater afterwards, for sterility's sake.
This is gross, tasteless, and more often than not, pretty disgusting to behold. Though the single wop score proves me unappreciative of all the cringe-worthy visuals on board here, I guess there might be a few out there who'd approve and groove on such an exploitative and ugly bag as this, but they are in a less karmic, less peaceful place than your humble narrator, and to them, I say: Do your own damned cult movie review website if you don't like it.
Let's momentarily climb out of the cinematic sewers to examine what's widely regarded as the very first giallo, La ragazza che sapeva troppo aka/The Girl Who Knew Too Much, the last film that genre giant, Mario Bava shot in black and white. While Bava looked back at the film and called it preposterous, unable to remember the names of his lead actors (John Saxon and Leticia Roman, for the record, Mario, it's right at the top of the promotional poster, ferchrissakes, haha!), I see a gorgeously framed historic and effective Italian genre film that's no less stylish than many of Bava's other efforts, with lots of great lighting and trademark close ups, and one that serves as a fine viewing experience to anyone interested in good movies, whether they be Bava completists, lovers of the 'whodunit', or even mainstream moviegoers (we call these folks ' reggler-type humps', here at the W, having defecated nothing but frozen dairy products for nearly a half century, and never once hesitant to remind ya at the drop of a cabbie). The film's detractors often point out the light tone and silliness of the plot herein, but it should be noted that Girl is not nearly as silly as Cabin in the Woods (2012).
"Sapevate che gialli vanno meglio con la cocaina e le sigarette di marijuana..."
Nora Davis (Roman) is a gialli-addicted ( the murder mystery novels from which the film genre was born, in this case) blonde that's flying into Rome to pay a visit to her elderly aunt who's become gravely ill. On the plane she's given a spare pack of cigarettes from a friendly fellow passenger, smoking one before she watches the authorities take him into custody at the airport, having smuggled cocaine in his luggage. And marijuana, disguised as regular cigarettes. Hmmm. Things don't get any easier for the pretty young tourist, as her aunt passes on just moments after her arrival, and as she's rushing to retrieve Dr. Bassi (Saxon) from the hospital, she witnesses a woman getting brutally murdered with a butcher knife, passing out in the pouring rain, from the shock of the events, in the process.
Uno...due...una torta fatta di tette. Non riesco a credere a quello che sto vedendo!
Naturally, her testimony is slagged off as the overactive imagination of a mystery loving alcoholic, as she meets Mrs. Torrani (Cortese), a close friend of her late aunt, who offers Nora free room and board in her shadowy house in the Piazza Di Spagna during her stay, so long as she manages to stay out of her husband's locked study. You know, the husband that Nora saw pulling a long blade out of a woman's back and dragging her lifeless form off into the darkness that night? Yeah, that one. Bassi vainly tries to occupy the giallo fanatic's mind with thoughts of romance, but only manages to get himself injured physically while she follows leads in the case, which coincides with a series of murders dating back over a decade, committed by the self-avowed 'Alphabet Killer', who, by all speculation, is up to the letter 'D', Ms. Davis...ahem.
"This Mr. Han seems gracious enough, we should check out his island." says Dr. Bassi (Saxon).
The prolific elder Bava, having also completed I tre volti della paura aka/ Black Sabbath and La frusta e il corpo aka/The Whip and The Body in the same year, would next release Sei donne per l'assassino aka/ Blood and Black Lace (1964).The likeable and familiar Saxon would go on to appear in cult classics from genre directors like Bob Clark (Black Christmas) to Antonio Margheriti (Apocalypse Domani) and Umberto Lenzi (Napoli violenta) in a long, successful career that spans seven decades. Hell, he even threw some pretty stiff looking kicks next to the legendary Bruce Lee in 1973's Enter the Dragon. On the scale, three Wops adequately purveys to you fellow woprophiles that I found 'Too Much' too much, indeed. Recommended.
"There's nobody named Amidala here, now go away. And get your lungs checked..."
If you needed a shower after watching the enjoyably slimy Giallo a Venezia, you might think about trying to dry ice blast yourself clean after getting through tonight's review, a schizophrenic, misogynistic, fetishistic mess from the man who brought you 1980's Blow Job, that openly revels in it's 'Blue' title, before turning a revolting shade of brown. Italian Playboy Playmates Dirce Funari and Leda Simonetti lend the only recognizable faces to Alberto Cavallone's cast in this exercise in endurance that's full of unenjoyable imagery and begs the eternal question, "Where does the role play end and rape begin?" In this particular case, somewhere just after the opening credits finish rolling...
"What's with-ah alla the fahking-ah cans??!!", ponders Daniela ( Daniella Dugas).
We kick off here with a young woman (Dugas) being raped in the woods by an unknown assailant with a stocking pulled over his face. She manages to escape, flagging down a passing car, as driven by Claudio (Claude Maran), a photographer who hates stupid, expressionless women nearly as much as he likes empty cans, and, to a lesser degree, keeping fresh turds in cigarette packs in his fridge. There's also quite a few baby dolls in tiny jars strewn about the place, as well. While keeping a nightmare-plagued Daniela under lock and key, Claudio alternates between photographing and verbally abusing one of his ultra-submissive models (Funari), running a hot light over her nude body. Random footage of war atrocities accompanies his sadism-flavored photo shoots, while Daniela snoops around his flat, prying open a locked door to reveal a slide projector chock full o' can based photographic art. For her crimes, she's forced to crawl around like a dog a bit, after some disciplinary bitch slaps, of course.
You'd need one of Andre the Giant's mitts to blot out that bush.
He takes in Leda (Simonetti), a pixie-haired waif left homeless-by-volcano(you'd think people'd have insurance for that kinda thing), that he later peep-toms on, as she swaps fluids with a lanky, effeminate African (Joseph Dickson, as "Il Negro"), who'd been searching for Daniela, snarkily slagging himself off to Claudio as a homosexual, before dicking down his new secretary on the sneak. Meanwhile, Claudio has also locked up a compliant Sylvia like a starving animal, allowing her to occasionally sloppily lap coffee cake(? the print I watched was thankfully far from crisp...) crumbs off of his chest while she jerks him off. Next up, he's got one of his models pinching off her daily deuce in what looks like a paint roller tray, or it could be a litter box. Does it matter, at this point? In any case, this movie gets a good deal shittier from here on out, both literally and figuratively. Rather than spelling it all out graphically and hilariously for you here, I'm gonna leave the finale for you to discover on your own, should you be inclined to hunt down such obscure art-sleaze cinema, as I had done before you. Woe is me for my curiosity, but woe of woes is you who now oughta know better.
"Ohhh, take me, Willis! Now, while Arnold's still on the dialysis machine..."
The two reasons I sought out this title in the first place: Funari would also appear in Starcrash and Midnight Blue the following year, before her notoriously lascivious turns in D'Amato's Le notti erotiche dei morte viventi aka/Sexy Nights of the Living Dead(1980) and Porno Holocaust (1981). Simonetti appeared in Bruno Mattei's La vera storia della monaca di Monza aka/The True Story of the Nun of Monza(1980) and Detenute violente aka/Hell Penitentiary with Ajita Wilson in 1984. I think Doc, a fellow of a milder tolerance for the disgusting, who naturally vacated the room for good when the paint tray came out, may have best put the exclamation on our observations tonight, when he said, afterwards: "I'd rather watch the guy with the eggs." One Wop. For hardcore genre freaks only.
Not the worst thing that gets eaten in this movie. Trust me.
So now we've finally come to Mario Landi's infamously sleazy Giallo a Venezia, rougher than a pair of stucco underwear and seedier than the couch cushions in a V.I.P. lounge. Impressive, when you think about it, that a movie set in as lush, picturesque surroundings as Venice could have you reaching for a bar of soap as quickly as this one does. The suspense and mystery elements typically found in gialli are nowhere to be found here, instead, Landi chooses to emphasize the misogyny and sadism of the sub-genre, and even then, it all seems pretty phoned in, in the end, thanks to lifeless performances from the cast, sequences that suffer from poor lighting, lengthy, pointless extreme close-ups, or the film's overall dull look, due to the dogshit film stock utilized within. Still, despite being little more than a cheap porno with some amateur gore thrown in, you might be embarrassed at how much you're entertained by it, under the proper substances, errr...circumstances.
" 'Ay Babalugats, scommetto che posso mangiare cinquante uova..."
We open with a man being stabbed repeatedly in the goodies, and a woman floundering in the drink, with both corpses turning up on dry land, and thus, perplexing the fuck out of one Inspector De Paul (Blynn), a frazzle-headed wise ass with an affinity for hard-boiled eggs (seriously...there's maybe two or three scenes in all where he's not sloppily chain-eating them, or at least peeling one and throwing the bits of shell on the floor like an ignorant scumbag, but I digress...) for much of the duration. His lazy investigation reveals that Flavia (Leonora Fani) and Fabio (Gianni Dei) were a romantic couple at growing odds with his increasingly deviant and perverse sex kinks and cocaine abuse, as flashbacks show what begins as harmless exhibitionism (he fucks her in front of an effeminate-looking peeper), soon degenerates into humiliation, rape, prostitution, and finally, murder. After blowing some nose candy and thumbing through antique pornography while an unsatisfied Flavia scolds her beav elsewhere (for, I dunno, twenty boring minutes solid?), Fabio forces his girl into a sweaty, public threeway in a movie theater with a perverted Joe Spinell lookalike, who whacks his meat on camera.
Let Jim Kelly up from that leg scissors, sister, you're gonna kill the brother.
Through the late girl's friends, like Marzia (Mariangela Giordano), who's dealing with an obsessive stalker herself, De Paul learns that Flavia had also been cat o'nine tailed, forced into seducing the delivery boy, and ultimately, to turn a daylight trick while Fabio watched from a distance, only to be gang raped by a pair of men, in the process, while her boyfriend does fuck all. Elsewhere, Marzia gets laid, which causes her stalker to burn the man alive in a jealous rage, and saw off the woman's leg with a hacksaw... all while she remains conscious, mind you (she passes out from the agony, but he sportingly slaps her awake). De Paul arrests the perp, who confesses, yet denies murdering Fabio and Flavia, but the inspector discovers through yet another source how both bodies came to end up on land, since that particular detail seems to be the only one he's at all concerned with (t'was murder-suicide after all, as the audience will figure out about five minutes in), wrapping up both the case, and the movie.
Post-groceries handy? Now that's what I call gratitude.
Landi worked mostly in television during his long career in the industry, though he did offer audiences the deliriously inept Patrick vive ancora (1980), which also starred Dei in the lead. Fani also appeared in Enzo Castellari's Sensivita aka/ The House by the Edge of the Lake(1979). Giordano, you'll probably remember as the incestual mother who gets her nipple chewed off by a zombified Peter Bark in Bianchi's Lei notte del terrore (1981), though she also turned up in Landi's aforementioned Patrick sequel, La bimba di Satana(1982), Malabimba (1979), and Michele Soavi's La Setta (1991), among others. On the scale, Giallo rates an unimpressive single Wop and not goose eggs, as I've seen quite enough of those for the evening...
Who is that, amputating a girl's leg with a hacksaw, behind those Foster Grants!