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Blu-ray Review: Torso

Old dogs and new tricks, that’s me, as I’ve never seen a Sergio Martino film until now. If Torso is to be my first, so be it; a fun giallo with copious amounts of strictly gratuitous nudity is nothing to scoff at, and UK boutique label Shameless Films lovingly stabs their way onto your video shelf.

I certainly know of Martino’s work; as I delve deeper into Italian horror I hear of All the Colors of the Dark and Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key (both from ’72), mostly due to the vibrant titles and his even more vibrant leading lady, Edwige Fenech, whose stunning visage graces my eyeballs on a regular basis. (Gratzi, Sarah.) But beyond that, I really knew little before taking my first trip into Martinoville. And thanks to Shameless, I plan to pop in more often.

Here’s our setting,
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One Million Years B.C.

One Million Years B.C.


Kl Studio Classics

1966 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 91, 100 min. / Street Date February 14, 2017 / Available from Kino Lorber 29.95

Starring: Raquel Welch, John Richardson, Percy Herbert, Robert Brown, Martine Beswick

Cinematography: Wilkie Cooper

Special visual effects: Ray Harryhausen

Art Direction: Robert Jones

Film Editor: Tom Simpson

Original Music: Mario Nascimbene

Written by: Michael Carreras from a 1940 screenplay by George Baker

Produced by: Michael Carreras, Hal Roach, Aida Young

Directed by Don Chaffey

Here’s a title we haven’t seen in a while, and that we’ve never seen at this level of quality. Hammer Films’ most successful release ever, One Million Years B.C. launched a new film star. I count myself among the zillions of kids that pinned her poster on my bedroom wall. At age fifteen, the release of a new Harryhausen film was so important to me that I begged my slightly older neighbor to take me to the drive-in,
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Which Movie Characters Are Too Sacred to Ever Be Recast?

Imagine if Twitter existed in 1968, around the time that producers decided that Sean Connery's retirement from the James Bond franchise couldn't possibly be the end of the character's movie life. First there'd have been the uproar at the shortlist of names, which included Anthony Rogers just off a hit with Camelot, John Richardson, who'd been in One Million Years B.C., and Hans de Vries, who would have seemed the most absurd since he had been an extra as one of Blofeld's staff in You Only Live Twice. Outcry continued when it was revealed that the unknown George Lazenby got the gig. "Who?" would have been a common tweet that day. Nowadays the Bond franchise's situation, currently on its sixth actor in the role, is used as a precedent anytime...

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Exploitation Alley: Black Sunday

I made the mistake of watching the film I chose for Exploitation Alley alone. Usually I have someone to watch movies with, but I decided to watch this solo. I will forever (well at least for a few days) be uneasy and downright frightened. Within the first five minutes of this film I realized this was going to become one of my new favorites. It is in black and white, which automatically scores it some cool points, and it deals with devils, curses, and revenge…so what is there not to like? If I still have your attention, and you want to be slightly scared, and amused, I highly suggest checking out Black Sunday! Black Sunday was released in 1960 as La Maschera Del Demonio. A great little film directed by Mario Bava, which was considered so violent, it was banned in the UK till 1968.

It has a very eerie beginning,
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Blu-ray Review: Black Sunday

Black Sunday

Stars: Barbara Steele, John Richardson, Andrea Checchi, Ivo Garrani, Arturo Dominici, Enrico Olivieri | Written by Ennio De Concini, Mario Serandrei | Directed by Mario Bava

There is something about classic horror, especially those films that were said to have inspired other directors. There are some films though that almost have a legendary role in the genre and although you’ve not seen them you know them by the name. For many people this is the case with Mario Bava’s Black Sunday. Originally released in the sixties and banned in the United Kingdom it is arguably one of the most important films in horror history and is said to be the inspiration to gothically inclined directors such as Tim Burton. Now that Arrow Video have given it a deluxe release in its uncut form we can see what level of genius the film truly is.

Starting with a warning
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Murder Obsession (1981)

Directed by: Riccardo Freda

Written by: Antonio Cesare Corti, Riccardo Freda, Simon Mizrahi, Fabio Piccioni

Cast: Stefano Patrizi, Martine Brochard, Henri Garcin, Laura Gemser, Anita Strindberg, John Richardson, Silvia Dionisio

While shooting a violent murder scene on a horror movie set, actor Michael (Stefano Patrizi) nearly chokes his co-star Beryl (Black Emanuelle Laura Gemser) to death in an uncontrollable rage.

Fortunately for Michael, it's his last scene before taking a break to visit his estranged mother, Glenda (genre vet Anita Strindberg), for a long weekend. The troubled thespian brings along his girlfriend, Deborah (Silvia Dionisio), to the old family mansion, a place he hasn't seen in years. They are greeted by creepy butler Oliver (John Richardson), who divulges to Michael that his mother is very ill but doesn't want him to know.

Once the pair have been shown to their separate rooms, Michael is reunited with sickly Glenda, who seems
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RaroVideo Announces Two New December Horror DVD Releases: Body Puzzle & Murder Obsession

Hailed by cinephiles for expertly restoring rare films by influential filmmakers and publishing them with compelling extras, Italian DVD label RaroVideo announces two rare horror titles slated for release on December 6th: Lamberto Bava's Body Puzzle and Riccardo Freda's Murder Obsession.

Lamberto Bava’s Body Puzzle tells the tragic and increasingly morbid story of the lovely widow Tracy (Gorky Park’s Joanna Pacula). Not only has her famous pianist husband Abe died in an auto accident, but someone keeps breaking into her house and leaving severed body parts lying around. A candy store owner is gutted, a poor woman has her hand lopped off in a public bathroom, a young swimmer is castrated, and so on. The investigating police officer, Michael (The Church’s Tomas Arana), strikes up a hot and heavy romance with her to keep Tracy’s mind off the rapidly accumulating trophies. Michael’s supervising
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New Release: Italian psycho-sexual thriller Torso Blu-ray

Blue Underground will give the 1973 psycho-sexual thriller movie Torso by controversial Italian cult film director Sergio Martino (Mountain of the Cannibal God) its Blu-ray debut on July 26.

Suzy Kendall and company are stalked by a killer in Torso.

Containing both an uncensored English version and a full-length Italian Director’s Cut, the Blu-ray will carry the list price of $29.98. Blue Underground’s updated DVD version will also be available for a list price of $19.98.

Starring Suzy Kendall (To Sir, With Love), Tina Aumont (Salon Kitty) and John Richardson (One Million Years B.C.), Torso concerns a series of sex murders that shock a college campus, prompting four beautiful young girlfriends to head for the safety of an isolated country villa. But as they succumb to their own erotic desires, their weekend of pleasure becomes a vacation to dismember at the hands—and blade—of the lecherous maniac.

Originally released in America
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Expats in Wonderland

Whether hosting a Paris bash for Stravinsky’s latest ballet, visiting the Cole Porters in Venice, or summering with Picasso on the Riviera, Gerald and Sara Murphy brought their incandescent American energy, passion for art, and substantial fortunes to the playgrounds of 1920s Europe. As a new exhibition focuses on the couple, and Gerald’s painting, John Richardson explores the shadows of their gorgeous life, immortalized in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender Is the Night.
See full article at Vanity Fair »

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