FantasticFest is the largest genre film festival in the U.S., specializing in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, and action movies from all around the world. Here's a list of some of our favorite movies at FantasticFest.
I DIAVOLI DI SPARTIVENTO, or THE DEVILS OF SPARTIVENTO, is a real forgotten gem. Beautifully photographed, lush settings, great cast, inventive story and brilliant soundtrack. I saw it in Italian and even though I didn't understand all of the dialogue, i was able to follow the fun swashbuckling adventure with no problems. The direction is so assured that my lack of comprehension of the Italian language didn't bother me.
A dashing John Drew Barrymore stars as one of a trio of swashbuckling adventure seekers who roam the lush Italian countryside in search of brawling action, sword fights and beautiful women. The three men (brothers?) are all tall and leggy, wearing knee-high boots with opened laced shirts and visually, they make a unique looking bunch, like Adam Ant's long lost cousins.
The fun story is about the trio befriending a disciple of sorts of Leonardo da Vinci and how they use Da Vinci's inventions to battle the bad guys. This aspect gives the story a sorta sci-fi angle to it that's cool. Combine this with the light, comical tone of the direction, the memorable music (I dare you to listen to the main theme and not hum it afterwards) and the whole thing gels perfectly.
But what's really remarkable about this film is the cinematography and the look/production design. The image has a golden hue and the use of widescreen is eye filling. It's absolutely gorgeous to look at.
I highly recommend this swashbuckling adventure. It's a hidden gem.
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