Quando Alice ruppe lo specchio (1988)

touchofdeath

Quando Alice ruppe lo specchio(1988)

Director:Lucio Fulci

Writers:Lucio Fulci (story), Lucio Fulci (screenplay)

Stars:Brett Halsey, Ria De Simone, Al Cliver,Zora Kerova

Lester Parson is a lonely gigolo who dates and kills off middle-aged women in ultra-gory fashion just for the pleasure of watching them die, as well as to take their money and jewelery as well as cook and eat their remains for his dinner.His antics seem to have secured him a relatively carefree life,until he finds out that there’s a copycat killer.His life will eventualy become a living hell…

I stand perplexed and pretty undecisive about this little,incredibly cheap looking, late Fulci affair.Of course it’s sort of refreshing witnessing Fulci getting back to the comedy without completely dismissing gore but on the other hand this film remains flawed and unable to decide what sort of film it actually wants to be.There is a lighthearted tone prevailing throughout the entire film duration but the ending is pretty dark without being utterly somber.

Let’s face it…Mid 80ies were extremely hard towards Fulci,his career went downhill,he ceased to do films with his trusted team(Saccheti,Salvati e.t.c) and the budgets he was given were extremely modest.However he managed to deliver the goods in a few occassions and this is one of them.”A touch of death” reaps the benefits of a semi-original storyline penned by Fulci himself and is blessed by a vivid lead performance,courtesy of Brett Halsey,whose portrayal of Lester Parson radiates gusto,doubt and despair depending on the particular moments of the plot themselves.

There is a common belief that this movie along with “A cat in the Brain” are letters from Fulci towards his friends and enemies.However the assumptions that these films are strictly autobiographical or self portraits seems to be a little bit far fetched to me.Sure Fulci was an embittered genre director suffering from a poor health at that point but I’m unable to tell whether  “A touch of Death” is a personal “j’accuse”  Fulci’s towards the critics that pigeonholed him and tore him to pieces and if that was the case,then the screenplay leaves a lot to be desired.The movie follows a relatively simple story line and even if Fulci played the card of doing this film based on his troubled existence he sort of fell short.

However,a Touch of death occasionally offers tacky gore,goofy comical moments and a relaxed pace that however doesn’t bore the viewer.Halsey is also adequate.On the downside,the cinematography is as cheap looking as in films such as “Demonia” or “Cat in the Brain”,but with the budget restrictions Fulci had to cope with,it’s still a miracle that he managed to even shoot and complete these aforementioned films.

An oddball in Fulci’s filmography .A “touch of death” doesn’t have the cult appeal and following of “a Cat in the brain” but it will satisfy the most die-hard fans of the late great Italian Maestro.

Κατάμαυρη κωμωδία τρόμου από το Λούτσιο Φούλτσι.Η ατμόσφαιρα και το πνεύμα που επικρατούν εδώ θυμίζουν αρκετά το “A cat in the Brain” ,με τη διαφορά οτι το δεύτερο φιλμ είναι απόλυτα εξωφρενικό και έχει αποκτήσει καλτ υπόσταση πράγμα το οποίο δε συμβαίνει με αυτό εδώ.

Από άποψη φωτογραφίας είναι μαύρο χάλι όπως οτιδήποτε σκηνοθέτησε ο Fulci από το “Aenigma” και μετά,αλλά ο σχετικά ικανοποιητικός ρυθμός,το άφθονο gore ,η σχετικά πρωτότυπη ιστορία και η παρουσία κάλτ ηθοποιών όπως :Brett Halsey,Al Cliver και της Zora Kerova, πιθανόν να αποτελέσουν πόλο έλξης για τους βαμμένους Ιταλόφιλους και για τους οπαδούς του σπουδαίου αυτού σκηνοθέτη.

Αντικειμενικά η ταινία αυτή δε συγκρίνεται με οτιδήποτε έκανε ο Fulci μέχρι το Murderock,αλλά είναι σίγουρα καλύτερη από αηδίες σαν το “demonia”.

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Uninvited (1988)

Killer-Cat-C Killer-Cat

Uninvited (1988)

Director:Greydon Clark

Writer:Greydon Clark

Stars:Toni Hudson, Eric Larson, Alex Cord,George  Kennedy,Clu Gulagher

A bunch of young people are invited to a Caribbean cruise on a gangster’s yacht, to distract the attention of the authorities. Unfortunately, a mutant cat which escaped from a test laboratory also gets on board, and kills most of the passengers.

An ode to tastelessness and tackiness,”Uninvited” will not dissapoint the Z-grade horror(sort of)afficionados. A cross section of different film genres like sci-fi,horror & adventure movies, this movie pretty much manages to mangle  the best traits of the aforementioned genres beyond recognition and to come up with a deformity,excuse me the pun.

For starters,the idea of a mutated laboratory cat ,escaping the lab where it was kept and sneaking into a yacht doubts belief and this is maybe just the tip of the iceberg,as in the particular yacht also are bimbos,jocks and mobsters to be found.

Undoubtedly the moments when the mutated cat dispatches some member of the cast are beyond hilarious , worth the price of admission and pretty much salvage the film from sheer boredom,I reckon Bruno Mattei would be jealous of those scenes.Other than that the dialogues,performances and filming are stereotypical to the core and highly reminiscent of their era.

All in all,fans of trashy entertainment are bound to have a good time…

Απενοχοποιημένο Βιντεοσκουπίδι με τον πανταχού παρόντα George Kennedy.Πρωταγωνιστεί επίσης μια συμπαθέστατη γάτα ,η οποία έχει διαφύγει από ένα εργαστήριο και σκορπάει τον τρόμο όποτε κάποιος από το κάστ της χαλάει τη ζαχαρένια.

Λοιπόν τι έχουμε εδώ?Πλαστικό μοντέλο γιώτ,τύπου το καράβι των playmobil?Check! Ομοίωμα μεταλλαγμένης γάτας που μοιάζει με τον Chewbacca?Check! Ηλίθιες σκηνές gore?Check! Άθλιες ερμηνείες?Check! Άφθονη eightίλα? In spades!!!

Όπως καταλαβαίνετε αγαπητοί,τα λίγα λόγια ζάχαρη και τα καθόλου μέλι.Η ταινία είναι βάλσαμο για τον αμφιβληστροειδή ή αντίστοιχη της μαύρης πανούκλας,ανάλογα με τη φάση που βρίσκεται ο καθένας.Εγώ όταν την είδα γούσταρα τη σκουπιδίλα της,αλλά μου άσπρισαν τα μαλλιά από τις τεράστιες κοιλιές της πλοκής,κάτι το οποίο εκτός από αναμενόμενο είναι και χαρακτηριστικό κομμάτι της B-movie λογικής,αφού ο Clark προσπαθεί εναγωνίως να προσθέσει κινηματογραφικό χρόνο στην ταινία  εισάγοντας ανούσιες σκηνές στην πλοκή,παρ’όλα αυτά νομίζω οτι αν και άνισο,το τελικό αποτέλεσμα ικανοποιεί τον οπαδό των πολύ κακών ταινιών τρόμου.

Προφανώς το συγκεκριμένο φίλμ δε θα αποτελέσει άλλο ένα βέλος στη φαρέτρα των υπερασπιστών των δικαιωμάτων των ζώων,αφού είναι φέσι του κερατά,αλλά οι οπαδοί του σκουπιδοτρόμου θα περάσουν 80 ευχάριστα λεπτά.

Truth or Dare?: A Critical Madness (1986)

TruthOrDare-1986

Truth or Dare?: A Critical Madness (1986)

Director:Tim Ritter

Writer:Tim Ritter

Stars:John Brace, Mary Fanaro, Bruce Gold

Mike Strauber catches his wife Sharon in bed with his best friend Jerry. He gets mad and takes off to embark on an adventure of murder and self-mutilation in demented games of truth or dare.

I had high expectations when I pressed play and sat comfortably on my  couch to witness the pretty acknowledged SOV splatter bravado & bravura of “Truth or dare?:A Critical madness”.Unfortunately I was a bit let down by this dated affair.

Sure it’s not the weakest splatter entry from the mid 80ies,let alone its humble origin as a SOV movie enables us to “forgive” the film for its vast array of flaws and laughable moments,but as the plot unfolds it gets even harder for the seasoned horror fan to take this flick seriously.The main idea behind the film is interesting but is unfortunately undermined by the gaping plot holes of the actual screenplay and the continuity errors.The director of the film Tim Ritter has already stated that his producer turned sour after he learnt Ritter was only in his late teens at the time of shooting and he started interfering with the filming and editing process,this resulting in Ritter’s movie ending sort of “butchered”.Then the supposedly over-the-top special effects turned to being of surprisingly amateurish quality.

However the horror novice will certainly find moments of unmistakable horror charm here and there,with prime examples being the campfire scene and the infamous madhouse sequence.John Brace adequate acting in the lead role also adds a certain appeal to some moments of that particular film and watching him snapping and gradually sinking more and more into his madness can occasionally be amusing but alas his games of truth or dare could be much more effective given more panache and an actual professional film making treatment.Thus the end result seems to be a little “undercooked” if am allowed the pun.

On a last note.The absolutely atrocious soundtrack makes this film even more of a guilty pleasure than already is.

Μία από τις πλέον διαβόητες straight on video ταινίες τρόμου της δεκαετίας του 80 δείχνει δυστυχώς τις ρυτίδες της εν έτει 2015.

Είναι η απόλυτη απουσία συνοχής,τα παντελώς ερασιτεχνικά,ακόμα και για τα 80ies, ειδικά εφφέ ,είναι το αδιάφορο φιλμάρισμα,το άθλιο soundtrack…Οι ατέλειες της συγκεκριμένης ταινίας δείχνουν να μην έχουν τέλος…

Παρ’όλα αυτά η ταινία δεν είναι εντελώς για τα μπάζα,ειδικά αν σας γοητεύει η αισθητική ταινιών φτιαγμένων για την αγορά του βίντεο,όπως “Sledgehammer” ,”The Video Dead” κλπ. Κανα δυό σκηνές ανθολογίας και μια σχετικά ενδιαφέρουσα σεναριακή ιδέα βοηθούν στο να περάσει η ώρα σχετικά εύκολα.

Mην τη βάλετε επ’ουδενί πάντως στη λίστα προτεραιότητας με τις ταινίες προς θέαση…