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Isi/Disi - Amor a lo bestia (2004)
Metal fans will feel insulted, rest will not laugh at all.
Knowing by personal experience how much is put in making a film, I have as a rule to avoid commenting those films that I feel as really bad. I understand how much money, work and illusion, so many people' illusions, are put in the making of a film to just slaugther it because I didn't like it. I'll break the rule here, because it is such a good example why Spain' cinema is in crisis nowadays.
I'll let away the stereotypes, the really bad acting (that blonde gal, please keep modeling, forget acting), the cheap 'I wanna be like Javier Fesser' way, the moronic script, and the sad view of a poet like Joaquin Sabina turned an alcoholic 'gimmethemoney' (I'll bet he's not acting). But the real problem with this movie it is simple a unfunny comedy. A sad, moronic, bad tasted comedy that simply will not make you laugh at all.
The 'funniest' gags are Ana Risueño receiving main character sperm in her face, and Miriam Diaz Aroca being sodomized. From this point, everything gets worse. You'll find smarter, best tasted and funnier gags in any Olaf Ittenbach gorefests.
So, Spanish cinema is in crisis, and need to be financed by state, I mean, by Spanish people... Why is in crisis?...it is soooo hard to compete with US blockbusters?...there's no government grants enough?...Well yes, but this is not the main problem... perhaps Spanish producers simply do not put their money on the films they produce, because state grants and TV sales pay for it, so why would they bet more money in marketing, if they can get a print and a screen, justify the grant, and keep a few grand for them and move to the next¿...or perhaps because nobody in this country knows how to edit a trailer that doesn't suck?... or perhaps the problem is simpler, and, simply, most of the Spanish cinema (with a few exceptions)sucks so deeply that nobody in his main would be tricked again in wasting money in what they call 'art', and the rest of us call a bad movie.
La casa sfuggita (2003)
Probably the best Lovecraft adaptation to date.
To find a direct-to-video, independent, video-lensed, low budget horror movie that does not rely all its potential on the belief that huge tits, bad effects and awful acting are funny to watch, just for the shake of a movie done on a low budget level is a hard thing.
To find a video-lensed indie that is well lit, well shot, well edited, very well acted (even though a horrible italian accent) and really well written is almost impossible.
But finding both in the same movie, and finding that it is probably the best adaptation that the Providence Master has received yet, makes The Shunned House a miracle.
Saletti and Zuccon offers us 3 of the most spooky tales from the mythos interlaced in three times and one sole location. Visuals, storytelling and frights are directly linkable to Bava, Argento, Fulci and Avatti, although Zuccon character development is, in most cases, superior to these italian masters. There's some point on the nightmarish ambient that even reach the level of some new-born Buñuel.
Anyway, the film is not perfect. It is a true dialog-driven and in sometimes lacks a bit of action, but the story is told with its own rythm, and that can result boring for some people, probably these preferring teen slashers and Michael Bay's 50-shoots-per-minute action extravaganzas. Another big drawback are in the make-up effects department, that it is not bad, but certainly not in the level of the rest of the movie.
So, wheter you are a Lovecraft adept, or a horror-fan, near to lose your faith in the genre, The Shunned House is probably the best option to rent in a videostore full with heart-less and bad-to-the-bone horror movies.