Italian Gothic Horror Films, 1980-1989
Published by McFarland, 2019. 232 pages.
By Roberto Curti
Being that this is the 3rd book in the series by Curti involving the gothic horror films of Italy, this latest one, covering the ’80s, it’s sort of a nice little walk down memory lane for me. The ’80s is when I started to become aware of these films. With the boom of VHS tapes, the horror section was filled with these flicks from Italy, promising (and usually delivering) the bloody and gory goods to us eager viewers. So getting to read several pages on some of my favorites, namely the ones from Argento, Bava, Fulci, and Soavi, there is plenty to be learned here.
Not only will you get to read about some of your favorite classic Italian horror flicks like Argento’s Inferno (1980) or Fulci’s City of the Living Dead (1980), The Beyond and House by the Cemetery (both 1981), as well as Claudio Fragasso’s Monster Dog (1985) and Luigi Cozzi’s Paganini Horror (1989), you will get so much insight and information that I bet you’re going to want to re-watch some of these if you haven’t seen them in a while. You’ll learn maybe why Monster Dog turned out like it did, which could make you give it (and Fragasso) a little more credit. Maybe. Continue reading
150 Movies You Should Die Before You See
Published by Adams Media, 2010. 290 pages.
By Steve Miller
This one had me really confused, especially the title. I first picked it up because I thought it might give me a few ideas for some future Turkey Day viewing. But as I read through it, I became really confused at just what Miller was trying to do here.
Each film has a very short synopsis along with cast and crew listing. Then a paragraph under the Why It Sucks moniker, a ratings of how many Thumbs Down, then a Crappies Award for whatever he didn’t care for.
In his introduction, Miller writes that there is “something magical about bad movies. Something that makes them worth the sometimes considerable effort to sit through.” Now while I really don’t like the term “bad movies” when you’re talking about a film you enjoy watching (same goes with “guilty pleasure”), I’ll let it slide here because that is an discussion for another time. But if you’re talking about movies that you do enjoy watching, then why are you putting them in a book with the title telling people NOT to watch them? Continue reading
Twenty years ago, when us deviant fans of European horror films that were near impossible to find over here in the states, you were lucky as hell when you were able to find a 5th generation copy of Joe D’Amato’s notorious 1980 film Anthropophagous, and even more so if it had the famous fetus eating scene intact. Sounds demented, I know. But when you’re trying to find the a version that was completely uncut, if that scene was in there, you knew you had a big score on your hands.
As if I didn’t love the Music Box Theatre enough already, they have made a deal with Scorpion Releasing to distribute a few of Scorpion’s titles on Blu-ray and DVD, through their Doppelgänger Releasing division. The first of these titles to be coming out is one of my personal favorites of Dario Argento, his 1987 film Opera, which should be out before the end of this year. With the release of Suspiria from Synapse Films, this is going to make a great way to end the year for Italian horror fans.
Dellamorte Dellamore (1994)
Directed by Michele Soavi
Starring Rupert Everett, Francois Hadji-Lazaro, Anna Falchi, Mickey Knox, Fabiana Formica, Clive Riche, Barbara Cupisti, Anton Alexander
The first time I watched this film, it was from a bootleg VHS tape, several generations down from the original source, in Italian with no sub-titles. I was very familiar with the director, being a huge fan of his first three films, and was very excited to see his latest, even if it meant watching it under these particular circumstances. And it didn’t matter. Soavi’s use of the camera, the look and feel of the film, and giving us something like we hadn’t seen before, even though I might not have understood exactly what was going on, I still loved it. Soon, I would upgrade my copy to another crappy looking tape, but this time in English. Then a great looking one, but back to Italian. Then finally splurging the money and acquiring the actual Japanese laserdisc, which has one of the best covers to date, which you can see to the right.
Not sure why, but when this film was released over here in the states, some moron decided that the original titles would confuse people, so they changed it to Cemetery Man. Nice job, dumbass.