DOLCEZZA EXTREMA (2015) BY ALBERTO GENOVESE

Reviews

AKA: Sick Sock Monsters from Outer Space
Director: Alberto Genovese
Writer: Massimo Vavassori
Starring: Alessandro Bianchi, Giovanni De Giorgi, Marco Antonio Andolfi, Paola Masciadri, Massimo Muntoni, Alberto Pagnotta

Synopsis:
In an unspecified year in the future, the Captain Pixws and his space pirate crew are forced to deliver tanning showers to every corner of the universe. Dolcezza Extrema starship will live an extraordinary adventure.

Review:
I feel that this review is almost pointless as after reading that synopsis the majority of film fans will have already decided if this film is for them or not. Clearly this film is absolutely bonkers, as a former drug taking hard rocker Captain Pixws (Giovanni De Giorgi) hurtles through space to sort out these bloody tanning showers and his crew of a plankton-loving (sock) fish, a desperate doctor who needs crew members to get ill in order to remain in a job and also nymphomaniac puppet who just wants satisfaction.

This plot is intentionally bizarre and the film revels in its own insanity proving at times hilarious while potentially borderline satirical of today’s body worship culture. Oh did I not mention that as well as tanning showers the beings in this film have to work out and achieve good bodies in order to stay warm enough to live. Yep, you read that right. So is this a take on today’s body worship culture or just a tale of ridiculous absurdity?

Away from the unique plot the fact that the film is filled with relatively cheap yet effective CGI (it was shot in front of a green screen) and some pretty nifty sock puppets, of which credit has to be given to the crew for the majority for, which rather than being just a quirky gimmick actually turn out to be a rather inventive bit of fun.

Additionally the music, courtesy of Antony Coia deserves special mention which on the whole was nicely done, varied and slightly bonkers; perfectly suiting the tone of the movie. One downside however is that even at just 80 minutes DOLCEZZA EXTREMA does unfortunately lag in some places and disappears into its own vortex of absurdity at others and so could benefit from a little bit more editing to tighten it up and add to the punchiness as witnessed in the trailer. Talking of punchiness the humour was a little hit and miss for me and I believe it will be for a number of viewers also but thankfully it is not jarring or too far off in terms of intention and so does not negate the overall experience of watching the film.

Born outoof a love for film and creativity this is a film which can be best described as a charming oddity, one that unsurprisingly had been picked up by Troma and distributed under the title SICK SOCK MONSTERS FROM OUTER SPACE, and it is either a piece of satirical genius or simply the writer Massimo Vavassori and director Alberto Genovese having fun and letting us join in with the laughs…I would recommend you have a drink beforehand and just go with the flow.

So if you are looking for a sexualised, surreal sci-fi film with puppets then DOLCEZZA EXTREMA is the film for you. If not, well I doubt you even made it this far in the review.

As well as Troma the film is distributed in Italy (and so should be reasonably accessible for all Europeans) on DVD and Blu-ray and if you are lucky you will be able to pick up a copy with a sock puppet! Makes sense and is certainly better than just a cardboard slip (which you may also get with certain editions).

THE WIFE KILLER (1976) BY DACOSTA CARAYAN

Reviews

Alternative Titles: The Rape Killer; Death Kiss; Vai Killer!; Mata Killer…mata; Crime in Cavouri; Eglima sto Kavouri
Director: Dacosta Carayan aka Kostas Karagiannis
Writer: Thanos Leivaditis
Year: 1976
Starring: Lakis Komninos aka Larry Daniels, Dorothy Moore, Vagelis Seilinos, Leslie Bowman

Synopsis:
Penniless playboy Captain Jim is in hock to his rich older wife, Helen. She has even bought him the fancy yacht that now bears his name. But Jim does not want to be Helen’s toy boy anymore. He wants to marry his lover, Laura. Jim pays a psychopathic killer of women to murder his wife so that he will inherit her millions. But the psycho killer has his own plans. Suspecting Jim will double cross him, he engineers a complex scheme that will give him the upper hand.

[Taken from the 2015 Mondo Macabro release]

Review:
By the time of this films release the giallo genre had built up momentum which arguably culminated in 1975 with its defining moment – Dario Argento’s DEEP RED – the effect being that subsequent films would begin to enter more exploitative territory in order to maintain the audiences interest and offer something different.

Marking director Dacosta Carayan’s second foray into thriller territory, with TANGO OF PERVERSION coming a few years earlier, he clearly learnt a few tricks to help ease the production (and post-production) process and you might very well notice a number of dialog scenes being shot from beside or behind the actors, thereby reducing the need for accurate lip synching. Not that that would have been a consideration had this been an Italian production.

But what of the film itself?

Well on their DVD release Mondo Macabro state that this is “A brutal thriller in the style of the Italian “giallo”…” and that is not far from the truth as this Greek production is clearly influenced by and should be evaluated as being in the filone of the genre. But THE WIFE KILLER displays a some particular influences both on and off screen. It takes inspiration from true events, from Alfred Hitchcock – most notably DIAL M FOR MURDER and also from Dario Argento’s long-time friend and collaborator Luigi Cozzi’s 1975 thriller THE KILLER MUST KILL AGAIN. A film with which it shares several similarities but considering the close proximity of the release dates between Luigi Cozzi’s film and THE WIFE KILLER we cannot say for sure if this was an actual influence or just a coincidence. Although we can clearly argue that several scenes are reminiscent of Sergio Martino’s 1973 giallo TORSO which was clearly an influence, particularly for the initial sequence set in the wooded area where lovers are spied on and attacked.

On the subject of TORSO and the KILLER MUST KILL AGAIN, both of these films are brought to mind with the opening of THE WIFE KILLER while the quick reveal of a sex maniac is bold move that works predominately thanks to the characters utilised in the film; including the adulterous Captain Jim and the slightly off Doctor. Hell, soon we even begin to suspect the beleaguered wife may or may not be involved. Nothing is beyond the realm of possibility in a film where double crossing and deceit is as natural as breathing.

Meanwhile fifty minutes in, the film begins to toy with the idea of introducing the more familiar amateur sleuth plot arc as one of the characters makes a startling discovery and although this is not fully explored on screen it does help to drive the overall story forwards while displaying a surprisingly restrained and mature writing approach that allows the film to remain focused and tight. This is still an exploitative film however and makes sure that we have plenty of female flesh to savour, several rape scenes to abhor (which would lead to an alternative US title of THE RAPE KILLER) and a few bouts of violence which is predominantly on women lending the film a slightly nasty undertone. But crucially and thankfully this aspect never overpowers the mystery or the film itself.

Of special mention is the score by Yannis Spanos which flits between jazz, rock and traditional Greek music – sometimes combining them all to great effect and for me is one of the stand out soundtracks of the genre as it perfectly complements rather than detracts from the scenes- hopefully someone puts this soundtrack out there.

It is a compliment to say that THE WIFE KILLER feels and plays out like the Italian films it was meant to emulate and this is true across all aspects. From the double crossing plot, the aforementioned soundtrack and the sex maniac angle all the way to the more brutal and sadistic action which was becoming more prevalent in the genre as a whole at the time.  The competent inclusion of these elements help us to place the film within the filone of the giallo as previously stated but it is the quality of the film itself that helps it to stand out as a strong and entertaining film even today. Greece may not have produced much genuinely good genre fare of note during this period but they can be proud of this film and I recommend fans of giallo to check out this sordid little gem.

Version Reviewed:

I reviewed the 2015 Mondo Macabro release which features a brand new transfer from the negative and looks fantastic both the format (DVD) and the age of the film. Mondo Macabro list this as the first official DVD release of the film and present it complete (including scenes with subtitling where no English dubbed version exists) and uncensored and the film does not hold back in this respect.

THE WIFE KILLER is highly recommended for all fans of cult cinema and aside from the excellent film Mondo Macabro have put together a brilliant package which includes information on the original influence of the film, detailed text about the film itself and the cast and crew, alternative English credits as well as a couple of US trailers under the title THE RAPE KILLER and its VHS release title DEATH KISS providing an interesting insight as to how the film was marketed to that audience.

However it is the documentary SUNSHINE AND SHADOWS in which critic/musician Akis Kapranos takes a look at the film and cult genre scenes in Greece. This documentary is extremely insightful particularly for those of us who do not know much about the Greek cinematic movement or phases and Mondo must be commended for its inclusion on this and the TANGO OF PERVERSION DVD.

Overall this is an excellent package and a mandatory purchase for those interested in European mystery / thriller cult cinema.

The Wife Killer DVD cover

MCBETTER (2018) BY MATTIA DE PASCALI

Reviews

Director: Mattia De Pascali
Writer: Mattia De Pascali
Year: 2018
Starring: Andrea Canaiello, Nik Manzi, Donatella Reverchon, Oscar Stajano, Sereno Toma

Synopsis:
A modern-day tragedy loosely based on Macbeth where the main character wants to conquer a fast-food restaurant chain instead of the Kingdom of Scotland. 

Review:
The synopsis of the film clearly states that this is a contemporary take of a Shakespearean classic and one would further assume, indeed I did, that this would be framed around a contemporary fast food joint, resulting perhaps in something like the American films WAITING (2005) crossed with THE FOUNDER (2016).

However MCBETTER plays more like a dynastic family struggle; a struggle for power and wealth with events unfolding within the mansion of a wealthy business man, Joe McBetter. The stakes though are for much more than just the future of the fast-food empire. De Pascali chooses to open the film with a televised mystic, a modern day witch if you will, providing encouragement to the portly figure of Malcom (Andrea Cananiello), a man who looks like a cross between Ron Jeremy and Joe Spinelli, and she tells our visually unlikely hero that his doubts are nothing and that he is the master of his own destiny. It is up to him to seize it.

Soon we learn that this is not strictly true as it is his girlfriend, Melanie (Serena Toma), who is really calling the shots. And as our power duo set off on a couples trip to her family home we start to grasp the extent of their duplicitous plans in which Melanie’s estranged father, the eponymous McBetter, is the key.

Much like Macbeth we are taken on a tale in which there are plans to usurp a king, to take and create a dynasty and the dangers of ambition but there is so much more in play here. From the quirky off-beat business idea of Malcom to the familial struggles of Melanie, MCBETTER works its black comedy into what at its heart is a much darker story…and it is all the better for it.

Throw in a doddering old housemaid, a young vivacious step-mother and her son, aptly named Little Joe, and you also have the recipe for a dysfunctional family drama in which talking solves nothing forcing our scheming duo into more drastic action. But they aren’t the only ones who are willing to go to such lengths.

By keeping the tone relatively consistent through his script Mattia De Pascali gives himself the leeway to experiment with visual styles (some of the lighting is positively Mario Bava or Dario Argento-esque) and tones as required by whichever strand of the story the narrative is following. While at just over one hour ten minutes long the film is perfect length, not once overstaying its welcome.

There are plenty of influences competing inside of MCBETTER but thankfully none of them overpower or unbalance the final project and as debuts go Mattia De Pascali has made a darkly comic tale which takes the themes of Shakespeare’s Macbeth and updates it with some Wes Anderson (RUSHMORE; THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS; ISLE OF DOGS) sensibilities and Italian style. 

Thanks to decent performances, strong direction and varied cinematography MCBETTER is an accomplished debut that is worthy of your time, but this is hardly surprising considering it features a supporting crew that includes David Bracci, Lucio Massa and Giulio Ciancamerla – all names who are growing in stature in the independent Italian scene.

Despite all of this I do worry that MCBETTER will be resigned to playing only a few festivals outside of its home country as has happened with many independent Italian films before BUT if it can get exposure I know it will find a fanbase, if in all likelihood only a small one.

However if you like quirky dark comedies, fancy taking a risk (check out the trailer below) and don’t mind ordering from (mainland) Europe then you will be able to pick up the film on DVD and Blu-ray in November as it gains a release from Home Movies.

Follow the film on Facebook.

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BAGHEAD (2017) BY ALBERTO CORREDOR

Reviews

Year: 2017
Director: Alberto Corredor
Writer: Lorcan Reilly
Starring:  Oliver Walker, Natalie Oliver, Julian Seager, Pat Boothman

Synopsis:
BAGHEAD is a ghost story. Kevin is haunted by grief and has questions that only the recently deceased can answer. His search takes him to the most unremarkable of locations, a grotty storage room at the back of a rundown pub. However, what he finds there is anything but unremarkable. He is introduced to Baghead, a shape-shifting witch who can channel the dead in a most unusual manner and maybe provide Kevin with the answers he seeks.

Review:
Not to be confused with the 2008 American feature from the excellent Duplass brothers, the short film BAGHEAD comes from the mind of British writer Lorcan Reilly and Spanish director Alberto Corredor.

Opening with despair and punishment, you would be forgiven for initially believing BAGHEAD to be a slasher or revenge movie. With the post-title sequence doing little to dispel that second option, even calling to mind, if only loosely Stan Winston’s PUMPKINHEAD.

In only fifteen captivating minutes writer Lorcan Reilly manages to convey a full narrative complete with past and present but perhaps crucially without any one aspect feeling rushed or under thought. It is clear to see why the script for BAGHEAD went on to win production funds from ShortTV. Money that was very well spent.

Due to the length of the short film and the story contained within it I won’t discuss or detail the plot, but I do urge you to check out this darkly comic and twisted tale of loss, love and vengeance.

The majority of short films that I see are portfolio pieces as writers and directors develop their skills for wider audiences and bigger (feature) opportunities and if taken in that spirit then BAGHEAD is  an accomplished piece in every aspect.

Credit needs to go to both the cast for their strong performances and the crew for strong and well composed shots, editing and sound. However BAGHEAD is more than that and more than the sum of its (considerable) parts and in its own right stands up as a terrific story and watch. With potential to become a feature length I am looking forward to seeing what comes next from both Lorcan Reilly and Alberto Corredor…hopefully an extension of this impressive short.

The film is currently doing the rounds on the festival circuit, and in fact played at the most recent FrightFest in London,  and as of September 2018 it was confirmed for the following upcoming festivals:

Sitges Film Festival; Manhattan Short Film Festival; San Diego Film Festival; Freakshow Horror Film Festival; Mollins Film Festival; Sacramento Horror Fest.

I presume if you are going to one of these then you will already know the date…and now you will know of BAGHEAD so make sure you check it out.

View the trailer here.

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HOUSE OF SALEM (2016) BY JAMES CROW

Reviews

Year: 2016
Director: James Crow
Writer: James Crow
Starring: Andrew Lee Potts, Jessica Arterton, Jack Brett Anderson, Liam Kelly, Leslie Mills, Dean Maskell, Anna Nightingale, Nalân Burgess

Synopsis:
A group of kidnappers become a child’s unlikely protectors after discovering they have unwittingly been set up to take part in a satanic ritual. As they begin to uncover the truth of the house they find themselves trapped, they must battle demonic forces and uncover a legacy of over a hundred years of murder in the name of the Devil

Review:
Coming from experienced short film British writer/director James Crow, HOUSE OF SALEM represents his sophomore feature effort and continues with the rough theme of the occult which could be seen in his debut CURSE OF THE WITCHING TREE.

The film opens in familiar horror territory; a beautiful babysitter (Nalân Burgess) and a young child who clearly has either suffered some early trauma or has some mystery in his past. It is never just a normal kid perhaps with a tough paper round.

Early on we learn that the child, Josh, suffers from nightmares if he does not take his pill and rather unsurprisingly he deceives his babysitter into believing he has taken these bringers of peaceful sleep. Now this action also serves another purpose as we, the viewer, are thrown into uncertainty about whether what we are about to view is real or all in Josh’s head.

Whichever is the case it does not matter and we are not given the time to overthink for very quickly an armed gang, dressed in scary clown masks infiltrate the house and kidnap the boy leaving the babysitter unconscious on the floor. 

After being taken to an isolated rural estate house, Josh starts to hear voices, but not only ones that want to protect him but ones that do not have his best interests at heart. At this point the film slowly develops more supernatural overtones and what was only hinted at before begins to dominate the proceedings as the waking nightmare becomes more vivid. These moments are more than competently handled aiding the unsettling possibilities of both the house and those behind orchestrating the kidnapping. 

Objectively speaking however the opening act is a little slow for my tastes and suffers from inconsistency in terms of quality which reduces the impact and arguably the interest of what has the potential to be an engaging slow burning occult mystery.

Thankfully however by the second act the script begins to find its rhythm as more breadcrumbs are laid and engagement generated in regards to the real mystery behind the safehouse that the gang find themselves holed up in at the request of an unknown client.

Soon all around the property a mysterious symbol begins to appear with increased frequency as do the hallucinations of not only Josh but also those who took him. During this middle act HOUSE OF SALEM really hits its stride managing to create some genuine moments of tension and intrigue but unfortunately the film seems unable to capitalise on this resulting in a final act that was executed perhaps not as well as it could or should have been.

As with many low budget films the locations are limited and although not directly, HOUSE OF SALEM is comparable to that of a siege movie, Perhaps think in terms of the hospital in the terrific American film THE VOID, although much less expansive and a much lower budget. 

One aspect of this almost siege like environment is that it places by emphasis on the acting, simply by default more than anything. This is both a strength and weakness of HOUSE OF SALEM as the few moments of action are unfortunately weak while the acting, which takes precedence is a little inconsistent although Jessica Arterton, Leslie Mills and Dean Maskell put in commendable performances while Liam Kelly in his first credited role as the boy Josh makes a strong start to his acting career.

Despite its promise HOUSE OF SALEM is unfortunately neither claustrophobic or brave enough in its depiction, I am talking both in terms of script and visuals, resulting in an inconsistent movie in which moments of inane and weak dialogue are followed by genuine tension. The pieces for success are all there and James Crow clearly knows his stuff leading me to suspect that these lulls and moments of inconsistency are down more to the transition from short to feature length production.

HOUSE OF SALEM is one of those small independent films that hovers around in distribution limbo for a couple of years after being made, before finally being granted a long overdue release. Thankfully though it manages to avoid being dated or missing a trend and so this delay has not or should not affect its release.

Overall there is still enough to recommend about this sometimes effectively tense movie to make it worth your while picking it up  but if you are looking for an independent occult horror film might I recommend the Italian films CUSTODES BESTIAE by Lorenzo Bianchini or SHANDA’S RIVER by Marco Rosson ahead of this one.

HOUSE OF SALEM is receiving a home entertainment (DVD) and digital release courtesy of Left Films and Wild Eye Releasing coming October 1st 2018 if you are interested.

ROSSA VENEZIA (2003) BY ANDREAS BETHMANN

Reviews

Alternative Titles: Porno A Venezia
Director: Andreas Bethmann
Writer: Andreas Bethmann
Year: 2003
Starring: Sabine Ironheart, Romana, Marianna Bertucci, Jens Hammer, Daniel Ortolan

Synopsis:
After killing her cheating husband a woman is released from prison and goes on a killing spree while detailing her memoirs of a cruel and sexual prison experience.

Review:
Within the first five minutes we witness a very drawn out act of cunnilingus that only changes to become an act of fellatio and then as with all pornos, penetrative sex. Immediately we know that we are not in for a mystery as dark and labyrinthine as the winding streets of Venice but rather an overlong and uninspiring porno…with murder.

Now director Andreas Bethmann doesn’t show us this gentle lovemaking just to arouse us but rather additionally to build the importance for when we discover that one of our two love makers is actually committing infidelity and soon a jilted spouse enters and blows them away. Thankfully not in that way.

ROSSA VENEZIA isn’t afraid to take the sex and violence ethos of horror to a new level but struggles to successfully weave in any depth or context as it intersperses footage of a gate and decaying house and all this before the credits finish. Rather surprisingly after what we have just witnessed the post-credit shots, the camera positioned on the front of a gondola, do actually work and Bethmann gives us some hope that there might actually be a filmmaker behind all of this after all.

All hope is soon lost however as ROSSA VENEZIA descends into a depraved female in prison tale that has more in common with a third rate porno (and a fourth rate horror) and this makes the attempts to discuss duality using Venice as a metaphor seem a little pretentious painting Bethmann as a pseudo-intellectual with illusions of grandeur. The best example of this would be that while a voice over attempts to discuss this very nature not only does the dialogue lack any substance or depth but the on-screen image is that of a female masturbating, ANIMA PERSA this most certainly is not.

Any film that makes GIALLO A VENEZIA look almost erotic and sensual deserves recognition but sadly not for the right reasons.  Riddled with terrible acting, terrible sex and a terrible attempt to inject an understanding as to the nature of human kind at two hours and thirty five minutes long this feature film is at least two hours and thirty four minutes too long.

Certainly brutal in places (it is a German splatter porno after all) but this dull memoir’s only real redeeming point is the all too brief POV shot use but it cannot be recommended even for the most ardent underground cinema lover.

On a side note the film also features the euro-exploitation legend Jess Franco (who has appeared in several of Bethmann’s projects) and his wife Lina Romay which can only be down to their personal friendship as opposed to a reading of the script.

TORSO (1973) BY SERGIO MARTINO

Reviews

Alternative Titles: I corpi presentano tracce di violenza carnale; Carnal Violence; Torso – Violencia carnal; The Bodies Presented Traces of Carnal Violence
Director: Sergio Martino
Writers: Ernesto Gastaldi, Sergio Martino
Year: 1973
Starring: Suzy Kendall, Tina Aumont, Luc Merenda, John Richardson

Synopsis:
Students at a Perugia summer school are being killed with the only clue being a red and black scarf. In order to get away from an obsessed, spurned suitor, American Jane and her friends decide to travel to an isolated villa in the country, only for the spate of killings to follow them.

Review:
Beautiful women and ugly violence combine in this psycho-sexual thriller from Sergio Martino. Wasting no time in getting to the point (or arguably also the clichés) TORSO immediately introduces us to the power, or rather temptation of the flesh, placing it at the heart of this violent mystery. As a camera shoots pornographic images, white flesh becomes entangled inside a black, featureless room and a child’s doll is shown to us, clearly hinting at a future significance and perhaps perversion.

This intriguing beginning soon gives way to a summer school in the beautiful Italian city of Padua and after a quick introduction to our key group of characters we jump to yet more sex although this time it is rudely interrupted by a menacing POV shot, a technique by  now firmly established in the genre. It is here that first exemplifies one of the values that Sergio Martino and Ernesto Gastaldi bring to the genre as what could be an exploitative, simple yet mediocre sequence is imbued with genuine moments of tension before giving way to moments of light relief, for the viewer at least, as post-murder, the assigned Detective Martino questions a local peasant who was in the area.

As a result of these slayings the local police make a plea to the art students providing them with one key piece of identifying evidence and one of our group, Dani (Tina Aumont) just knows that she recognises it from somewhere…but where, although she seems desperate to pin the blame on her creepy and infatuated classmate Stefano.

In a bid to get away from it all, her voyeuristic Uncle sends her and her friends off to his isolated rural villa as he needs to leave the country on business. Needless to say the group of girls arrive in the village and cause quite a stir with the local men including with the local part-time Val Kilmer look-a-like and full-time village idiot, but they aren’t the only ones with their eyes fixed on the group as death follows them too.

Culminating in a tense and engrossing final act, including the inversion of the conventional (killer) POV scene where in this case we witness our protagonist spying on the unaware killer, the film will have you screaming for the final girl to not try and escape and these scenes really are a credit to the terrific pacing which never once loses the viewers attention in its orgy of suspicion, violence and sex.

This is thanks to the skill and experience of Ernesto Gastaldi and Sergio Martino that throughout the films tight 90-minute runtime that it manages to spend enough time on the supporting cast and wider narrative allowing for not only the foundations of the overriding mystery to be set but also for the successful framing of the narrative allowing the possibility of a few potential killers to remain instead of relying on a cheap trick at the end.

As a result we have a decent story that manages to divulge information and implicate with every turn and although a little heavy handed at times on some beats (the fall down the stairs for example) this is at least done out of necessity in order to drive the narrative forwards. Credit also has to go to the duo for the subtle injection of humour at work, primarily provided by the background characters, which helps provide a tonal break for the viewer allowing the films more convoluted aspects to remain fresh and engaging.

Featuring almost as many suspects as breasts and a rampant killer this top tier giallo will undoubtedly entertain fans of the genre. Despite having a motive based upon a slightly flimsy origin, albeit one that perfectly conformed to the tropes of the genre at the time, TORSO works because it manages to strike that perfect balance between exploitative sleaze, violence and mystery.

If you are yet to watch this film get online or to your local store and pick up a copy. You won’t be disappointed and in all likelihood will love this film to bits. If the dodgy cover is putting you off, don’t worry it has a reversible sleeve which you will most certainly use.

Finally I would like to give regular Sergio Martino cinematographer Giancarlo Ferrando (ALL THE COLOURS OF THE DARK; YOUR VICE IS A LOCKED ROOM…;THE VIOLENT PROFESSIONALS; the list goes on but you get the picture, and the pun I hope) credit for his work on this film in which he creates many iconic moments while maintaining that level of consistency and visual coherence that to me, helps define a Sergio Martino film.

Version Reviewed:

The 2017 blu ray release from Shameless Films is as one would expect, superior to the previous DVD versions. In direct comparison to the 2007 Shameless DVD it is not only a nicer looking HD version but includes English language scene inserts, which although not necessarily vital do add an extra level of completion or rather variety .

Shameless have also answered my gripes with the previous DVD release, in so much as they have now included an ‘Italian version’ with revised English subtitles (although the inserted scenes remain in Italian with English subtitles as the English language track was never recorded for these) and this time they have actually included a genuine ‘extra’ feature away from the usual company portfolio showreels (but don’t worry a couple of trailers for the most recent blu’s is included here) – in the form of a new, 22 minutes interview with director Sergio Martino.

In this interesting and somewhat (although minor) revealing interview the director briefly discusses the influences of the character traits held by the killer as well as how the production came about. Sergio Martino goes on to speak rather candidly, and sadly fleetingly, about a few of the casting choices and also some elements of the film that he is now not so keen on…and a few sections that he is, not to mention the origins of the now iconic white mask.