Reviews written by registered user
|33 reviews in total|
"Orgy of the Damned" is a refined and successful attempt recreating with sumptuous, Gothic style that retro (1960s/1970s/1980) European cult leading "genre" movies, with sometime rather inventive style and story telling. Here, there are terrific visual elements from gifted Italian cinematographer Mirco Sgarzi, and, the story by D. Arcangeli and Creep Creepersin is linear, but never trite, stylized and moving fast. We found suggestive the use of elements recalling some books of transgressing writer Brett Easton Ellis depicting with an hallucinated realism a doomed Hollywood weekend of a couple, who after clubbing in flashy S/M venues, ends up accepting (while also attempting to rekindle their seemingly tedious relationship) an invitation from 'Dimitri'(Chandler Maness) who seems well known to many. After a drink, or two, and what seems to be an allusive yet jaded conversation, the young couple is given the password to what is expected to be an exclusive hot after party on the dramatic Hollywood Hills, where only the most gorgeous, young, uninhibited crowd is invited to attend. After more drinking, and, having lost sight of the busy hunk Dimitri, the young elegant couple finally decide to break the ice, and to attend the adventurous proposal. By following the directions, and, with a secret code as a password to the unknown, they are taken to one of those Old Hollywood Goth mansions that looks almost intimidating in its magnitude, but that appears immediately to be a wild place where no barrels are hold, by the busy landscaping loaded with undressed extras waiting to enter by the main gate over the park, in order to be included in one Hell of an adventure to savor one more Hollywood's experience to remember. Once inside, the couple is quickly introduced by Dimitri, who immediately recognizes them, to the 2 proprietors of the Château, the languid, but, dark and tormented, brooding Fosco, and the savvier, more aggressive, out going Sabina: now, something "mysterious" and seemingly almost coming from the darkness of the beyond, immediately clicks among the 4, who are pleasantly surprised, but, also apparently immediately unsettled by it. Among a wilder and wilder shifting crowd composed by hot, gorgeous bodies, often in the nude, or often even having sex with or without the use of hard core "recreational drugs", Micah and his lovely young mate Fauna, become more and more loose and available to accept the edgy limits given to them by this world where apparently every moral has stopped, and conventions have been broken Centuries ago, by the 2 mysterious leads, the incredibly introspective and sensitive Fosco, and the more deceiving, drug user Sabina who seems often volatile, and definitely hiding constantly something more and more harrowing. I won't be giving away anything else of the thrilling, and, quickly unfolding plot that's following the fatal destinies of our protagonists, but i would like to point out how beautifully and luxurious both Art Direction, and high fashion's costume design were also photographed in very rich and saturated colors with an expertise that was also reminiscent of some of the most dense and outrageous atmospheres of an Anne Rice's vampires novel. While the scenario at times becomes even too gory, and disturbingly sexual for the prude or the faint of heart, we enjoyed instead this movie throughout , because it simply works mainly on 2 levels: you get the horrifying, Gothic, and highly suspenseful erotic situations promised by the marketing of the film, but you'd also be surprised by the incredible, almost touching depth of the character's development, that more often shines as a tale inspired by a modernized version of the 1782 Choderlos DE Laclos's novel "Dangerous Liaisons' as it starts its premise with a fascinating complex romance, and improves as it progresses, thus starts this tale of deceit and corruption through seduction, with the summons from the perverted Sabina to her confidante and former lover and son, Dimitri. The complex moral ambiguities of seduction and revenge make "Orgy of the Damned"probably one of the most scandalous and controversial movies ever made about vampires.. The subject of the major film, the script's prime movers, the dark and melancholic Fosco, and his clan, form an unholy alliance and turn seduction at first into a game - a game which they must win, just to defeat boredom. While this new tone gives the classic vampire's story a modern twist bringing to the plate many subtle argumentation, the viewers would be able to judge whether this movie is as "diabolical" and "infamous" as its critics might claim, or whether it has much to tell us about the kind of world we ourselves live in. I personally found a rich and increasingly surprising texture for a low budget genre movie, whose visuals often reminded me of the work of such European cult directors, such as, Mario Bava, Jean Rollin, Franco, and, Lucio Fulci: but its script is touching and ambiguous, like one of the most cruel of Ellis's prime novels (think "Less Than Zero" or "The Rules of the Attraction") where a bunch of desperate, drug taking, sexually 'uncertain' youth keep on pushing the envelope, manipulated by a society, that it is as dark and actually darker than some of their most shocking decisions. And, if at the end, there's a supernatural event changing, or perhaps, recreating the old Vampire's clan's rules, the situation from the very core of its tale, and the atmosphere comes across as completely re modernized and lethally dangerous as the type of literature the script obviously makes strong references to. And, this is also possible thanks to a very crisp, clear presentation of a story that is more classic than you'd think, and that also comes powerfully through with some excellent acting, especially from Domiziano Arcangeli, as the lead Fosco.
Extremely well crafted lower budget movie about all the beautiful people, sorry I should say all the gorgeous vampires, fighting humans and, then for love or luxury even themselves to the most dramatic and horrific consequences, in this retro style European Horror Exploitation film presented with just the right amount of everything, and, pretty unique today with its wild tones, and saturated colors framing few, but appealing sets with an eye backward towards certain Italian or French ( Margheriti, Franco, Bava, and Rollin come to mind ) directors who were prolific icons of the 1970s and 1980s. The story is deeply convoluted, but the dialogues are somewhat unusual and new, and well compliment the atmosphere, while all the steamy sex and gore galore are never deliberately vulgar, but tastefully shot, creating an ensemble that vaguely could at its best, remind of a modernized John Ford's tragedy. The cast is extremely appealing with a mix of great looking soft core stars, and quirky or just plain handsome cult actors and starlets you have for sure already seen in other horror or cult movies. The chemistry is great especially among the 2 leads torn by a burning and impossible love that hides secrets coming from the beyond! All the numerous others are all properly mysterious and rabid like in a real Gothic novel with a biting grip. While "Orgy of the Damned" could have been a little less erotic and more preoccupied to wrap up with character's development of its many subplots and secondary antagonists, one cannot deny that over all it ends up to make for a pleasant surprise especially considering the quite anonymous Horror scene we have to put up with today, and certainly won't disappoint those looking for a sexy film made with class and truly gorgeous actors all more or less well cast offering not only skin, but also fine, tongue 'n cheek performances. Enjoyable.
"La Notte Brava" (aka: The Big Night, although it means more something like actually 'The Brave' or 'The Wild Night') is an excellent film, that may be not very well known out of Europe, but it's still considered one of great director Mauro Bolognini's greatest efforts, and a film that generally stands successfully the test of time: Its script is exceptionally cohesive, sad and melancholic, daring and extremely sexually charged, and it comes from a short novel by unforgettable poet, writer and director Pier Paolo Pasolini who wrote the powerful screenplay with irony and passion, along with the French,and,at that time (1959) more experienced, Brost. It's almost impossible to believe this was produced and presented in 1959! It is so wildly modern, and the biting dialog, alienated, yet always seducing and ultimately even romantic atmosphere and situations (happening just during one Roman night facing the economic boom) are always brilliantly intriguing and breathlessly following up one another with great momentum. This is an astonishing ensemble piece, with refined cinematography by Armando Nannuzzi, exquisite costumes and looks by Marcel Escoffier who keeps away from fashion and stays on the character's development following the director's strict structure, sets by Carlo Egidi, and jazzy score by the awesome Piero Piccioni. The cast is so powerful, they all shine, even Mylene Demongeot in a 5 minutes segment manages to remind of Marilyn Monroe who could have also made that character as brilliantly sexy and mysteriously unnerving. The best and most attractive is Laurent Terzieff, Elsa Martinelli and Antonella Lualdi are so modern and gorgeous, while, if Brialy is at times a bit mannered, all others give unforgettable performances. Watch for a young and handsome Tomas Milian as the wealthy rebel without a cause hosting a "Dolce Vita" alike party over this wild night of brave and sad learnings. Great movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It was an interesting experience to watch this movie "La Madrastra" aka: Amor Perverso (probably a more appropriate title). I also find interesting that the only other reviewer didn't seem to recognize John Moulder Brown, he's not only the lead as Daniel, but also he seems to bring (very) old fashioned director Roberto Gaveldon constantly "distracted' by the step mother, and, increasingly uniquely interested in Moulder-Brown's handsome features and top model alike body, and presence. Certainly, John Moulder Brown is an actor i have liked always very much: a cult presence in a way, with an off beat career that started when he was a delightful British classic looking child, and, became famous a decade later, when he moved on to teen ager or young leading roles, making some very fine movies such as the classic "Deep End" and Schell's version of Turgenev's "First Love" opposite Dominique Sanda, and the chemistry between the two was somewhat memorable. Now, after such international cult films, Moulder Brown's career perhaps was badly managed, or not so fortunate, because he did get to work again with his "Deep End" director, Jerzy Skolimowski, in the International comedy "King, Queen and Knave" and was sublime in a few supporting roles with directors like Luchino Visconti, Ward Baker, etc. But, by the mid 1970s, aside from some great TV work, his film's roles became sparse, and often ending in embarrassing productions like this grotesque soap opera, about an old wealthy man with fake teeth, who marries a well aged, unattractive prostitute, takes her home, and makes her his new wife, while his son Daniel seems to fall for her from the get go. The older man dies after making love, the widow now does not seem so in love with Moulder Brown, who actually comes back home after a trip to find his stepmother madly in love with another handsome man, an executive who's helping the family business, but, that seems just a boy toy for the older lady. However, the man who's also a painter, will eventually develop a morbid passion for Daniel, constantly portraying him in a myriad of paintings and assaulting him at every time, now madly in love, while Daniel seems indifferent as he lets the man go mad over him and doesn't dislike to be touched or kissed either! When the stepmother finds out, after a scene that could have been better done in "The Bold and the Beautiful" puts the 'morbid relationship' (or it was considered just a friendship? Hard to believe) between the 2 men to an end, while a little later the handsome exec kills himself drowning ironically submerged by paintings of Moulder Brown. Who knows, after all, he (Daniel) was right to make his step mother mad of jealousy, since now the old woman grotesquely is ready to make love with him. Fin. What to say? A curious film, a Mexican and Spanish co-production not horribly shot, well lit and professional, but, truly just grotesque, plagued by a trite and laughable script, and by a phenomenal miscasting. Moulder Brown who does not seem to care a bit about the whole affair, poses constantly, photographed very well in the semi nude, and, making look the step mother even older and out of place than she was for the part. The dialogs are unbelievably funny, the staging, as i said, reminded at its best the one of a pitiful soap, just shot with more of a budget, and some decent exterior work. A regrettable, bad movie, ironically sad in each one of its attempts. But, why an actor like Moulder Brown stars? (The main titles miss all the main cast, that's why the other reviewer didn't probably see Brown's name listed which is instead top billed on the DVD cover) I would have liked to see this remarkable young actor in movies like "The Go-Between" opposite Julie Christie, or with Glenda Jackson, and with other Hollywood stars, or at least in great European movies such those he was making at the beginning of the decade! I have heard those above were all positions he had apparently been planned or considered for, but lost them for different reasons. So, while doing some great stage work, and good TV movies, or mini series, his work on films became limited to such lousy products, only capable to damage the name of the even most gifted young, leading man! Too sad, and too bad for this "Stepmother" vehicle, which, to be quite fair, it should have been called "The step son" since Moulder-Brown not only is the true lead, but also is almost obsessively photographed in the semi nude, basically from beginning to end. And thank God, the movie was rather short! I would give a 3 stars, but i do give a 5 just to the respect i have for this still stunningly great British actor, whose career, again, has been so interesting, but, could have been outstanding with a little more luck, and much better management.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Here's a splendid restoration work from the original film's vaults, colorful, lavish, and always sexy, erotic, as only Brass could make movies, a bit art house, extremely stylized, over all infused of that slight sensational sophisticated comedies' feel in perfect 1930s style, yet with wildly turns into graphic and/or erotic story telling that's always (almost) been handled with the talent only Tinto Brass is capable of, and believe it or not, with again, a certain sophisticated eye capable always to 'see' beyond the nudity, and, discovering the souls of his principle cast with some outstanding expressionistic visual style of sort that has been truly Brass' trademark since the beginning of his admirable career: he can manage to make you believe the most uncomfortable circumstances photographed beautifully but also extremely realistically with vivid glares and rapid ironic smiles of provocation, and, staying yet completely free of any judgment, but again, so realistic in the representation of their own depiction, composing at the end quite the piece! Here, thanks to a simple, but clear, and, clever narrative, we have John Cleland's heroine 'Fanny Hill' who becomes a young 'Mimma' (gorgeous to look at Deborah Caprioglio) from Trieste, east of Venice, Italy, an almost under age beautiful Bambie not educated, she is initially naive, badly betrayed by an abusive boyfriend, and, she ends up having no other choice than becoming a prostitute. The film does follow her throughout her own journey and her version of the story that is taking place in prude and puritan 1950s Italy, and, in what seems to be a carefree, endless riot of an existence that does never embitter the now re-named (after a series of fun and powerful make overs) "Paprika", but, actually, she at the contrary seems to make always the best for herself, becoming quite a very sweet, but smart and very sexually skilled young lady, capable also to gain her own respect, and at the right moment also to change her faith for the best, becoming as in a fairy tale, a Countess, with yachts and marvelous huge Villa on Lake Como, while, at the same time, keeping herself intact with her good heart, as she is still managing to gain social influence, power, money (the original 18 years old heir is put back to his place right away), but also helping some ex colleagues and their lives, now harshly facing the streets, and its dangers, after the laws prohibiting brothels in Italy since after 1958, leaving all the workers to despair and apparently without a roof in the merge of worse pimps abusing them! What could have become either the same old, trite tale of the poor demoniac young prostitute, or just a trip into the mere and most exploitative depiction of all sex and morbid curiosity over the vulgar aspects of such hard life now changes drastically direction and flavor with Brass in top form taking the helm with class, also with the help of always exceptional (often Federico Fellini's co-writer, too) screen writer Bernardino Zapponi, who opts to tell the story instead like a wild comedy with great dialogs that truly feels like one of those movies released before the Hollywood code of censorship, by doing so, Brass and Zapponi leave the narration as linear as possible pushing instead the envelope over all the eccentric, and, the truly lavish visuals designed with phenomenal gusto and greatness by Academy award winners art director Bruno Cesari, and production designer Paolo Biagetti, with the help of the almost surrealistic gowns, wonderfully tailored by fantastic costume designer Jost Jakob, and, with an over all general key visual extravaganza highly accomplished with the help of a big budgeted International co-production, but, also by the exquisite use of the colorful palette offered by the sizzling cinematography put together by masters Silvano Ippoliti, and Massimo Di Venanzo. A movie i highly enjoyed watching again, and that i have appreciated being so well re-presented and restored. The supporting cast is here also another treat to look for, composed as it is, by some of the most well known cult Euro actors of the time, all wonderfully placed, composing a myriad of faces, cameos, and little yet very poignant roles, such as John Steiner, Petra Sharback, Nina Soldano, Luca Lionello, Riccardo Garrone, Valentine Demy, Andrea Aureli, Luigi Laezza, Stephane Bonnet, Stephane Ferrara, Elizabeth Kaza, Deborah Cali, Paul Muller, Martine Brochard, Luciana Cirenei, and, last but not least, Domiziano Arcangeli as 18years old Gualtiero who's brought to celebrate his birthday, in the fabulous looking brothel "Gli Specchi" in Milan, by his father, wealthy, eccentric, and wild Count Bastiano Rosasco (burly Renzo Rinaldi, an actor very dear to the late Brass) who later ends up inviting Paprika in high society, and he finally introduces her to his own family disrupted in disbelief when he decides to announce he's to marry her, apparently keeping extremely blasé about the whole social scandal. But, this will end up being at once the originally unique happy ending of a good, gorgeous, young girl who has always been thankful for what life had presented to her no matter what, smiling always like an eternal sunshine, and leaving tears and melodrama out of her (wild) path, mainly never embittered by the circumstances, as she is now rewarded by a twist of fate, when she would end up crossing the line, and by famous young prostitute of elegant brothels, we get to see her toward the end of the picture, transforming yet again and becoming a famed and respected young blue blood Italian countess. A true smash at the time of its release, very successful indeed at the International box offices of that time, this movie holds its own still very well, with its genius and crazy director, fun and light script, lavish sets, and elegant exterior work, its great technical contributions, "Paprika"certainly manages to successfully and glittering appearing almost as a brand new show, just 25 years past its original release!
This is truly a disappointing experience : I had often to fast forward since I am a great fan of the Fruttero & Lucentini's novel and of the movie made lavishly in 1970s Turin by an excellent Comencini starring unforgettably classy Marcello Mastroianni, Jean Louis Trintignant, Jacqueline Bisset (at her prime) and delightful Aldo Reggiani as Lello Riviera. Here everything feels all muddled up into something that rarely is watchable, certainly does not have class, nor a strong grip at direction, but exceptionally just manages to land terribly flat on a small screen (small budget feeling) production that is as full of boredom and plot holes as it is full of trite situations, poor character's development. And, excuse me, aside Roberto Zibetti who I must say did well in the Trintignant's role, the cast seems to awfully struggle to give truth and realism to an upper class period context that should have been impeccably told and reconstructed but that lacks style from virtually any angle. I tried to forget- from time to time- the excellent novel and old movie, but in vane! The 1975 perfectly witty, cruel, ironic, and ambiguous movie still feels brand new when you are watching this poorly adapted, loosely written, badly acted, and presented version I highly not recommend seeing to anyone: it is just something you do not wanna be investing any of your time with, something that spoils rather cheaply what was a perfect gem of the Giallo's genre especially so celebrated by its fans who here in the U.S. would be truly 'screaming for murder', but not in the good old way.. If you know what I mean!
This is an outstanding production obviously made with a larger budget
than usual, with a fantastic, realistic yet deeply moving script,
fascinating period re- construction with top notch technical
contributions, and, most of all a director who forgets he's actually
working for TV, but imposes his skilled cinematic language with a tone
and style that make even more poignant this TV series, truly shot like
for a wide screen audience more than for the annoying small screen's
cheap restrictions, both formally and visually, making great use of its
own excellent dialog, and accurate script supervision that accomplish
to deliver a perfect biopic that feels always very involving, as it is
timely. Perfectly cast, with many well known faces, perhaps not too
many stars, but, indeed an outstanding group of actors who have both
'faces' and acting style to match, and, are all so unarguably capable
to give life to this emotionally complex story, all main cast
accomplish to be extremely solid throughout, always watchable,
believable, and quite unusually unforgettable for the standards of even
a larger scale European TV product made with the intents above
mentioned. I won't spoil now the human struggle, and timely story of a
doctor, at the turn of the 20th Century, always fighting, and searching
for the truth, dedicated completely to his incredibly endearing
philanthropic endeavors, since in "San Giuseppe: Doctor to the Poor",
instead than telling obviously expected pitiful generic material, an excellent script and direction manage to end up always on a robust ground of unusual, civil, emotional, political, and other mainly unexplored themes, with a clever story telling utilizing at its best a great, but never excessive number of people, faces, lands, sets, subplots, but that most of all, always stays so greatly connected with its own impeccable, universal depiction of more dramatic, and controversial, key social commentary. One could only hope TV movies would all manage to be this profound, this stylish, and good, completely shot with a theatrical, and visible, effortless dedication to the quality of the story, the acting, the narration, while never compromising with false atmospheres, but always sounding and looking great, produced throughout as a wide, International co- production of such higher scale should always be. "Giuseppe Moscati" has never failed for a moment to entertain my family, while to interest me deeply, and then deeper, about a story that I don't believe had been ever told before, or was never told so engrossingly well so skillfully never less than compelling, to say the least!
"House of Flesh Mannequins" is a nostalgic homage and sure amused
that winks at the classic films from the 70's. A movie set that look
like a stage (and the film itself is divided in 3 Acts), searched
costumes and hairdos, cinematography of Mirco Sgarzi that recalls with
personality the atmospheres of the best Fulci and Argento's movie. This
is cinema made from who loves the cinema, a movie rich of winks and
citations that the most expert (but not only them) will be amused to
pick: from Lynch to the surrealism of the 30's, passing trough Fulci
and Cronenberg. International porn stars and regular actors working
together for the first time with extreme body art performers used in
the torture scenes. Everything is real, but at the same time,
everything is done for the purpose of creating a movie, which is
anything but real. The movie presents a compelling case against the use
of gratuitous violence on TV as well as the self-righteous,
sanctimonious ways that society chooses to confront children's issues.
I just watched this movie, and, was touched , frankly almost stunned, by Domiziano ARCANGELI's performance : was simply the nature of the character who so compulsive, damaged, broken up, and teared apart by an abusive past he can never leave behind, as if he was almost incapable to shake it off: it is ultimately that morbid perversion that makes eventually the movie itself become such an over all powerful depiction of the pity ( and of its truly provocative means) since it appears to be pretty impossible today for many to detach from that dangerous hidden indulgence we all- in different ways- spend by consuming either P*rn, or violent, forbidden material, or mere mainstream voyeurism, such as Reality TV, a phenomenon, the movie targets very cleverly : if all of a sudden, someone becomes famous and wealthy, maybe, even by just exploiting themselves, and/or their lives, then in that case, some may even be able to get away with murder, while, instead, the really frail, abused ones, not so accepted by most, like Sebastian ( which Domiziano Arcangeli brings here to life, with an almost disturbing realism, power, thanks also to his unusual traits, and deep, mysterious eyes), generally end up paying the bill for most, here meaning in particular, a corrupted, disjointed, and, ultimately so unfair society, that has become increasingly insensitive, and dangerously closed, almost as a perpetual enemy to any form of more personal, genuinely honest consideration over real existential torments, but also, so inconsiderate toward all people who allow themselves to be vulnerable, and, so even simply more human, to the point of poignantly creating such profound, insightful questions over the whole plot of this movie, which ultimately I have found so beautifully poetic, and extremely well made: a real punch in the stomach for most, that doesn't for once feel simply as your typical attempt at scaring audiences with scenes, but, that may be certainly, and by far, some of the most realistically raw, brutal, and shocking piece I have ever even seen before, always keeping a lyrical tone that's sublimate by a great, ground breaking direction from dark Domiziano Cristopharo here delivering controversial or graphic material as in form of a poem, a bit like in Pasolini's "Salo". Irena A. Hoffman is a powerhouse: her performance is just fantastic and her looks are honestly so gorgeous that can melt your heart, while breaking your dreams of being a man. She succeeds to bring to life a new type of 'femme fatales', and, she's gritty and unapologetic. All the rest of the cast is a mix bag of interesting faces from the underground, from pornographic movies, and so called "modified performers" who for real cut themselves in real time and it's raw, visible, absurd, and at the same time, somewhat genius: they all deeply touch the subconscious of those still interested in truly understanding what's between good and evil, and, to those who'd still like to connect with this movie, while, leaving home any sort of moralistic Puritanism, trying instead to embrace its deep story, with empathy, and, human consideration for all of those who suffer while surviving lives way darken than even the above, and, way passed and beyond the edge of those we may be simply more familiar with, and, always asking ourselves not to immediately label them, as simply bad, or atrocious, or just way too far from us, but, again to tune in into a movie that is simply asking us to listen to all: i believe you'd be surprised what a moral lesson "House of Flesh Mannequins" is capable to deliver within its darkest lights and trembling, shaking grip to reach out to our feelings.
I did thoroughly enjoyed this modest scripted, but well shot, and presented sci-fi thriller : it was fun to watch without too many false pretenses. I read some of those earlier reviews on here: some should be reported . It's (especially in a couple of those above) so obvious that they haven't even given to this well produced effort a chance, but just watched it with judgmental disdain, and a personal hate so obvious that truly gets offensive . Those are what I call trolls, since if you (even would take the time) to just check them out they have a profile that's only reviewed this film, and, in ways that are unbearably silly, and should not be permitted by such a serious site like IMDb. That being said, it is not Academy Award's material, but, I believe someone with a little brain, and class would have figured it out at the premise. It's an average campy, suggestive, and standard sci-fi movie that is as derivative as thousand of others films that have been already made many times before but without deserving such offensive, ludicrous tones: guess one can only pity folks killing themselves with their own self admitted, widely demonstrative ignorance. I can only tell you that I was certainly not expecting much at all, and, that actually a friend almost had to force me to watch this. But, then, I was quickly pleasantly surprised and hooked into it by the slick cinematography, the special effects, the incredible music score composed by Shawn Klement, the good special effects, and over all accurate make up supervision. Sound design was also first class, and, if the script was trite, the direction was very promising, extremely professional, and, obviously savvy focused onto fighting sets that were "arranged" to cover up for some warehouse, or cheap sound stage's labyrinthine claustrophobic sensation and lack of better props. But, thankfully, the obvious was avoided thanks also to the use of extremely poignant angles, and, of some solid filmmaking's style that ends up making a good use resulting for the most part always highly effective, and never depressing, but, as chilling as it is frantically, increasingly harrowing. The climax was good, and there was even an attempt at some character's development: something you can hardly find in much more over hyped productions made with costs that "Virus X" did not have even in the sum of their catering services. However, it's just a shame Lions Gate hasn't put a tiny bit of effort to market this little cult movie with some respect, in order to keep away trolls with serious personal issues, from being almost the only ones to review and trash cowardly some good, decent work, I was at the very end almost shocked to find so professional, and over all, very entertaining. The cast was a mix of fresh faces, all interesting types, not only watchable, but actually for the most part all believing in what they were saying. Sybil Danning was a hoot as the billionaire villain, still looking great, and changing outstanding prime wardrobe in virtually every sequence she appears. Joe Zaso was believable as a shady professor, and, Domiziano Arcangeli's performance was strong, and unique in its own, despite what some may think of an arbitrary choice of look, and appearance: however, again here we are not meant to take things so seriously since he's just playing a robot becoming progressively envious of human feelings! That per se is one thing that could make many laugh just at the idea, but how do we actually know it could be impossible, since "the creature" is a manipulation of a genre's flawed script? He looks great, and makes the most of it, often stealing the show. Again, I might have given a little less positive review if I had been made believe to be watching a major motion picture, made with million of dollars, or an art house cult. But, we know that Grindstone releases normally what is primarily bad filmmaking, picked and offered often without much of an artistic criteria. Nonetheless, they are still way above some SyFy original presentations, and, not even to be compared to those really dreadful products, made by minor studios like the Asylum. And, "Virus X" against all odds, was a true confirmation of their much better intents. Watch for yourself and you won't be disappointed !
It's not mesmerizing at first, but it's certainly one of those formidable and accomplished movies that keep on growing with you. I was slightly upset with a couple of reviews from other readers: obviously anyone is entitled to their opinions but truly how could you say that the two leads are not great? I found both Louise Bourguin and the truly handsome and elegant, classy Pierre Rochefort to be highly commanding of their roles, giving to what lies on the script and to the almost restrained direction of the excellent Nicole Garcia, all the torment, all the despair and the romantic beauty of their protagonists adding with their profoundly affecting performances a lot of insight and mystery that adds up to the apparently simple yet increasingly complex narration a whole new dimension. What would seem to be a delicate, demure portrayal of some isolated, lonely, fascinating misfits during a crucial weekend, starts to unfold romantically first and surprisingly psychologically in the second greater act, as if the storytelling of a personal sadness, the tragedy of loneliness all of a sudden would turn up as evolving, always as elegant, and controlled, as it lays by its extremely refined, and, elaborate script, as an involving mystery thriller, not only so greatly giving a quick, but extremely touching portray of working France today, but, escalating its unexpected terrific climax, so perfectly designing France's boring and corrupted, scandalously detached and unkind upper class, outlining with bitter and frantic realism the story of one of those classic, wealthy, French families depicted with horrifying coldness and real dark tones. To notice here also the extraordinary contribution given to the story from the story main antagonist, a mysterious, enigmatic, still beautifully aged mother who keeps on living while trying to forget the cruelty of her family's rigid faith, sublime in this pivotal role the always extraordinary Dominique Sanda, who's been absent from the screen for at least a decade and has come back with a fantastic if perhaps overlooked screen role. Also, Deborah Francois as the hypocrite sister designs with a virtuoso performance a role filled with conformism, and, tormenting frustrations. Altogether a wonderfully accomplished, written, photographed, produced and directed film that reminds us always of at what high standards French Cinema stands sovereign today, presenting even, what could have been a much more simple romantic drama, with deeply insightful, and, darkly mysterious tones, providing realistic social commentary, and, sublime character's development, rapidly contributing to an always tense and entertaining narrative that is also always cinematic, a it never gets sappy nor drawn or obsolete, as many American movies can so easily be today, but, manages to stay realistically appointed, avoiding melodrama, with its excellent production value, and a never less than compelling, increasingly satisfying atmosphere, which is a true gift to an emblematic tale of love and loss, while also clearly advocating a more adult way to cope while learning of letting go of what is so hostile, and, dangerously indifferent to someone's individuality, and sensibility . I deeply enjoyed, and highly recommend this wonderfully shot and brilliantly scripted and acted movie!
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