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The female rock and roll band formed by Kate, Elena and Rita want to release a new album, but their producer Lavinia refuses since their songs are very poor. Their friend Daniel buys a piece of music from a stranger called Mr. Pickett that explains that the music was written by Paganini himself and never released. Lavinia believes that the music will become a hit and she hires the filmmaker Mark Singer to make a videoclip in a manor she has hired from her acquaintance Sylvia Hackett. Soon Rita and Daniel disappear and the floor collapses beneath Kate that also vanishes in the hole. The survivors try to flee from the real state but they discover that they are trapped in hell. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Amazingly entertaining and completely stupid Italian horror! A pop group purchase a mysterious unpublished Paganini melody from a mysterious old man. Turns out it's the evil melody he wrote to sell his soul to Satan! Or something. Anyway, when the band play their soft-rock-meets-synth-pop masterpiece "Paganini Horror" it's fated that Bad Things will happen!
So along comes Paganini in a cool mask, with a gold switchblade violin and some infernal powers, to mess with the group and their manager because... well, because he feels like it. Or maybe because he really hates '80s Euro pop, which is understandable really.
Then it turns out that the whole rigmarole has nothing to do with the group in a surprise ending which is partly surprising because of how little sense it makes (even for an Italian horror flick of the 80s!).
The amazingly 80s music and costumes are rivalled only by the dialogue and dubbing in terms of entertainment value, so while Paganini Horror might not be the finest of horror films it's certainly among the funnest! OK, so not much happens, really some running around, some screaming, some killing, all freed from the constraints of logic and storytelling and it's both well-paced and fine to look at, while some of the gore effects are superb (and the others are, of course, superbly entertaining). The score is better than the band's songs allow the viewer to hope for, too, and the small, rather mismatched cast are somehow perfect for this sublime nonsense.
The male drummer and video director are both completely ineffectual characters, the former played with some panache by Pascal Persiano, the latter portrayed in a flagrantly comedic style by Pietro Genuardi but this movie's all about the women, and its the female cast who dominate from start to finish. Bonus! Two of the girls in the band are pretty hot (Maria Cristina Mastrangeli and Michele Klippstein), while the other one (Jasmine Maimone as singer/bandleader Kate) overacts with astonishing vigour, and Luana Ravegnini as their manager (less hot than the hot girls, but prettier and a better actor than Ms Maimone) alternates hilariously between being a hard-nosed boss-bitch and screaming along with the rest of the girls.
The aforementioned twist ending is incredible, and made me marvel once more at the talents of the film's two big horror-genre names, top-billed Daria Niccolodi and guest star Donald Pleasance, for delivering such idiotic lines with such bravura seriousness.
Pleasance is so gleefully sinister during his short screen time that his character comes across more charming than chilling (not surprising really!). Niccolodi's acting is as solid as ever, and she's sometimes lost amongst the screaming, overacting girls but it works because it's her character who delivers a lot of the important lines, and she's utterly pivotal to the greatness of the film's finalé.
For all the wrong reasons, this is a classic of Italian horror!
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