i am a great fan of Giallo's and of all Euro Genre or Exploitation films made between 1956 and 1996.A very different era for Italian Cinema! While, most countries had their masters and their good directors,in Italy and Spain (especially) there was a very strong international Market: Genre films. B films if you would,but most of them,are today regarded as Cult Classic's!Many of those movies were pure genius and invention, stylish,entertaining:were mostly made with low budgets and shot in 4/max 5 weeks!Yet they'd manage to sell all over the World,making Producers very rich,so that they could eventually afford to make much bigger 'quality' movies from some of those more well known,more expensive, demanding Auteurs. But quite suddenly,and sadly,Italian Cinema basically came to an abrupt end,becoming,within a few Years,an industry mostly financed by Televisions or political parties,producing only rather boring intellectualized dramas,cheesy comedies,or films clearly sought for TV, more than for theaters,since audiences started deserting the once instead extremely popular Euro co-productions,and their Genre's,deciding to go mainly to watch big American films. What a pity, especially, if we think that Italian Cinema was even here in the US,one of the biggest!But,while,especially Spain and France,were strong enough to keep their national filmmaking solid,also with the help of newer,always amazing directors,Italy is struggling to find its own identity!But,there are news,of signs of extremely recent and brave productions,trying to revive,what's been worldwide declared by most,like the greatest Cult Cinema,ever produced: a few of the living masters(Argento&Deodato)are right now shooting new films,while others,more artistic Horror,underground films are finally coming back,too,immediately getting quite some international exposure,right away! Two of the main titles,to be soon available,both star Domiziano Arcangeli(House of Flesh Mannequins and Wrath of the Crows)who was leading this late Giallo,too,which was instead made back then! Hopefully these new interesting and promising new movies are a sign of a re-birth! Going back to Abatjour 2: Must say that I enjoyed this,very much!A true guilty pleasure of decadence,crime, thrilling surprises,luxury all happening and quickly unfolding like candy,in a splendidly photographed Rome, rich of dark and saturated colors(Romano Albani,the director of photography was back then one of the most solid professionals!),also featuring a jazzy score by the famed Stelvio Cipriani that even adds more to this murder mystery! The plot is not new,and it feels extremely convoluted, but,for me,at least, it's truly fun,and,just because of those wild and bigger than life events,and, of that pulp film Noir material,I believe that is why "Abatjour 2" gets kudos: for not taking itself too seriously or in any case, never even pretending to make too much sense,at all, but, just wanting to entertain, indulging,on those 'classic' vivid and refined,sexy images(it is the usual feast of great odd angles,long dolly's on the entrances of all main characters,mirrors and black veils,a hint of S/M, an ancient golden knife stained of blood,young and pretty women too young to die,etc.)and,just simply delight the fans of this Genre:and believe me,even though,this is a bit trite or unexplainable,at times,there's a lot to wonder&to admire! From Arcangeli's enigmatic,sensual, whispering character,a very young noble man who's in love with both his sister and her fiancée, to a dark lady (lovely Virna Anderson) plotting against a rich rival family,just for the name and sake of her Higher status,a truly black Aristocratic, in disguise,trying to defend at every cost,her family's right to survive with the money,that belongs now,according to her,at least,without any right, to a clan of superficial 'nouveau riches',and ex gangsters, who seem to only worry about spending big and seducing one another's!The occasion for a 'vendetta' arouses, when,some of the most gorgeous women in town, are found dead:all of them,one by one,mysteriously,right after, having engaged, in a wild night of debauchery,in some sort of little private and velvety brothel, where sex and opiates of any kind, are the main ingredients of the party! Since, the Police begins to suspect on the man who always seems to be the one,who's been organizing such immoral orgies,and that would be -you figure!- the popular, Sebastian,a playboy who's just the handsome older son,of course,of the above mentioned,corrupted new money's family,which,on top of the cake, tries to cover up quite prudently all rumors,by even promising a great favor to the Police forces! This seems like,almost an even too easy and plausible excuse for the Countess,who immediately starts to plot against the hated rivals,while her desire of getting back the huge amount of money she believed was sordidly stolen from her mysteriously dead husband,appears now, more and more like a reality,if,of course, played with clever set up's! And,in fact, without any further useless wait,she draws at once,a harsh and delightfully bloody,sinful plan for a cruel revenge:it's useless to say that we'll have to expect the worst, from an Aristocrat,like this Dark Lady, since,it is now a matter to restore the fortune,the honor of her beloved Family, and,the Countess is now obviously not only determined, but ready and willing to fight by herself, without any fear,and,actually, maybe even enjoying a little,the use of certain special weapons,that, with some personal pleasure,she is going to use with savvy behavior and the proper lies,in order to regain what had been compromised, by a family whose main crime is to have put in jeopardy, and in 'ridicule',the notoriously -for so long- conquered and privileged existence,of the Countess and her dears!But, do not worry, i'm not gonna reveal whether the plan will work, or what ever else will happen in between,since i don't wanna spoil the quite clever(if already seen a few times) twist, at the end of this picture! I'm just saying that,if you're a fan of this impeccably refined,stylized, even morbid kind of B Cinema, I then just advise you to seat tight and enjoy the wild ride! There's just enough to make happy anyone,here!
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