Beware of Satan’s bite!!!

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Out there exists many many aspiring and established film makers and one benefit of living in the digital age where the internet is accessible to the majority of the Western world is that these film makers have easy access to their audience and the means to reach a broad range of people at a relatively low cost.

However with this amazing promotional opportunity comes an almost insurmountable amount of competition. This competing noise ironically makes it more difficult to stand out from the crowd and not only gain awareness but to go that one step further and actually have people watch and interact with your creation.

Therefore I feel it is important for us as fans  that when we do see something that we enjoy that we support it, we advocate it and we discuss it. So I would like to point you in the direction of a short film which I happened across recently; ‘Satan’s Bite’, from writer & director Dean Puckett and Grasp the Nettle Films. A tale of witchcraft which I cannot recommend enough.

Shot in just one day and on one roll of Super8 (as part of the Straight8 annual competition) the short film went on to be selected to be screened at Cannes which certainly tells you of the quality behind it.

Along with a clear nod and (admittedly easy) comparison to the 1968 film’Witchfinder General’, Puckett also took influence from Carl Dreyers ‘The Passion of Joan of Arc’ and Robert Wiene’s ‘The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’. With the mention of these last two films you won’t be surprised to learn that it is a silent film. And one that is all the more effective for it thanks to strong performances and a haunting, almost hypnotic audio track that generates an eerie and foreboding mood.

‘Satan’s Bite: or The foolishness of the Witchfinder Thomas Eastchurch’ is a bizarre and uncompromising occult short film with an unsettling score and an effective, authentic look (no doubt thanks to the use of Super8 film). Successfully delivered in under three minutes this is how short films should be, but make a like a Witchfinder and judge for yourself below:

You can follow the writer/director Dean Puckett on Twitter and keep up to date with Grasp the Nettle films and their work on their website. Upcoming film ‘The Sermon’, made with support from Creative England and the BFI looks particularly interesting and a continuation of the great British rural and folk horror genre.

Turkish Star Wars!

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Later this month my local independent cinema in Leicester will be showing ‘Dünyayi Kurtaran Adam’; a title that perhaps means very little to many of you (myself included) but when it is suddenly referred to by its alternative title ‘Turkish Star Wars’ things get a little more interesting.

Also known as ‘The Man Who Saves the World’ this 1982 film from prolific director Çetin Inanç has become notorious not for being a rip-off of George Lucas’ series but rather for actually editing in footage from the films of the venerated one. Not to mention the liberal use of music from ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ and ‘Flash Gordon’. It is not hard to see why ‘Turkish Star Wars’ has been referred to as “the ‘holy grail’ of remakesploitation cinema”.

After languishing in obscurity for a long while, with very few having seen low-resolution bootlegged copies, a 35mm print was discovered back in 2016 and a digital scan made allowing us to fully witness this film on the big screen the way it was meant to be.

The plot of the film see’s two space cadets crash-land on a desert planet, where an evil wizard seeks the ultimate power to take over the world. It is worth noting that although the movie uses some background footage from Star Wars, the plot is mostly unrelated but hey why let stop anything.

No doubt after this cinema run (I am assuming that it is being shown around a few places) a home release cannot be far away so keep watching the skies!

The film will be playing at 8pm on Leicester Phoenix on Wednesday 19th September. Tickets are free but limited and can be booked on the Phoenix website here.

Discover the films trailer below:

Alternatively if you are in Leicester on this day also of interest might be the FREE Midlands Movies event that is happening at Firebug bar, 1 Millstone Lane, Leicester.

This event will see music from the films of Quentin Tarantino being played by a live band so if you’re a fan of the former video store clerk or the soundtracks he employs and fancy a boogie get on down there instead.

FROM UNDER THE COVER

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A bit of a more personal post here and one that starts off with a huge thank you to the Italian director Giulio Ciancamerla for taking the time (and cost) to send me a full DVD-CD media book of his film UNDERCOVER MISTRESS which was only just released by X-Rated.

Now UNDERCOVER MISTRESS is a revenge film with a difference…it actually has something to say. Here credit also has to go to producer Lucio Massa and his Aborsky Produktion through which he has overseen five features and this short in under five years in which he has proven himself to never be one to shy away from the extreme, the controversial and the challenging.

Working together for the third time (Giulio Ciamcamerla was the assistant director on both HIPPOCAMPUS M21TH and VIOLENT SHIT: THE MOVIE from Aborsky Produktion) the director would act as a provocateur here and take a story based in the world on bondage and suffuse it with a tale of gender violence and identity.  Now I am not going to go and write a review (I did that here) but I am going to say that X-Rated have done justice to the film with this release which also features a very insightful set of interviews  with several members of cast and crew (in Italian with a choice of English or French subtitles), two additional old short films from the director, footage from the audio recording session and a CD of the music from across all three short films. Oh and a multi-lingual booklet detailing the influences and memories from the older short films.

Now I have waxed lyrical about how good this release looks (available from several independent European web stores and Amazon.it) but why is it a personal post?

Well that is because I had the very good fortune to review the film on my old website Cosi Perversa and a quote from my review made it onto this release! Now for the more seasoned writer or critic this may be a regular occurrence but this is a first for me…and to get a copy of the release is just the icing on the cake. Of course now I have changed sites, rather frustratingly I did this only a week before hearing from Giulio about the release, but I have ported the review across here.

So let’s raise a glass to the discussion about gender identity, revenge and how we perceive others. And then raise it again to Giulio, Lucio, Leonardo, Stefania and the rest of the cast and crew for making this film.

Grazie Giulio.

Cin cin.

The best…and worst of me

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What is the difference between love and obsession?

The trailer for the upcoming Albanian film LAST DAY (THE BEST OF ME), courtesy of Bad Trip Bros., promises to answer that question by way of the weirdest love story ever told, as it introduces us to a body horror that has been freely inspired by the real story of Ricardo López, Bjork’s stalker who descended into a dangerous madness in the mid-1990s.

Hold up I hear you say, an Albanian horror movie! Now this country’s output is a bit of a mystery for me however strictly speaking this journey into madness is an Albanian-Italian production having been directed by Domiziano Cristopharo (HOUSE OF FLESH MANNEQUINS; RED KROKODIL) and featuring a cast weighted in his countryman’s favour. This combination of countries is not as strange as it might seem however as Albania is one of the most polyglot nations in Europe with Italian being widely spoken. No doubt a fact that would have helped this production come about and potentially a common denominator that might see more films coming out of the country and getting distribution deals.

Promising lots of practical effects, and the trailer certainly looks like the film will deliver on that aspect, and will certainly appeal to those who enjoy a trip to the dark side of the human psyche…along with gore of course.

Oh on a final note it is not just the visual aspects that might grab your attention. Music for the film has been scored by frequent Domiziano Cristopharo collaborator Antony Coia (E.N.D; SCARECROWD; VIRUS) and perhaps more exciting the film will feature original songs by the American-Italian  multiple award-winning composer Susan Dibona, one half of the terrific duo The Villa Studios. As a big music fan myself I am very interested to see, considering the subject matter, will there be a Bjork influence? Will Susan Dibona take things in a different direction? There certainly is a lot of room for variation here.

Check out the trailer below and follow the film on Facebook for updates.

Textiles, Fashion and the Milanisti

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This Wednesday (4th July 2018) the documentary THE LORD OF MILAN will premiere at the Broadway Cinema in Nottingham, England and for fans of football, or should that be calcio, this is a screening not to be missed.

Back in 2016 author Robert Nieri penned a fictional story based on the facts of the life and times of a young Nottingham textile worker named Herbert Kilpin. Nothing too extraordinary there you might think, but young Herbert left his home country in search of something more and would end up being one of the founding members of Associazione Calcio Milan – that’s right the A.C. Milan that all football fans know of today. 

Now LeftLion Media have adapted it into a documentary, their debut feature, covering what happened and what it means to the fans and (ex) players of the team.

Find out more about the documentary and the book over on the Facebook page and official Twitter account.

This particular screening will delve deeper into the Anglo-Italian connection thanks to the additional screening of the short film TWO HEARTS ONE SOUL which takes a look at the relationship between Notts County and Juventus supporters. Going beyond more than just a simple gesture of providing a kit.

To book your seats for this screening please visit the Nottingham Broadway website.

Please note that other independent cinemas across the world may also be screening this documentary. Check your local listings for more details.

Half Neon, Half Demon, All Horror

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After the success of his arguably pensive sci-fi horror SCARECROWD: THE MUSK, Italian-American director George Nevada is back alongside Italian producer (as well as the films writer) Domiziano Cristopharo, and the intriguingly titled film JACK THE ST. RIPPER.

Utilising many of the same cast from SCARECROWD (Fabrizio Occhipinti, Antony Ferry) and previous Domiziano Cristopharo efforts (Cleverson Rodrigues, Mark Thompson), JACK THE ST.RIPPER has been tagged as a crazy mix between MAGIC MIKE (no doubt this is where the St.Ripper part of the name comes in) and CARRIE by way of a parody style that pays homage to the gore and violence of the classic 80s grindhouse films.

Oh and perhaps some nods to the more contemporary stylised horror and thrillers with THE NEON DEON being an obvious reference point from both the tag line, the audio utilised in the trailer and also the effect on the trailer credits.

Talking of the trailer it certainly plays all the right notes and in addition posses almost an 1980s giallo vibe which permeates throughout, even if the violence comes across as more schlock than sophisticated, meaning that this film should appeal to many genre fans.

As of yet no release information is available but you can keep up to date with the films progress over on the official Facebook page.

On a potentially unrelated note there was a London killer who operated between 1964-1965 who was named ‘Jack the Stripper’ by the national press as part of the ‘Hammersmith nude murders’ and although I know that Domiziano Cristopharo takes influence from real life events, from what I know so far this is just a coincidence. But one to be aware of. 

Regardless of all this conjecture, watch the trailer below and make up your own mind.

It’s hot outside…time to get a Tanzi

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Today I uploaded the second episode of the Cinema Europa podcast – a look at the 1976 Umberto Lenzi eurocrime ROME ARMED TO THE TEETH, starring Maurizio Merli, Tomas Milian and Ivan Rassimov.

Sure episode one also included Umberto Lenzi, Maurizio Merli, Rome and poliziotteschi but what the hell there is a shortage on the subject out there and I love these films.

Although I promise episode three will be a different genre and a different country.  Maybe.

Anyway I know the sound issues are still there (I’m lazy and can’t be bothered to work out GarageBand) and there are a few other problems but what the hell it’s free content for your commute.

Anyway the episode is up now over on Podbean, and hopefully iTunes, with links over in the Podcast section.