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Rock and roll band purchases piece of music to record that were used in satanic rituals. Band decides to record and tape video of song in mansion where rituals took place. As one may guess, the spirits are summoned to commit mayhem and murder. Written by
When a predominantly female rock band are lambasted by their producer for failing to write a decent tune, their male drummer purchases an unpublished score written by violinist Paganini, who was rumoured to have murdered his wife and sold his soul to the devil in exchange for fame and fortune.
The band use the music as the basis for their newest song, and decide to shoot the accompanying video in the very house in which Paganini sealed his Satanic deal. This proves to be a bad idea when they discover that evil forces are still at work in the old building, where time and space have their own rules and a mysterious masked murderer lurks, armed with deadly violin equipped with a spring-loaded blade.
"What a strange light," mentions one character to her friends as they investigate the spooky house at the centre of the Paganini Horror. "It's more than strange", comes the reply, "it's weird." This dreadful exchange of dialogue (one of many) is fairly representative of this late-80s Italian horror as a whole: it makes no sense whatsoevernot surprising since it was written and directed by Luigi Cozzi, the man who gave us dumb, Z-grade, trash sci-fi flicks Hercules and Starcrash, and the very daft Alien rip-off Contamination.
Cozzi seems to be aiming at delivering a Dario Argento-style supernatural horror in the vein of Suspiria or Inferno, but being a total hack, only manages to emulate Argento's garish lighting with any degree of success. The plot is so muddled that even Argento's most outrageous work seems logical in comparison (believe it or not, one character is inexplicably killed by wood fungus!), the direction is basic at best, and the score is a diabolical mix of 80s pop-rock and classical music.
Not one of the cast puts in a credible performance, with particularly bad acting from Pietro Genuardi as the band's video director Mark Singer, who is supposedly a top horror film maker, but who works with a single shoulder mounted camera, no crew and absolutely no sign of a script or storyboard; even Argento's muse Daria Nicolodi and Donald Pleasance are dreadful, with Nicolodi overacting wildly and Pleasance looking rather embarrassed to be involved.
Don't go expecting much in the way of decent gore either: most of the deaths are pretty bloodless, and even the most gruesome momenta woman's head crushed by an invisible wallwill have you laughing at the cheap effect, achieved by pressing the actress's face against a sheet of glass whilst running fake blood over her head.
If it hadn't been for the fact that a couple of the women are very easy on the eye and happily squeeze into body-hugging outfits, I probably would have fallen asleep way before Cozzi calls it a day and wraps the film up with a simply awful surprise ending.
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