Here’s another highly regarded Dario Argento giallo film. It’s a strange one in the sense of it’s highs and lows. The highs are some very artistic sequences and murder scenes, reinforced by the very first soundtrack appearance by the mighty Goblin. The lows are that the film is extremely convoluted, and sometimes excruciatingly slow. Don’t be discouraged. It is absolutely worth the effort to get to the crazy ending.
Here we have a beautifully filmed, very sleazy, but excellent giallo. This was part one of Massimo Dallamano’s “Schoolgirls in Peril” trilogy so, yeah… not for sensitive viewers. The film features one of my favorite cult actors Fabio Testi, as well as the debut performance of Camille Keaton (pictured above), and music by Ennio Morricone. Solange is essential if you’re interested in the giallo subgenre. You might need to take a shower after watching, but it’s worth it.
FYI – My favorite Morricone music is from this era. If you’d like to hear more, check out the album Crime and Dissonance. It’s flat-out amazing.
Sam Raimi is very hit of miss for me after Evil Dead 2. This one I really enjoyed. Yes, even more than A Simple Plan or Drag Me To Hell. What we have here is a well-made horror mystery with some downright disturbing moments. I think what I like best about The Gift is that is that it is unique among Raimi’s work. It’s also pretty original among horror and suspense films period. While not prefect, it’s a damn good movie for sure.
Not available on Blu-ray.
I am a big fan of George A. Romero (through Land of the Dead anyway) but missed this one until just now. I think this will be hard for some folks to get into because of the fashion of the time and the average looking actors. Please trust me, it’s worth looking past all that and just enjoying this mild, but very good, nightmarish horror thriller. It’s got a lot of depth to it. Even after a few drinks I noticed multiple possible angles going on. I have to admire Romero for making this film. Watch Season of the Witch with a little patience and I think you’ll enjoy it.
This one barely squeaks by my usual standards for this website. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a decent giallo with a good twist at the end. However I’m recommending it ONLY for those of you that have seen all the other well-regarded giallo films. I’ve watched pretty much every decent film in the subgenre that I could get my hands on so this was a pleasant surprise. I did have some playback issues on Amazon Prime, stuttering and compression marks, but it cleared up eventually after pausing and restarting. Check out Eye in the Labyrinth if you think you’ve seen em all.
A Blu-ray was released by Code Red but it is currently out of print. They’re selling on eBay for $$$.
Cast a Deadly Spell is a weird one. I will freely admit it is not for everyone. I love H. P. Lovecraft as well as film noir, and this film combines those two things. If that has you wrinkling your nose right now then give this a pass. It’s dated, low budget, and cheesy but I found this movie to be quite amusing (your poison of choice will definitely help). I always enjoy watching Fred Ward do his thing and you also get to see an early performance by Julianne Moore here. Don’t say I didn’t warn you if it doesn’t float your boat.
Not available on Blu-ray.
I enjoyed this when it first came out. Slow but beautifully shot SF / horror, worth a watch for sure. A few years later I read the book, which is extremely different. The novel is excellent and would have made a much better film. Unfortunately it would have been too graphic to do any justice to. I think that may explain the director’s more minimal / artsy approach. If you liked the movie, DEFINITELY read the book. I would not recommend the reverse situation.
LDATMM aka Let Sleeping Corpses Lie is one of the very best zombie films ever made. If you’re a horror fan and haven’t seen it, you need to correct that immediately. This film also boasts a fantastic creepy soundtrack. So creepy I think bits of it might be the earliest incarnation of what became the dark ambient genre. The version up on Amazon is a lovingly restored transfer that looks better than ever. What are you waiting for? Guthrie wants to meet you.