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Main Entry: exclusion
Definition: expulsion; forbiddance
Synonyms: ban, bar, blackball, blockade, boycott, cut, debarment, debarring, discharge, dismissal, ejection, elimination, embargo, eviction, exception, excommunication, interdict, interdicting, interdiction, keeping out, lockout, nonadmission, occlusion, omission, ostracism, ousting, preclusion, prevention, prohibition, proscription, refusal, rejection, relegation, removal, repudiation, segregation, separation, suspension, veto
Antonyms: acceptance, addition, admittance, allowance, inclusion, incorporation, welcome
send to Coventry, to refuse to associate with; openly and pointedly ignore: His friends sent him to Coventry after he was court-martialed.
People from the music industry that I respect, idolize or just simply appreciate: Ennio Morricone, Amy McDonald, Daan, David Bowie, Therion, Pink Floyd, Leonard Cohen, Alice Cooper, Neil Diamond, Joy Division, Bobby Darin, the Everly Brothers, Bobby Vinton, Gene Pitney, Herman's Hermits, The Hollies, The Animals, The Byrds, Donovan, Vargoth, Drudkh, Behemoth, Triggerfinger, Falkenbach, Finntroll, Einherjer, The Smiths, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, BB King, Ministry, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rufus Wainwright, The Allman Brothers Band, Johnny Cash, Paul Simon, Raymond Lefèvre, Children of Bodom, Volbeat, Elvis Presley, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, Anathema, Velvet Underground, Norah Jones, Fatboy Slim, Moloko, Angelo Badalmenti, Sarah Brightman, Lady Antebellum, Enigma, Muse, Army of Lovers, Chris Isaak, Lesley Gore, Kasabian, Pearl Jam, dEUS, Mumford & Sons, The Subs, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Cuff the Duke, Pulp, Oscar and the Wolf,
People from the movie industry that I respect, idolize or just simply appreciate: John Saxon, Mario Bava, Joe D'Amato, George Eastman, Darren Lynn Bousman, Boris Karloff, Enzo G. Castellari, Bo Svenson, Fred Williamson, Antonio Margheriti, Klaus Kinski, Lloyd Kaufman, James Gunn, Rob Zombie, Sid Haig, Matthew McGrory, Karen Black, Dennis Fimple, Irwin Keyes, Tom Towles, Bill Moseley, Wolfgang Petersen, Nicol Williamson, Fairuza Balk, Piper Laurie, Philippe Mora, Tom Holland, Ronny Cox, Lucio Fulci, Christopher George, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Catriona MacColl, Fabio Frizzi, Nicolas Cage, Todd Farmer, Tom Atkins, Paul Verhoeven, Kurtwood Smith, Miguel Ferrer, Ray Wise, Stuart Gordon, H.P. Lovecraft, Jeffrey Combs, David Gale, Barbara Crampton, Fernando Di Leo, Joe Dallesandro, Terence Fisher, Anton Diffring, Hazel Court, Christopher Lee, Robert Stevenson, William Girdler, Rebecca De Mornay, Mako, Ti West, Tom Noonan, Mary Woronov, Paul Bartel, David Carradine, Roger Corman, Adrian Hoven, Monte Hellman, Warren Oates, Harry Dean Stanton, Steve Railsback, Ed Begley Jr., Peter Fonda, Nathan Juran, Lionel Jeffries, James Glickenhaus, Ken Wahl, Joaquim de Almeida, Sam Peckinpah, William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Ben Johnson, Edmond O'Brien, Kurt Raab, Helene Cattet & Bruno Forzani, Karl Freund, Peter Lorre, Colin Clive, William Lustig, Joe Spinell, Caroline Munro, Tom Savini, Charles B. Pierce, Robert Wise, Fred Dekker, Fritz Lang, David Hemmings, Michael Ironside, Jan-Michael Vincent, Bette Davis, Joseph Cotten, Agnes Moorehead, Victor Buono, George Kennedy, Charles Bronson, Richard Fleischer, Elmore Leonard, Paul Koslo, Michael Winner, Brian Garfield, Lee Marvin, J. Lee Thompson, Riz Ortolani, Yul Brunner, Eli Wallach, Robert Vaughn, James Coburn, Steve McQueen, Michael Crichton, James Brolin, Mel Brooks, arry Cohen, Michael Moriarty, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Robin Hardy, Edward Woodward, Britt Ekland, Ingrid Pitt, Peter Cushing, Michael Gough, Herbert Lom, Udo Kier, Michael Reeves, Vincent Price, Ian Ogilvy, Dick Maas, Henri-Georges Clouzot, Paul Naschy, Paul Morrissey, Truman Capote, Peter Falk, Alec Guinness, David Niven, Elsa Lanchester, Peter Sellers, Gene Wilder, Patrick McGoohan, Herb Freed, Richard Kiel, John Landis, Tim Curry, Simon Pegg, Jenny Agutter, Frank Oz, Dario Argento, Quentin Tarantino, Everett De Roche, Stacy Keach, Russell Mulcahy, Brian Trenchard-Smith, Donald Pleasence, George Peppard, Simon Wincer, Narciso Ibáñez Serrador, Gary Sherman, Faith Domergue, Alexandre Aja, Ving Rhames, Christopher Lloyd, Eli Roth, Ishirô Honda, Greydon Clark, Cybill Shepherd, Neville Brand, Vincent Schiavelli, Martin Landau, Jack Palance, Alan Rudolph, Jonathan Demme, Pam Grier, Mark L. Lester, Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Kilpatrick, Don Dohler, Everett McGill, Corey Haim, Gary Busey, Jake Busey, Charlton Heston, Lorne Greene, Walter Matthau, Peter Bogdanovich, Woody Allen, John Milius, Franco Nero, Crispin Glover, Dennis Hopper, Dick Miller, Barbara Steele, Armando Crispino, Sergio Grieco, Helmut Berger, Lee Van Cleef, Robert Forster, John Huston, Melvyn Douglas, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., George Miller, Mel Gibson, Robert Rodriguez, George Hilton, Kane Hodder, Michael Madsen, Tony Todd, Nicolas Winding Refn, William Grefe, Cirio H. Santiago , Joe Dante, Don Coscarelli, Angus Schrimm, Tobe Hooper, Tiffany Shepis, Brad Dourif, George P. Cosmatos, John Boorman, Stephen Boyd, Tommy Lee Jones, Rod Steiger, Brian DePalma, Gunnar Hansen, George A. Romero, Simon Boyes, Adam Mason, Jack Arnold, M. Emmet Walsh, James Stewart, Darren McGavin, Kathleen Quinlan, Jack Lemmon, Robert Foxworth, Olivia De Havilland, Michael Pataki, Jerry Stiller, John Carradine, Julian Sands, Freddie Francis, Don Sharp, William Castle, Bill Rebane, John De Bello, Terry O'Quinn, Peter Sykes, Wes Craven, Michael Sarrazin, Lewis Teague, Yaphet Kotto, Sergio Stivaletti, John Phillip Law, Michele Soavi, Umberto Lenzi, Anna Falchi, Lon Chaney, Sergio Martino, Edwige Fenech, Ursula Andress, Michael Sopkiw, Edmund Purdom, Hal Yamanouchi, Barbara Bach, Cameron, Mitchell, Alberto De Martino, Ernesto Gastaldi, Maurizio Merli, John Steiner, Mel Ferrer, Barbara Bouchet, Marty Feldman, Tomas Milian, Bruno Mattei, Lamberto Bava, Luc Merenda, Anita Strindberg, Luigi Pistilli, Ivan Rassimov, Sergio Corbucci, Tito Carpi, David Warbeck, Luciano Pigozzi, Gianfranco Giagni, Florinda Balkan, Rosalba Neri, Mel Welles, Dagmar Lassander, Neil Jordan, Walter Huston, Ray Bradbury, Gregory Peck, Orson Welles, Bert I. Gordon, H.G. Wells, Ida Lupino, Kirk Douglas, David Lynch, Eddie Romero, Bela Lugosi, Al Adamson, Tor Johnson, Edward D. Wood Jr, David Cronenberg, Christopher Walken, Tom Skeritt, Martin Sheen, Dino De Laurentiis, James Wan,
Money for nothing and your terror-kicks for free
From the writer of the acclaimed 2010 surprise hit "Buried" (which I haven't seen yet) comes this very simplistic and implausible, but occasionally unsettling thriller. You better don't contemplate too much about the numerous holes in the plot, the bizarrely stupid personalities of the main characters and particularly the incredibly weird and far-fetched motives/gimmick of the killer when they get revealed near the end of the movie (I'll come back to that later), and if you manage that, you can enjoy a taut little thriller with a claustrophobic atmosphere. Three finance colleagues, a guy and a girl on the verge of becoming a couple and one incredibly annoying "fifth-wheel-on-the-wagon" guy, leave their office's Christmas party together on a cold winter evening and make an additional stop to withdraw cash. For some odd reason the ATM machine is a glass booth in the middle of an abandoned parking lot, and for an even odder reason David parks his car fifty yards away from the booth even though he could have parked right in front of it. When the trio intends to leave again, the way to their car is blocked by a motionless but menacing figure in a thick & furry winter coat. He or she promptly kills an innocent bystander and makes it unmistakably clear to the trio that walking out of the ATM booth is not a very safe idea. What follows is an intense cat-an- mouse game where the trapped victims attempt to attract the attention of emergency services through surveillance cameras, sprinkler systems and even the girl's lipstick. Their assailant remains calm and doesn't even try to break into the booth, but terrorizes them from outside. Meanwhile, the combination of ice cold temperatures and dreadful fear are causing struggles between the threesome inside the booth. The most positive comments I can write down about "ATM" is that the film never becomes boring and that the director makes good use of the single and isolated location. The acting performances are above average, with Josh Peck admirably depicting the intolerable and loathsome type of obtrusive co-worker like we all know at least one from own experience. Brian Geraghty and Alive Eve give away adequate performances as well, and it has to be said that the latter is a truly beautiful and natural woman.
Now, as promised, I come back to the denouement and more particularly to the motives and modus operandi of the killer (additional spoiler warning here). The film ends with the killer making careful and detailed preparations for a next trap. Similar sequences also featured during the opening sequences already, but didn't make much sense yet at that point. This person accurately measures the range of surveillance cameras, studies how to disable electrical equipment and prepares techniques to manipulate his victims into making certain decisions. So, if I understand correctly, he intends to blame the survivor(s) for going berserk and killing the others based on blurry video footage on which he doesn't appear himself? That is one strange hobby or way to kill time, to say the least. I certainly can't deny that it is original and unpredictable, but with a conclusion like this "ATM" doesn't score too many points in the credibility department
As if I wasn't in love with Vincent Price enough already .
I'm not just a fan of Vincent Price's films, I really love him! In my humble opinion Vincent Price must have been one of the most fascinating people who ever walked the earth and one of my biggest wishes would be to have known him in person. When I was ten years old I first saw him on the big screen in "Edward Scissorhands" but I was too young to realize who he was. A few years later I watched "The Abominable Dr. Phibes" arguably his most iconic role and performance for the first time and I got hooked on his persona forevermore. The horror genre brought forward many legendary actors (Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Peter Lorre, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing
) but there's only ONE Vincent Price! His bravura, his charisma, his grimaces and most of all of course his voice
This man was unique and I treasure each and every single one of his horror movies. He's also the only person in cinematic history that actually could have made the concept of "An Evening of Edgar Allan Poe" work! One and the same person narrating four (gothic) horror stories in front of a camera? Even with other acclaimed narrators/actors, like for example Morgan Freeman or Leonard Nimoy or James Earl Jones, this inevitably would have become tedious and monotonous. But not with Price. He is single-handedly responsible for making this movie almost as captivating and intense as a real action/horror movie. Two of the stories are very familiar to probably all fans of horror literature, namely "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Pit and the Pendulum". But although familiar and previously seen in other films, they still remain my favorite segments and particularly "The Tell-Tale Heart" because it provides our narrator with the ideal opportunity to go 100% mentally berserk during its climax! "The Sphinx" is only a very short interlude, but definitely sweet. The third tale is called "The Cask of Amontillado" and turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. It's a beautifully sinister and atmospheric tale thriving on vintage E. A. Poe themes like vengeance and immurement (being walled in alive). Highlight of this segment is a fierce dialog between two rivaling friends, brought by Vincent Price all alone. Magnificent decors and costumes too, by the way.
A-ha ha ha ha ha ha Thun-Der!
One of the main reasons why I worship the Italian exploitation film industry so much is because their rip-offs are often so damn blatant and shameless that you wonder how they even dared to register it on camera! Just look at the opening sequences of this "Thunder Warrior", for instance. A rusty old pick-up truck drops off a lone Vietnam War veteran, a seemingly calm and peaceful person with long dark hair and still wearing his soldier's clothes and a backpack over one shoulder. Does this image sound somewhat familiar? Well, it should, because "Thunder Warrior" is an all too obvious imitation of the tremendously successful "First Blood" that was released barely one year earlier. Thunder is the Navajo-version of John J. Rambo, but the actor Mark Gregory isn't nearly as muscular as Sylvester Stallone and definitely not as fierce and combative as he's depicted on the VHS-cover. In fact, Mark Gregory/Marco Di Gregorio isn't even a real Indian but a former shoe salesman from Italy who became a star for a very brief period thanks to "1990: The Bronx Warriors". Thunder is informed by this extremely old and awfully dubbed Native American grandfather that their sacred burial grounds are being overbuilt by capitalist real estate developers and urinated on by redneck construction workers. Thunder initially tries to diplomatically talk to Sheriff Bill Cook and his yokel deputies, but he's quickly chased out of town and beaten down in the sand. But he fights back and receives unexpected support from a freelance journalist and a radio DJ named Dancing Crow. The first half of "Thunder Warrior" is speedily paced and contains a couple of powerful action sequences, including a furious car chase and a raw fight, but I have to admit that the second half is dull, weak and severely lacking in the action department. Most of Thunder's opponents don't even get the ass-whooping they deserved (maybe because a few re-appear in the sequel?) and the grand finale is sorely disappointing. The supportive cast will appeal to cult cinema fanatics, with names like Bo Svenson ("Inglorious Bastards", "Snowbeast") Antonio Sabato ("Seven Blood Stained Orchids", "Gang War in Milan") and the über-sleazy Raimund Harmstorf. I haven't seen either of the two sequels yet, but here's to hoping that they unscrupulously rip off "Rambo: First Blood part II" and "Rambo III"
The Undying Monster (1942)
Familiar plot, but great style and what a feisty leading lady!
"The Undying Monster" is basically a very routine and derivative '40s horror flick, but there are a couple of aspects that undeniably bring this film to a much higher league. The delightfully sinister title, for one, but more importantly - of course - the skillful directing talents of John Brahm and a couple of extremely progressive footnotes in the script! This was one of 20th Century Fox' first attempts to imitate the tremendously successful horror movies from Universal and it more specifically became a combination between a typical old-dark-house chiller and a classic monster fable. For centuries already, the rich aristocratic Hammond family is plagued by a curse and far too many ancestors died in the claws of a hideous lycanthrope monster. The horror returns to the final heirs, siblings Helga and Oliver, when a young girl is found ripped to pieces on the large Hammond estate. The plot, set-up and particularly the denouement may be clichéd and predictable, but the power of "The Undying Monster" lies in minor plot details and stylistic highlights. The opening sequence, for example, is brilliantly misleading as the camera soberly ventures through the dark interior of the mansion and passes next to a seemingly lifeless dog and motionless female hand. But then the doorbell rings and both the dog and the female rudely awake. What an incredibly imaginative and unexpected scene to feature in a routine horror low-budgeter like this! John Brahm, a director who emigrated from Germany before WWII, here demonstrates a lot of his visionary talents and he would later make a couple of shamefully underrated horror classics like "The Lodger", "Hangover Square" (both starring George Sanders and Laird Cregar) and "The Mad Magician (starring the almighty Vincent Price). Little moments of brilliance in the script include some very progressive theories about lycanthropy AND a very early but powerful manifestation of girl-power and feminism! Female lead Helga Hammond is one feisty lady, to say the least. When she hears fearful screams from within the dark woods surrounding her estate, she unhesitatingly jumps into a carriage and forays into the night to investigate. What a woman! Helga is depicted by an actress named Heather Angel, which is an artist name that would only be chosen by adult film stars nowadays. "The Undying Monster" definitely isn't fundamental viewing, but warmly recommended to fans of spooky black- and-white horror. With a running time of barely 63 minutes, it won't even cost you too much precious time.
Moving Violation (1976)
The Sheriff shot the deputy and I swear it wasn't self-defense!
This drive-in/exploitation movie from the almighty producer Roger Corman was filmed during the mid-seventies and takes place in a small town in the deep south. You know what that means, right? It means plenty of wild car chase action, crashes, lone heroes and dumb coppers, gratuitous violence and of course a lot of banjo music! But please don't expect another brainless comedy like "Smokey and the Bandit" or a carsploitation classic like "Death Race 2000" or "Cannonball". "Moving Violation" actually has a story to tell and the tone & atmosphere are often quite grim and disturbing. The best contemporary film to compare it with is probably the 1973 flick "White Lightning" starring Burt Reynolds and Ned Beatty. Both titles theoretically qualify as straightforward and undemanding 70's hillbilly car-chasing movies, but there are sober sub plots and characters with depth and background. The cops here might have big sweaty bald heads and clichéd names like Bubba, but they are vicious psychopaths instead of dim-witted losers and don't hesitate to cruelly execute innocent people. The charismatic drifter Eddie and his brand new ice-cream selling girlfriend Camille find themselves in a world of trouble when they accidentally witness how the corrupt Sheriff Rankin kills off one of his deputies because he wasn't satisfied with his share of palm oil. The nasty Sheriff naturally accuses the young couple of the cowardly murder and mobilizes his entire precinct to hunt them down. The virulent chase quickly leads to other counties, but the authorities there are also eager to stop them because they are signaled as cop killers. "Moving Violation" feels very familiar, what with its superficially stereotypical characters and predictable plot, but the scenario holds several surprises in store and manages to remain suspenseful. The chase sequences, which pretty much cover 75% of the running time, are extremely spectacular and adrenalin-rushing. You'll witness the total demolition of approximately 25 vehicles and plenty of other scenery like billboards, gas stations and even entire farmhouses! I have tremendous respect for the very bleak finale that is very atypical for such a movie and that I personally never would have predicted. "Moving Violation" features good roles of Stephen McHattie (still at the beginning of his career), Eddie Albert and the astonishingly beautiful Kay Lenz, but the most memorable roles are for the bad coppers Lonny Chapman and Jack Murdock. B-movie favorite and Roger Corman regular Dick Miller has a brief but remarkable supportive role as the over-enthusiast bounty hunter Mack. Highly recommended for fans of the seventies in general, but particularly drive-in fanatics and Roger Corman admirers.
Should be re-baptized: "Yawn"
Let's talk about wasted potential, shall we? Because Byron Quisenberry's "Scream" is one early '80s slasher that literally bulks with great potential and possibilities, yet it somehow ended up as one of the absolute worst genre films of the entire decade; - and that means quite a lot since we all know there was so much junk made in the eighties! Everything starts out promising, and the prologue sequences with eerie and blood-soaked wooden marionettes of which the eyes spookily move even had me wonder for a second that I encountered a genuine hidden horror gem. Subsequently, the setting and introduction of the characters are also very interesting. We meet a group of people on a rafting trip somewhere in Texas, and for once they're not horny teenagers on a camping trip or sorority sisters during a college initiation night, but fairly normal and middle-aged people. Unless I missed something, we never even find out what their connection is. Are they friends, colleagues or complete strangers that just individually signed up for a rafting trip? I think the latter, as I did the same thing once when I participated in a rafting trip on the Colorado River in the state of Utah. Anyway, night falls and the group sets up camp in a ghost town by the side of the river. You'd expect a tense and atmospheric slasher feast from here onwards, but this is where things start to go horribly wrong. There's a killer wandering about in the abandoned little town and the number of survivors quickly decreases, but as a viewer you actually haven't got the slightest idea what is going on. Everything is dark and blurry, the characters are unidentifiable and the murders either occur off-screen or in a dull and bloodless fashion. It's fairly obvious that the killer shouldn't be sought among the group members, but there's a lame attempt to link the murders to a kind of folklore myth about a vengeful sea captain. Or something like that, at least, I have to admit that I dozed off a couple of times already at this point in the movie. Fact remains that "Scream" has an intolerably slow pacing and severely lacks in the blood, gore and sleaze department. In the trivia section, there's a little anecdote that states: "Director Byron Quisenberry did not give his actors the ending to the script". Personally I think he didn't even have an ending for his script. In fact, he probably never even had a script to begin with
Blood Rage (1987)
Thanksgiving Turkey with a LOT of cranberry sauce!
Being a sucker for old posters and VHS-covers, I have to start by stating that the cover image displayed here on the website does not correspond with the actual movie. The image is that of another movie named "Blood Rage", although that one is a misogynic exploitation/thriller from the year 1979 and directed by Joseph Zito; creator of "The Prowler and "Friday the 13th The Final Chapter". If you're interested, the most frequently seen poster for this "Blood Rage" features a Rambo knife with the reflection of a terrified and screaming woman in it. But anyways, on with the actual review
This obscure and initially shelved (between 1983 and 1987) '80s slasher may have an incredibly dumb storyline and may feature some of the most absurd plot-twists in cinematic history, but it's inarguably entertaining and delivers just what the target audience for this type of movies craves the most: extreme gore and gratuitous nudity! With sickening murder sequences and reasonably well-crafted make-up effects like these, I'm actually even surprised that the film wasn't released in 1983, as there definitely must have been a market for it. Who cares if the script is retarded when blooded machetes are fiercely swinging and chopped off heads are joyously rolling, right? Somewhere in the seventies, during a night out at the drive-in with their mother and her latest lover, the twin brothers Todd and Terry decide to go for a little walk between the cars and look at couples having sex. For no apparent reason, Terry hacks up a guy's face and then quickly puts the ax in the hands of his brother who is just standing there looking stupid. Todd spends the next ten years in a mental asylum (although his mother refers to it as a "special school"), until he suddenly decides on Thanksgiving Day that it is time to escape and tell the world that he's innocent. When Terry learns that his brother is loose, he starts butchering the entire neighborhood in order to uphold the idea that Todd is a maniac. So, before you ask: yes, we are supposed to believe that Todd never bothered to deny that he was the killer for ten long years, or that Terry is perfectly able to control his maniacal tendencies the entire time but then slaughters all his friends and relatives without any moral constraints. The film also never undertakes any attempts to build up suspense or mystery, what with the identity of the killer revealed straight from the beginning and it doesn't feature that typical "which one of the twin brother is this?" sub plot. Instead, there are a lot of dumb dialogs and quotes, for example Terry who keeps repeating "it's not cranberry sauce" whenever there's blood on his shirt, and an incredibly over- the-top hysterical performance of Louise Lasser. The body count is high and the murders are nice & nasty, with plenty of machete action and severed body parts flying around everywhere. Director John Grissmer didn't do a lot of film work apart from this one. He made the good but obscure and underrated plastic surgery thriller "Scalpel" (a.k.a. "False Face") and wrote the early 70s psycho- thriller "The House that Cried Murder". By the way, the latter is playing at the drive-in theater during the opening sequence of "Blood Rage".
La muerte ronda a Mónica (1976)
Death waits an awful long time to haunt anyone!
There exist two types of gialli, and I'm not referring to the Italian ones versus all the other countries. No, I'm actually talking about two types of plots. Either a giallo handles about a masked psycho-killer with black gloves who savagely butchers people preferably pretty young models with sharp objects, or it handles about a convoluted murder conspiracy complete with sexual intrigues, betrayal and triangular relationships. "Death Haunts Monica", a Spanish giallo released when the glory years of the genre were already fading out, belongs in the second category and it also takes an incredibly long time before the murders start occurring. But don't be alarmed too much because the film still provides plenty of entertainment during the first gore-free hour, thanks to interesting character developments, tension building and of course copious amounts of 100% gratuitous nudity. The beautiful and rich Monica is married to Federico (played by Jean Sorel who plays an adulterous scumbag in pretty much every movie I've ever seen starring him) and lives a rather dull and monotonous life inside their big luxurious mansion. Federico and his sex- addicted partner Arturo run a successful company, but Federico also has an affair with the sexy model Eva. However, Eva is actually in a lesbian relationship with Federico's secretary Elena, and the both of them want to blackmail him by threatening to inform Monica about her husband unfaithfulness. And as if life isn't difficult enough already for Federico, a sinister ex-convict shows up at his doorstep and threatens to expose a horrible secret from the past. And then, suddenly, poor Monica is attacked in her own house by a violent perpetrator dressed in black
The main problem with "Death Haunts Monica" is a typical one for over-ambitious gialli from unknown and largely inexperienced directors. The plot and suspense keeps on building up towards a climax that can't possibly meet the expectations that were raised during the film. In spite of all the intrigues and the red herrings and the secrecy, the conclusion is rather dumb and multiple essential key-characters are eliminated abruptly. Like several of my fellow reviewers already pointed out, director Ramón Fernandez clearly tried to imitate the French suspense masterpiece "Les Diaboliques", especially during the wannabe sensual sequences where Nadiuska and Karin Schubert are sitting on a bed naked and conspiring against Federico, but the homage doesn't really work. The character of Arturo is amusing (but totally implausible) and the sub plot with the mysterious Diego definitely holds potential but remains too vague. "Death Haunts Monica" is perhaps worth a look in case you're a fellow giallo-lover and have already seen all the more popular Italian classics, but not a movie worth tracing down.
Razor blade? Check! Misogyny? Check! Everything else? Check!
The name Maurizio Pradeaux probably won't ever be written in the annals of cinematic history, but he will at least be remembered by the true lovers of Italian gialli for his two contributions "Death Steps in the Dark" and "Death Carries a Cane". The former was released in 1977, already after the heyday of the gialli, and tries to be successful through mixing the whodunit-mystery plot with slapstick elements. The latter is from the absolute peak-year 1973 and is an exemplary giallo from every possible viewpoint! The plot, the disguise and modus operandi of the killer, the red herrings, the gratuitous nudity
it's all prototypic and by-the-numbers giallo material. But personally I couldn't care less. Quite the contrary, in fact, I tremendously enjoyed "Death Carries a Cane" although admittedly the plot twists are slightly too transparent and I would have preferred an even higher body count. Whilst waiting for her lover, photographer Kitty looks through a tourist telescope and witnesses the brutal murder of a pretty girl by a maniac dressed in black. Nobody believes her, of course, and it takes quite a while before the police find the body. It even takes so long that the killer also has the time to eliminate two other witnesses, namely a chestnut vendor (no, it's not Tom Savini) and a greedy cleaning lady. Eventually another pretty ballerina gets killed and the police are on the lookout for a crippled killer, because they found the print of a cane in the blood. Kitty's lover Alberto is the prime suspect, because he's an artist who stabs mannequin dolls for pleasure and he just happened to hurt his ankle. It's actually rather easy to guess who the killer is, and I don't quite know if this is because I've seen far too many gialli, or because the plot is really predictable. I suppose option number two
Still, you have to watch this film for it's hilarious politically incorrect dialogs ("Take a look at my girlfriend's pictures, it's the only thing she does well aside from making love
"), the bloody razor blade massacres and the nudity provided by one-hit-wonder Anuska Borova!
La muerte llama a las 10 (1974)
Really? Gloves, you say?? How extraordinary!
Considering I'm a self-acclaimed giallo film aficionado, I simply must start this review with a pointless rant about how ludicrous and goddamn obvious the international English title is. "The Killer Wore Gloves" Is that seriously the best title they could come up with? I've seen approximately 120 gialli so far, and in more than 75% of all titles the killer or killers - always wears gloves. The black (leather) gloves of the killer are one of the main giallo trademarks, along with the convoluted plot-twists and the misogynic violence. There's something wrong with all titles of this particular giallo, in fact. The original Spanish title "La Muerta Llama a las 10" somewhat translates as "Death Calls at 10 O'Clock", which is admittedly a much cooler title but doesn't have any link with the events in the film. And the Italian release titles goes like "The Warm Lips of the Killer". Quite awesome too, but the killer doesn't do anything with his/her lips neither.
But anyways, enough about the title issues! "The Killer Wore Gloves" is a Spanish giallo, and they are usually not as well-known or popular as their colleagues from Italy. The fact that it is still extremely obscure and hard to find also means that it's not a fantastic overlooked treasure of 70s Euro-cinema. Still, I would definitely recommend checking out "The Killer Wore Gloves" to more experienced giallo fans because it contains a handful of suspenseful sequences, an exhilarating score, an incredibly beautiful lead actress and a fairly satisfying & ingenious twist ending. The film begins with the lovely Peggy Foster (Gillian Hills) spotting her boyfriend Michael in a car in the center of London, even though his supposed to be fighting in Vietnam. Shortly after Peggy welcomes the creepy new tenant John Kirk Lawford in the apartment above hers, but when she returns from a fruitless attempt to meet up with Michael, the tenant apparently committed suicide by jumping from the apartment balcony. Then, while she's being interrogated by the police, another man rings the doorbell and claims to be the new tenant named John Kirk Lawford. Oh and meanwhile there's a killer with gloves slicing up Peggy's acquaintances with a nasty type of sickle. In all honesty the story really isn't that interesting or compelling, but you keep watching (or at least I did) because Peggy is such a likable female lead and you don't want her to get hurt. Gillian Hills depicts her as the ideal damsel in distress and it probably also helps that she has a couple of extended topless sequences. The rather unknown but prolific Spanish director Juan Bosch makes the most out of the scenes where Peggy wanders around her flat all petrified, with loud penetrating music, assuming there is someone there who intends to hurt her. There's some nice London scenery to admire as well as a couple of pointless but entertaining supporting characters, like a naked Orchidea de Santis and a cat-worshiping gay neighbor.