Death Smiles on a Murderer (1973)
Directed by Joe D’Amato
Starring Ewa Aulin, Klaus Kinski, Angela Bo, Sergio Doria, Attilio Dottesio, Luciano Rossi
Italian icon Aristide Massaccesi, used so many different pseudonyms throughout his career, it’s tough to keep track of them. But the one name that he is most commonly known under is Joe D’Amato. This film here is his first real horror film as director, as well as co-writing it and being the cinematographer. It really does show his style, because he usually didn’t go for anything really flashy or outrageous, but still packed a punch.
Every single horror fan out there probably knows of and has seen The Blob. Probably both versions! But how many of them has seen the Caltiki: The Immortal Monster!
This Italian film came out a year after we all saw Steve McQueen do battle with the large purple gelatinous form. But Caltiki gives us another deadly devouring mass, which was directed by Riccardo Freda, with none other than Mario Bava as the cinematographer. Though, as the stories go, during production, Freda left, quit, or just walked off the film which was then completely by Bava. None the less, this film is a must for horror fans. There are some effects in here that are pretty damn creepy and gory for a film that came out in 1959.
Now, thanks to Arrow Video, you will have the chance to see this film in all its gory glory. This release will feature a brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative, with High Definition blu-ray (1080P) and standard definition DVD presentations. It will also feature the original mono Italian and English soundtracks, with newly translated English subtitles for the Italian language track.
It looks like now that Arrow Video is satisfied with just putting about amazing releases on blu-ray, but now are moving into the reference book market. How dare they! Like this company couldn’t do anything else to make me love what they are doing, they put out this book! Major kudos to them!
Let’s face it…I spend a lot of money on books. With over 800 titles in my personal library, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t look upon my bookshelves and admire the beauty laid out upon the shelves. Like with any library, there many titles that I could easily pull out and get lost for an hour just paging through them, reading bits and pieces, taking in the glorious photos and illustrations. I’ve always considered that to be one of the joys of having a book collection. It’s like an open doorway to who knows where.
Most of the titles I have in my library are just standard reference books, filled with the knowledge that I know the author(s) spent a lot of time doing research and planning, even before they actually started putting pen to paper…or fingers to keyboard. I give a lot of credit to most authors that take the time and effort to go through all this work. I say “most authors” because I’ve run across a few other the years that need to double check some of their facts. But that is for another rant.
But there are some titles out there where the authors and publishers have gone far beyond being just a collection of opinions, facts, and photos, making it truly a work of art. Editions that can suck you in, even if it is just admiring the craftsmanship put into the book. From the design to the layout, it is an incredible journey you take once you pull it off your shelf. This physical medium is still a very important one, and one where I feel some of the beauty and charm of an actual book would be lost in the digital format. Especially the ones that seem to go above and beyond just publishing a book. They really do create a piece of art.
So I wanted to take a moment of your time to cover a few titles that I think fit into this category. I will say that some of these titles were a bit pricy when they first came out, and some go for even a higher price now. But there were a few of these that were pretty reasonably priced and are still accessible. Sure, they can still be a bit expensive, but we are talking about art here, right? And usually, at least in my experience, these kind of books never lose their value, In fact, the value tends to rise over the years. So if when you’re trying to justify the cost, think of it of an investment…that you can actually learn something from!
Thank you to the publishers for taking the time, the chance, the effort, and the money to put out such incredible books.