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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Like Assassin

Ok, so let me start off by publishing excerpts from the Giallo Special of ETC Magazine (#6 to be specific). I had updated a lot of the reviews and at one time was going to reprint it, but financial reasonableness soon took over and I dropped that idea. Let's start with the first review.

Italy 1966
D: Ray Morrison (Angelo Dorigo)
P: //St & Sc: Ernesto Gastaldi, Angelo Dorigo, Roberto Natale, & Sergio Bazzini//DP: Aldo Tonti//E: //M: Aldo Piga
Cast: Alan Steel (Sergio Ciani), Mary Arden, Ivano Davoli, Aiché Nana, Charlie Karum, John Heston (Ivano Staccioli).

John Prescott, a wealthy aristocrat, is found dead at his palatial estate. All of his relatives gather to hear the reading of the will. Among the attendees are his sister Marta,idiot son Julian, Angela who is Prescott's mistress,his brother George, and personal secretary Giacomo. They are soon fighting amongst themselves to find the true treasure that's hidden within the castle. A police inspector arrives to test the alibis of each relative since they all hated the cruel Prescott. Meanwhile a black gloved assassin is stalking the grounds, turning out lights and killing off the greedy inhabitants. The film ends with the killer running through the estate giggling with insane laughter.

This B&W film has been described as being influenced by Agatha Christie novels and it is definitely easy to see why. More specifically, And Then There Were None. The film is not very interesting as the director seems to be unsure of what to do with the claustrophobic settings. The killings are lamely executed—people die in car wrecks, fall off ledges or are shot. Dorigo seems to think that having a perpetual thunderstorm going on at all times is all he has to do to create tension. Alan Steel (real name Sergio Cianni) is the only recognizable face and after years of appearing in Peplums, it's unusual to see him in coat and tie instead of a toga. This obscure film saw little theatrical exposure anywhere, even in Italy, and is mostly known from its broadcasts on Italian TV.
Welcome to a blog about the trashy side Of European Cinema. When I created the magazine EUROPEAN TRASH CINEMA back in 1988, it received heavy criticism for using the term "TRASH" in regard to films. Well, the dumb asses never figured out I was being IRONIC when I used eurotrash. I was laughing at all the critics and snobs who thumbed their noses at genre cinema. Of course now it's trendy to gush about genre cinema, but back then, we were considered degenerates for liking that stuff (look how long it took the Italians to embrace their own). Here I will muse about what has captured my fancy of late and dwell in the past decades of foreign cinema. I will concentrate on Italy, Spain and France but will venture from time to time into Eastern Europe and other places of interest.