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.
Four women filmmakers examine sexuality in this anthology. Segment 1 is entitled "Let's Talk About Sex" and is the story of an aspiring actress whose day job is as a phone-sex operator. ... See full summary »
A middle-aged woman, traumatized from the death of her adulterous lover, moves into a room at a New Orleans boarding house where the blind landlord becomes suspicious to her activities of continuing her affair with her dead lover.
Alex is a disgruntled waitress at a snobby exclusive restaurant who falls on hard times. Forced to deal with the contempt and disgust of the upper class, Alex & cohorts attempt to go on a ... See full summary »
A maniac butchers a fashion model on a Caribbean island and leaves the body to be eaten by rats. The model's sister suspects something isn't quite right with the police investagation and ... See full summary »
Klaus Kinski believed that he lived through the same experiences as the legendary "devil violinist" Niccolò Paganini, who set all of nineteenth-century Europe into a frenzy and through ... See full summary »
Middle-aged Gerald Kingsland advertises in a London paper for a female companion to spend a year with him on a desert island. The young Lucy Irvine takes a chance on contacting him and ... See full summary »
Erotic thriller. Mark, a hitman haunted by his past as a corrupt Miami cop and the death of his wife and son, prepares for his next killing. Gradually he becomes fascinated by the beautiful... See full summary »
Marked by her father's strong presence, since he is a rich and powerful businessman, the beautiful Berenice investigates his love life, to feel closer to him. With her findings, their ... See full summary »
Diane is a photographer of the ultimate in trendy soft core. Her ex, George, who makes bondage films, hooks Diane up with the muscular Teagan in exchange for a favor with a well-heeled client. Diane asks Teagan to model in her next shoot. When Teagan turns up bound, gagged, and dead, a rough policeman, Lt. Arnold, focuses his suspicions on George. When a second model dies and video disks show up depicting the murders, Arnold is certain he has his man - except that the killer we see in the videos is a red-headed woman. Diane's assistant, Valerie, can't keep her eyes off Diane, and Diane's mixer, Paul, also tries to be her protector. Do the cops have the wrong person? Written by
It always amazes me how the 1970's giallo thrillers, which was one of the best Italian genres, could somehow degenerate twenty years later into "erotic thrillers", which was one of the worst (and one which the Italians and the Americans really deserve equal credit--or blame--for creating). Part of the problem is that "erotic thrillers" simply have too much sex in them at the expense of pretty much anything else. The 70's giallo thrillers may have been a salty dish, but the "erotic thrillers" are basically a big dish of nothing but salt. This movie definitely has a too much sex in it, but there's an even bigger problem with it: it was made in the 1980's, "the decade that taste forgot". The 70's giallo films were very style-conscious, but they had the cool Freudian, "pop" art style to them that was very big in the late 60's and early 70's. This movie, however, takes the very, very lame styles of its own day (c. 1988)--the glossy MTV look, the big hair, the fake boobs, the "Miami Vice"-style cops (complete with designer stubble)--hell, there's even "futuristic" elements (i.e. electric cars, ray guns). Also, while the 70's gialli often had original music by genuinely talented composers, this movie (at least the English-language version)merely borrows several truly awful, sub-MTV American pop songs of the era like "Midnight Blue" (You'd think in the "future" people wouldn't still be listening to bad 80's pop music).
The plot involves a female fashion photographer whose female models--and lesbian lovers--are being knocked off by a killer. The main suspect is her ex-husband who makes S-and-M videos (and who looks like a younger "New Wave" version of Christopher Lee). The murders are investigated by a cop (who is basically a swarthy Italian version of Don Johnson). The heroine shamelessly throws herself at the cop (lesbianism and feminism be damned apparently), but he rejects her for some reason. There's no shortage of sex though albeit mostly of the lesbian variety (and be warned, one of the heroine's lovers is a second-rate imitation of Grace Jones and another is a musclebound female body-builder with a "punk" hair-do). There is a surprising lack of on-screen violence here, which I found truly unfortunate because everyone in this movie is so unlikeable and annoying that I wanted them all to die in the most horrible, bloody way imaginable.
If you actually LIKE the 80's though (perhaps you're too young to actually remember them?), you will probably like this better than I did. But if this can be considered a giallo, it's definitely one of the worst of the 150 or so I've seen. It's really more of an "erotic thriller" though and pretty typical of that very lame genre--as well as very lame era in which it was made.
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