The Devonsville Terror

The Devonsville Terror (1983)

directed by:Ulli Lommel

cast:Suzanna Love, Donald Pleasence, and Robert Walker

Oh gee , the ever embarrassing Auteur of guilty pleasures,the buddy of Andy Warhol,the  one and only Ulli Lommel . I admit that my first encounter with his filmography , the abysmal “Cocaine Cowboys” was a true drag and a torment in the form of a VHS tape.But has this creator of infamously bad movies directed anything worthwhile except for “The Boogeyman” ? Affirmative my dear Sirs and Madams.The Devonsville Terror is a very interesting and atmospheric witchcraft horror romp that also has its fair share of nastiness for all of you,dear gorehounds.

The film opens in 1683 Massachusetts where three women in the town of Devonsville are kidnapped by the townsfolk and systematically tortured and executed. After the final woman’s execution, her apparition appears in the sky and a thunderstorm begins.Then, 300 years later, Dr. Warley (Pleasence) investigates the witch’s purported curse on Devonsville. Three liberated, assertive women move into town, which angers the bigoted, male-dominated town fathers. One of the women is a reincarnation of the witch, who proceeds to exact revenge on the town males. Meanwhile, Dr. Warley fights a supernatural illness resulting from his lineage to the town’s founding fathers who were responsible for the execution.

If this is a “j’accuse” against bigotry,chauvinsm and a paean of sorts in favour of female emancipation or a nice exercise in exploitative film making it’s up to the individual to decide,but this little movie set in a Bible belt New England town with a very dark history really delivers the goods and is blessed by two very memorable sequences,the beginning and the ending ones. The overall atmosphere is very dark and ominous and Suzanna Love, who also co-wrote the script , delivers a noteworthy performance. Pleasence is his usual great self. A charismatic actor that blessed Genre Cinema with his genuine aura.

Hats off, Herr Lommel, this flick was one of the most pleasant cinematic surprises of the last month . Recommnded!

Stay tuned for a “Boogeyman” presentation…

Ώχ αμάν ,ταινία του Ούλι Λόμμελ, του μαικήνα του κακού film making, του θαμώνα του στούντιο 54 , του ανθρώπου που διακόρευσε τη νύχτα μου προ τετραετίας με εκείνο το τραγικό από όλες τις απόψεις Cocaine Cowboys.Ε ,ναι λοιπόν θα το κάνω…θα τη βάλω τη ρημαδοκασέτα στο Βίντεο και ο,τι  βρέξει ας κατεβάσει..

Αρχίζει να μουγκρίζει το πιστό μου, σκυλί του πολέμου, Thomson και εισαγόμεθα σε σκηνικό εποχής τύπου Σάλεμ…Ιεροεξεταστές ξεπαστρεύουν όμορφες κορασίδες βασιζόμενοι απλά στο γεγονός ότι οι φερόμενες ως μάγισσες απέρριψαν το ερωτικό τους κάλεσμα…Σόδομα και Γόμορρα…Γεγονός όμως είναι πως η δράση φέρνει αντίδραση καθώς μια από τις μάγισσες την ώρα που ξεροψήνεται εξαπολύει  βαριά κατάρα στην πόλη του Devonsville…κατάρα η οποία θα πάρει και θα σηκώσει τους κατοίκους της συντηρητικής πόλης 300 χρόνια μετά,όταν τρεις σύγχρονες ,χειραφετημένες γυναίκες θα μετοικήσουν εκεί…

Τον πιάνετε το συλλογισμό του Λόμμελ . Η χειραφέτηση κατατροπώνει τη μισαλλοδοξία και το Σωβινισμό/Φαλλοκρατισμό…Μπα! Μάλλον σκέφτομαι πολύ.

Ασχέτως ποια είναι η στάση του καθενός απέναντι στο γυναικείο Ακτιβισμό, η ταινία μετράει άσχημα , έχει μια υπέροχη , δυσοίωνη ατμόσφαιρα ,ωραίες ερμηνείες ,καλή κινηματογράφηση και ωραίο σκουπιδο-gore.

Αλλαλάζω από ικανοποίηση και θέλω κι άλλο…

Προτεινόμενο τεφαρίκι.

Madman

Madman (1982)

Directed by: Joe Giannone

Cast: Gaylen RossTony FishHarriet Bass

Semi-legendary and übercult backwoods/camp based and campy at the same time slasher entry featuring Gaylen Ross of “Dawn of the Dead” fame and directed by Joe Giannone

At a summer camp for youths, cocky pre-teen calls out the name of mass serial killer “Madman Marz”. Suddenly, counselors are being maimed and slaughtered in various ways by the backwoodsman who has returned when his name was called.

For starters Madman Marz is another underground film legend, a poor man’s Jason Vorhees or a Cropsy’s (the Burning) cousin and to set the record straight my statement comes as a compliment and not as a defamatory comment.

Madman the film delivers the whole cult slasher package, it features graphic gory murders and  inane moments of comical relief or  sex scenes that border with utter campiness. But the whole affair is executed with incredible panache and with a sense for the effectiveness of the  visuals. The night scenes are photographed superbly and the use of blue filter in order for the coldness and the eeriness of the proceedings to be enhanced was rarely more effective. The cool looking good ole’ Marz  is his usual self…moaning, groaning and dispatching people with ease ,in other words a perfect cinematic Boogeyman.

Nothing wrong here. Recommended…

…και ο θρύλος ξεκινά κάπως έτσι…

”ο τρελός Μαρζ,αγρότης στο επάγγελμα,άγνωστων λοιπών στοιχείων ήταν ένας κακός,μα πολύ κακός,άνθρωπος ο οποίος δολοφόνησε την οικογένειά του και λιντσαρίστηκε από τον τοπικό όχλο.Δυστυχώς όμως για τους πρωταγωνιστές του cult αυτού σλάσερ σκηνοθεσίας Joe Giannone επιστρέφει από τα καζάνια της κόλασης κάθε φορά που κάποιος ξεστομίζει το όνομά του.Γνωρίζοντας το φολκλόρ του ιδιώματος κανείς σώφρων θεατής δεν θα γινόταν να υποπέσει σε ένα τέτοιο τραγικό λάθος,ένα λάθος όμως το οποίο οι πρωταγωνιστές του Madman διαπράττουν και γίνεται μοιραία της τρελής (εχμ).Ο Μαρζ ξεπαστρεύει τη συντριπτική πλειοψηφία του καστ με πολύ μπρίο και εμείς αποθεώνουμε ,ψαρωμένοι με τη γουστόζικη ,πνιγμένη στους τόνους του μπλε, νυχτερινή φωτογραφία και από το άφθονο gore προσφορά του φιλμ.

Ο Μαρζ είναι άλλος ένας καλτ αντιήρωας του ιδιώματος με αξιοπρεπή καριέρα στο άθλημα και τυγχάνει αγάπης από τους οπαδούς. Μη φανταστείτε ότι λατρεύεται σαν επίγειος θεός,βλέπε τα πουλέν των σλασερ, Jason Vorhees και Michael Myers ,αλλά είναι κάτι σαν τον Κρόπσυ του the Burning,αντεργκράουντ και απειλητικός…

Αγαπάμε Μαρζ,αγαπάμε Madman.Η ταινία μέτρησε το ίδιο,ίσως και παραπάνω με την πρώτη φορά που την είδα,πριν καμιά δωδεκαριά χρόνια…

Και όπως θα έλεγε και ο κύριος Μπάμπης του ηρωικού Βιντεοκλάμπ ναού Μανιάτικ «η ταινία είναι σπέσιαλ»

Women in Prison Marathon Vol.2

The Concrete Jungle(1982)

Directed by: Tom DeSimone

Cast: Jill St. JohnTracey E. BregmanBarbara Luna

Superior “Women-in- Prison” offering Tom DeSimone who would later sign a very entertaining self parody of the same genre in the form of “Reform school girls”.

When her slimy boyfriend Danny (Peter Brown) uses his unsuspecting girlfriend Elizabeth (Tracy Bregman) to carry a stash of cocaine in her skis, she is nabbed by airport security. After a speedy trial, she is sent to the Correctional Institution for Women in California. There she learns quickly that she must toughen up if she hopes to leave there in one piece. She also eventually finds that the warden (Jill St John) is not only cruel and unsympathetic, but in cahoots with an inmate Cat (Barbara Luna) the prison’s Queen Bee, who is her partner in a prison drug and prostitution racket. When Elizabeth witnesses a murder committed by Cat and her henchwomen, she spurns her attentions and becomes her enemy. Meanwhile, Deputy Director Shelly Meyers (Nita Talbot), aware of the drug and prostitution business run by the warden and Cat, also suspects that Elizabeth has knowledge that could help her convict the villains, and she begins to press her for information but things soon escalate to a bloody conclusion.

The very well known recurring theme of the wrongfully accused innocent cat that ends up in “the concrete jungle” surrounded by brutal cons and has to toughen up in order to make it repeats itself once again here, but if we want to set the record straight we need to admit that this film was one of the first exploring such a storyline and later got plagiarized by better (the naked cage) or worse (reform school girls) offerings of the WIP genre.

To his credit DeSimone builds tension without breaking new ground. His picture is a superior exploitation affair , at least in terms of cinematography and performances and it never drags . Other than that the limitations of the genre are obvious and the viewer mostly has to deal with a repeated impression of Deja-Vu . Even the electrocution sequence was later lifted in its entirety by the aforementioned “the naked cage” .

Let’s face it, we are dealing with one of the most exploitative subgenres in the entire Exploitation genre, hence the viewer might deal with cringeworthy moments aplenty , however from a technical and cinematic view this picture offers the complete package. Recommended

The second film of the bunch actually tricked me into believing that it’s also a “Women-in-Prison” affair but oh well…it’s not.It’s like the reels of “Gator Bait” and “99 Women” got mixed up and then projected in random order . Anyway let’s visit the swingin’ Seventies and the “thunder county” in particular.

 Thunder County (1974) aka “Convict Women’

 Directed by: Chris Robinson

Cast: Mickey RooneyTed CassidyCarol Locatell

Four women escape from a prison and wind up stranded in a swamp with a lecherous redneck after them. Meanwhile, an federal agent tracks a ring of heroin smugglers through the same swamp.

Cool grindhouse/drive-in friendly affair that tries to pack as many exploitation subgenres as possible under the same shell. Prison action, check. Crime /action, c heck. Backwoods hicksploitation ,check .Alright . it sounds really great .Well it’s not , but it’s a watchable affair mostly suffering from a lazy start . “Convict Women” fortunately picks up ,in terms of pace , during the second reel and the two thirds of the film are good fun featuring some paradoxically tame looking ‘gators , a really lecherous looking redneck and a cool looking , in a Seventies tacky way, Mafia guy.

The performances are alright and the overall plot pretty interesting if not breathtaking .The cinematography is grainy and cheap looking and looks like a typical grindhouse affair, a product of its time .Hence nostalgic as we are , we are obliged to shed a tear or two…

Nice little flick,especially the action part. Unfortunately the women-in-prison part is a dreary and wretched piece of celluloid that almost destroys the beginning of the movie .Fortunately things got remedied pretty fast.

Suitable for a look or two ,but no more…

Giallo Fever

The killer reserved nine seats (1974)

directed by:Giuseppe Bennati

cast:Rosanna Schiaffino, Chris Avram, Eva Czemerys,Paola Senatore,Janet Agren,Howard Ross,Lucretia Love

Initially pedestrian and inept whodunnit later turned into an atmospheric exercise in Giallo film making with Gothic horror overtones , the all star cast featuring “L’Assassino ha riservato nove Poltrone” manages to deliver the goods ,not because it makes any sense but for  being very stylish and atmospheric.

Patrick Davenant, a wealthy aristocrat, invites a group of friends to visit a theatre inside his villa, a place which later reveals itself as sinister. Within a short time, the guests realise that they are trapped in the villa. A merciless killer then begins to murder them one by one.

It’s obvious from the first moment into the film that the scriptwriter tried to cram as many giallo stereotypes as possible into his storyline.Τhere is jealousy,hatred,envy,sexual shenanigans,homoeroticism,greed,perversion…literally all the cardinal sins of the Giallo golden book of rules.The problem is the way the plot is constructed, which is heavily flawed and one cannot help  smirking or even bursting into laughter especially when noticing the gigantic plot holes of the storyline.From the 40 minute mark and on the viewer has already got used to to the inane proceedings and to the pedestrian performances and can finally enjoy some impressive gothic tinged horror sequences that are executed with panache, as well as some smoking Eurobabes showing as much skin as possible.

It’s only when the gothic sublot comes into the picture that everything starts to gel better.Suddenly the theatre walls appear more frightening,so does the theatre mask sporting killer.A killer that manages to offer at least two highly memorable killings to the Giallo hall of fame.The ending is a little bit implausible and far fetched but cool nonetheless.

Verdict:The Killer reserved nine seats will be a challenge at first,but once accustomed to its agenda and pace,it’s a pretty good Giallo entry.

On the other side of the fence,try to top “The strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh” if you can…

Lo strano vizio della Signora Wardh (1971)

Ah,Sergio Martino…what a great guy.Especially during the Seventies he seemed like a relentless and unstoppable machine of great film making.He did an array of great flicks varying from gritty crime thrillers (Violent professionals) and sex comedies to Gialli (Torso).The strange vice of Mrs. Wardh is probably as good as a giallo movie can ever be and blends style with nice storytelling.

Newly married to an older man, Julie returns to Vienna, where a razor wielding slasher is killing women. Jean, her cruel and sadistic former lover, immediately contacts her, certain that only he can satisfy her strange vice. But she rejects him. She also meets George, the handsome cousin of her friend Carol; both are newly rich, thanks to an uncle’s death. Julie’s husband Neil is away frequently, so George pours on the charm. Meanwhile, it seems that the slasher is now focused on Julie. Bodies pile up, other murders are barely avoided, and George invites her to go away with him. Can it end happily?

Well it depends on what someone could call a happy ending .Truth is that all the twists and turns that are coherently narrated in this movie are probably going to make the  viewer’s jaw  drop ,plus someone could never see the final conclusion coming.

Other than that it is business as usual for Sergio Martino and his trusted team of great people.You have his brother Luciano operating as the producer and a great cast of giallo regulars delivering mesmerizing performances.Edwige Fenech,George Hilton and Ivan Rassimov are in top form here.Sergio himself directs with verve and gusto and delivers some quintessential and haunting dream sequences plus some nice razor slashings.

Highly recommended top notch Giallo.Enjoy…

Το τζιάλλο παθιάρικο και μεσογειακό μέσα στην οπερατική του υπερβολή ενδείκνυται  ως κινηματογραφικό θέαμα  και οπτικοακουστική επένδυση για τις ζεστές καλοκαιρινές Αθηναικές νύχτες .Σήμερα το ιδίωμα όπου οι δολοφόνοι φοράνε σχεδόν πάντα μαύρα γάντια,μονοπωλεί το ενδιαφέρον του μπλογκ.

Κατεβάζουμε χειρόφρενο και βάζουμε πρώτη με το “The killer reserved nine seats” ,ένα από τα πιο δευτεροκλασάτα,πλην διασκεδαστικότατα δείγματα του είδους.΄Το παρόν διαδραματίζεται σε “καταραμένο” θέατρο που αναβλύζει γοτθική εσανς.Βασισμένο στα έργα μυστηρίου της Άγκαθα Κρίστι, πλην με το πόδι κολλημένο στο sleaze γκάζι , το παρόν φίλμ ξεκινάει λίγο αμήχανα, σαν μια παρέλαση από κλισέ ,αλλά απογειώνεται στο δεύτερο μισό και προσφέρει στυλιστικά και κινηματογραφικά δυνατές στιγμές στο λάτρη του είδους.Προκρίνεται άνετα στην επόμενη φάση του πρωταθλήματος Τζιάλλο…αλλά δεν διεκδικεί με μεγάλες αξιώσεις το τρόπαιο.

Ολιγόλεπτο διάλειμμα για τσιγάρο και είσοδος στον κόσμο του “Next!” .Μεγάλη μπάλα από το Σέρτζιο Μαρτίνο στα καλύτερα του .Ο υποτιμημένος μαίτρ του είδους κατασκευάζει ένα σύμπαν όπου πολλοί “επικίνδυνοι άνθρωποι” απειλούν τη ζωή της Εντβιζ Φενεκ,η οποία ποτέ άλλοτε δεν έδειχνε τόσο απαστράπτουσα μα και τόσο εύθραυστη ταυτόχρονα.

Το παρόν παρουσιάζει όλες τις πιθανές τεχνικές και αφηγηματικές αρετές του Giallo στον υπερθετικό  βαθμό και με λίγα λόγια λειτουργεί σαν διαφήμιση για το Ιταλικό κινηματογραφικό ιδίωμα της καρδιάς μας . Το φινάλε της ταινίας τερματίζει όλα τα κοντέρ με το συνδυασμό κυνισμού,προδοσίας και χαρμολύπης και μας υποχρεώνει να χειροκροτήσουμε παρατεταμένα το μαέστρο Μαρτίνο και το υπέροχο καστ που στελεχώνεται από την απόλυτη βασίλισσα του ιδιώματος,την υπέροχη Edwige Fenech και τους εξίσου σημαντικούς για την ιστορία του ιδίωματος βαλέδες της , George Hilton και Ivan Rassimov.

Με τέτοιο Giallo που κάνει πρωταθλητισμό και διεκδικεί διακρίσεις με μεγάλες αξιώσεις η κερκίδα δικαίως επευφημεί…

 

Too scared to scream

Too_Scared_to_Scream-402725062-large

Too Scared to scream (1985)

Directed by:Tony LoBianco

Cast: Mike ConnorsAnne ArcherLeon Isaac Kennedy

The sole directorial effort by character actor Tony LoBianco is an entertaining affair despite some recognizable flaws.

Mike Conners plays Detective Dinardo, a New York detective investigating a series of ghastly murders of various residents in highrise apartment complex. With some suspicion pointing to the strange doorman, Dinardo recruits police rookie Kate as bait to lure the killer into the open.

Well you guessed right. Too scared to scream mostly plays like a very simple and linear detective mystery thriller, a very old school approach in film making and dare I say the tele-friendly visuals in this film do not exactly contribute to any sort of stylish approach , but oh well , despite feeling sort of dated ,too scared to scream is passable and a better affair than a lot of slasher turkeys out there.

Major pros: LoBianco does a serviceable job at depicting the murders in a relatively bloodless style ,there is a lot of nudity in the film and this feels a bit odd judging from the detective nature of the proceedings but Lo Bianco obviously wanted to add some sleaze boost to his film, don’t forget it was the slasher era. Additionally the film has a relaxed atmosphere and a nice flow. Lots of people bash the ending of this one , but in my opinion there is something irresistibly cheesy about that particular ending so thumbs up from me. The actors’ performances are decent . Last but not least the ever striking New York city visuals . I said it once and I’ll say it again. New York was a tough place to be in the Seventies and the Eighties . Fortunately it made a great location for Genre films and it sure as well got depicted in myriads of them…

Major cons: Very dated film score, oh my gosh the score is a tedious affair , just an orchestral exercise in boredom that lacks the needed accentuation so as to elevate the suspense element in this flick .A very distinct, to the point that it feels weird , red herring. Then,  Generic visuals ,I think I elaborated earlier regarding that particular element and finally the film has a very dated feel that will definitely not attract the gorehounds.

Verdict: I think “Too scared to scream” serves its purpose . This obscure little film got lost among the heaps of the Slasher films of the 80ies but it is not bad at all.

 

Rituals

rituals vhs

Rituals(1977) aka “The Creeper”

Directed by:Peter Carter

Cast: Hal HolbrookLawrence DaneRobin Gammell

Impressive Canadian backwoods survival thriller with Slasher   elements that has preserved its shock value and cult appeal. It perplexes me why I kept on avoiding this film like the plague taking into account that I’ve owned the Greek VHS for no less than fifteen years and only a couple days ago did I get my act together and finally sat conveniently and enjoyed this Behemoth of a movie.

Five doctors go on vacation deep in the Canadian wilderness. After all but one pair of the party’s shoes disappear, the remaining shoed camper decides to hike out and go look for help. Soon after he leaves, however, his four companions realize that something is very wrong when someone leaves a decapitated deer head just outside their camp. Even though they still don’t have their shoes, they decide to follow their friend’s trail out of the woods, but their path is blocked by someone who doesn’t want to see them leave the forest alive.

With its Deliverance inspired theme being the proverbial elephant in the room it would be obvious to wonder if “Rituals” has anything original to offer. After a thorough viewing of both the Greek Cinehollywood VHS and of a much superior HD print of the movie I am obliged to testify that Rituals is Deliverance times ten, if not in terms of original subject matter ,yet  definitely in terms of being a more unsettling , tense and horrifying experience.

A very large part of its effective impact can be attributed to the magnificent performances by Hal Holbrook and co. Furthermore the cinematography and direction do justice to the potent material of this film

The five male protagonists feel as if they are genuinely trapped and in enormous peril. Given their condition their relationship deteriorate and they often times immerse themselves in guilt, despair and consequently break into hysterics .This fact combined with the nasty incidents they have to put up with has a very disturbing effect to the viewer. In the end survival will only be granted to those with the least skeletons in their closet.

However I must stress that the slasher attribute of the film is a bit far fetched as the bodycount is relatively low and could only be justified by the extremely intense climax of the film and by the identity of the actual killer.

Regardless of the fact that this one might not be the most original film in the world, given the most obvious “Deliverance” similarity  ,however  “Rituals” is a very rewarding experience that will compel the viewer. Most recommended.

Μια πραγματική «Οδύσσεια στη χώρα του θανάτου» για τους ήρωες της ταινίας και μια μηχανή παραγωγής έντασης για τους θεατές ,το Rituals είναι στην uncut του μορφή το backwoods horrorslasher survival film με κεφαλαία γράμματα.

Πέντε φίλοι, όλοι γιατροί στο επάγγελμα παγιδεύονται στην καναδική ενδοχώρα και μπαίνουν στο στόχαστρο κάποιου ο οποίος παίζει μαζί τους ένα πολύ επικίνδυνο παιχνίδι Γάτας-ποντικιού . Οι πρωταγωνιστές μπαίνουν σε μια διαδικασία αυτοαμφισβήτησης και μοιραία οι σχέσεις μεταξύ τους φτάνουν στο ναδίρ . Το ταξίδι αναψυχής μετατρέπεται σε εφιάλτη και τέλος φέρει μια εσάνς απόλυτου τρόμου.

Ταινία με αριστουργηματική αίσθηση της πλοκής που καταφέρνει να δημιουργήσει συναισθήματα αυθεντικού τρόμου στο θεατή , συνεπικουρούμενη και από τις καθηλωτικές ερμηνείες του καστ , το οποίο ερμηνεύει τους χαρακτήρες των γιατρών, τόσο όμοιων ,μα και τόσο διαφορετικών μεταξύ τους σαν να μην υπάρχει αύριο.

Το γκραν γκινιόλ και η αμφιβολία του θεατή για το ποια θα είναι η κατάληξη της αφήγησης συντελεί στην παρακολούθηση της ταινίας με κομμένη την ανάσα και το φινάλε τα κάνει όλα (κυριολεκτικά) στάχτη…

Απαραίτητη προσθήκη στην ταινιοθήκη οποιουδήποτε σοβαρού οπαδού του κινηματογράφου τρόμου. Δείτε το ασυζητητί.

Obscure Slasher special

Loosely connected yet still somehow tied to the Slasher style of narrative,Shallow grave and Ghost Dance are worthy entries in the bloodrenched annals of the aforementioned genre.Both movies maintain some suspense throughout their entire duration.Ghost Dance also offers some supernatural elements.So let’s see what we’ve got here

Shallow Grave (1987)

directed by:Richard Styles

Tony March, Lisa Stahl, Tom Law

Passing through a small Georgia town on their way to Florida, four young college girls witness the local sheriff murder a woman. They try to escape before he murders them, too.

Quite interesting and very watchable entry into the Slasher genre by director Richard Styles.The storyline on this one is more interesting than in the typical slasher,since we have a law enforcer in the role of the psychotic killer that tries to silence the witnesses of his first murder.

Shallow Grave maintains a brisk pace and a well developed if simple narrative,the filming is quite stylish,something that shows even from the beginning sequence of the film and the acting is decent.The girls on peril seem to be a bunch of airheads at first,but when things get really harsh they reveal a humane and frail face,consequently they turn to be quite sympathetic characters.There is some light-weight teenage themed nonsense thrown in the movie,but fortunately things get serious pretty soon and the cat mouse game ensues.The ending of the film is downbeat and pessimistic but relatively weak nonetheless.

This particular film doesn’t rely on gore though,other than the beginning prank sequence and a head explosion,the rest of the killings is bloodless.What really makes Shallow Grave a winner of sorts is tension and tension only.

Recommended if you are not exclusively after gore in that type of movies.

The Ghost Dance (1980)

directed by:Peter F. Buffa

cast:Julie Amato, Victor Mohica, Henry Bal

Indian themed horror films is not something that hasn’t been done.There are some example like Scalps or Manitou that exploit some cultural elements of the American natives.Ghost Dance is also a similar case,but is also a slow building menacing little flick that keeps the viewer nailed on his seat despite some pacing problems.

Some archaeologists are on an expedition at an indian burial site .During their excavations they exhume a sarcophagus supposedly containing the remnants of Nahalla ,a long-dead ,bloodthirsty and cruel Indian warrior.Aranjo,a local medicine man steals a leather pouch that belonged to Nahalla from the excavation site.Aranjo then casts some spells and the spirit of Nahalla possesses his body and turns him into a homicidal maniac.Nahalla is back from Hell … This time no one will escape.

To be fair ,I enjoyed “the Ghost Dance” but truth be told my VHS print is very dark so I cannot objectively judge the cinematography in this film,seems to be quite stylish and the killings are executed with relative panache.They are quite gory too.

The major flaw of this particular film is that its middle part grinds to a halt and this makes the proceedings seem sort of uninteresting.Fortunately the film regains its vigour and pacing in the final reel and the climax is satisfactory.

Overall,a good flick with some decent acting, supernatural touches and some really well made slasher styled killings.

Αρκετά λειτουργικά παρότι ξεχασμένα τα σημερινά τεμάχια,βγαλμένα από μια εποχή που ό,τι έβγαζε η Audiovisual σε βιντεοκασέτα και είχε τον χαρακτηρισμό “ταινία τρόμου” κατά κανόνα άξιζε τον κόπο.

Το shallow grave πραγματεύεται τον αγώνα 2 νέων φοιτητριών να ξεφύγουν από τις δολοφονικές διαθέσεις του Σερίφη της επαρχιακής πόλης του Medley της πολιτείας της Georgia.Βλέπετε ο εκπρόσωπος του νόμου πιάστηκε στα πράσα να δολοφονεί την ερωμένη του στο δάσος της περιοχής και τώρα επιδίδεται σε αγώνα δρόμου προκειμένου να εξαφανίσει όλους τους πιθανούς μάρτυρες του φονικού.Τα πτώματα σύντομα πολλαπλασιάζονται και στο μυαλό του βοηθού Σερίφη εγείρονται αμφιβολίες για το ποιος είναι στην πραγματικότητα ο προιστάμενός του . Θα καταφέρει ο Σερίφης να κάνει όλους τους μάρτυρες να σιγήσουν?

4 δολοφονίες,εκ των οποίων μια απεικονίζεται με ένα συμπαθητικό head explosion ,ωραίο στύλ,αδιάφορο location,συνεπείς ερμηνείες από το καστ και πολύ μα πολύ σασπένς το ρεζουμέ του Shallow Grave. Ο γράφων πέρασε καλά,μάλλον και εσείς θα περάσετε ,εάν είστε slasher οπαδοί

Αλλαγή πλάνου και… Ghost Dance.Με δύναμη από το 1980,φλερτάροντας με το Ινδιάνικο φολκλόρ και τον υπερφυσικό τρόμο.Εξίσου καλοφτιαγμένο με το προηγούμενο και με περισσότερο από το κόκκινο υγρό που τόσο μας αρέσει να βλέπουμε να χύνεται,πλην με μια κοιλιά στη μέση που αφαιρεί λίγους πόντους από τη συνολική βαθμολογία. Τα φινάλε και των δύο ταινιών είναι διεκπεραιωτικά από αφηγηματική άποψη αλλά δεν ανακαλύπτουν την πυρίτιδα.

Συμπέρασμα,μάλλον τους αξίζει μια καλή επανακυκλοφορία σε DVD .Ενώ επ’ουδενί δεν είναι πρωτοκλασάτα φιλμ στην κατηγορία τους,είναι αμφότερες αρκετά καλοφτιαγμένες ταινίες χωρίς χτυπητές αδυναμίες.