The Mercenary (Il mercenario) Region B

Guest reviewer Lee Broughton is back with an in-depth look at Sergio Corbucci’s grand ‘Zapata’ Spaghetti Western. Set in post-1900 Mexico, Tony Musante’s rebellious peon wants to be a hero of the revolution but he primarily robs the rich in order to pay the extortionate wages that are demanded by Franco Nero’s interloping Polish mercenary-cum-military advisor. The resultant political allegory is played out on an almost epic scale and is suitably enlivened by the presence of a villainous Jack Palance, a plethora of large scale action scenes, an imaginatively used period car and biplane and a rousing soundtrack score by Ennio Morricone and Bruno Nicolai.

The Mercenary (Il mercenario)

Region B Blu-ray

88 Films The Italian Collection

1968 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 106 min. / A Professional Gun, Il mercenario / Street Date, 8 Jan 2018 / £15.99

Starring: Franco Nero, Tony Musante, Jack Palance, Giovanna Ralli, Franco Giacobini, Eduardo Fajardo, Franco Ressel, Raf Baldassarre, Tito Garcia.
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The Assassin

Writer-director Elio Petri scores big in his first feature, the story of a heel suspected of murder. Is he a killer, or just an average guy trying to get ahead, who uses women to his advantage? Marcello Mastroianni impresses as well in a serious role, with Salvo Randone shining as the police inspector trying to pry a confession from him. Beautifully restored in HD; the show is from a time when Italian film was at its zenith.

The Assassin

Blu-ray + DVD

Arrow Video USA

1961 / B&W / 1:85 widescreen / 97 min. / Street Date April 18, 2017 / L’Assassino / Available from Arrow Video

Starring: Marcello Mastroianni, Micheline Presle, Cristina Gaioni, Salvo Randone, Andrea Checchi, Francesco Grandjacquet, Marco Mariani, Franco Ressel.

Cinematography: Carlo Di Palma

Film Editor: Ruggero Mastroianni

Original Music: Piero Piccione

Written by Tonino (Antonio) Guerra, Elio Petri, Pasquale Fest Campanile, Massimo Franciosa

Produced by Franco Cristaldi

Directed by Elio Petri

Fans of Elio Petri
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Blood and Black Lace

Mario Bava turns from spooky gothic tales to a relentlessly violent murder spree in the glossy world of high fashion. The large cast gives us a fistful of prime suspects, while the main draw is Bava's powerful direction and razor-keen images - and in this excellent transfer, the colors can only be described as hallucinatory. Blood and Black Lace Blu-ray + DVD Arrow Video U.S. 1964 / Color / 1:66 widescreen / 89 min. / Sei donne per l'assassino / available through Mvd Entertainment / Street Date July 5, 2016 / 39.95 Starring Cameron Mitchell, Eva Bartok, Thomas Reiner, Ariana Gorini, Dante Dipaolo, Mary Arden, Franco Ressel, Claude Dantes, Luciano Pigozzi, Lea Lander, Massimo Righi, Francesca Ungaro, Giuliano Raffaelli, Harriet White Medin. Cinematography Ubaldo Terzano Editor Mario Serandrei Original Music Carlo Rustichelli Written by Marcello Fondato, Giuseppe Barilla, Mario Bava Produced by Alfredo Mirabile, Massimo Patrizi <Directed by Mario Bava

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

When Arrow Video released a U.K. Blu-ray
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‘Blood and Black Lace’ Blu-ray Review (Arrow Video)

Stars: Cameron Mitchell, Eva Bartok, Thomas Reiner, Ariana Gorini, Dante Dipaolo, Mary Arden, Franco Ressel, Claude Dantes, Luciano Pigozzi, Lea Krugher, Massimo Righi | Written by Marcello Fondato | Directed by Mario Bava

Mario Bava’s Blood and Black Lace may not be the first Giallo film but it is the one that many took inspiration from and the genre itself formed from, especially the themes and style. When a young model is killed by a mysterious masked figure she leaves behind a diary which may hold evidence as to the identity of her assailant. As more women from the same fashion house die at the hands of the killer the police try to find the culprit. In a tale of blood and blackmail, can they stop the killer before it is too late?

Blood and Black Lace is a movie that flits not only between genres but also somewhat bravely for
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‘L’Assassino’ Blu-ray Review

Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Michelle Presle, Salvo Randone, Cristina Gaioni, Andrea Checchi, Francesco Grandjacquet, Marco Mariani, Franco Ressel | Written by Elio Petri, Tonino Guerra | Directed by Elio Petri

When I think of the Italian film industry I often think of horror and the so-called Spaghetti Westerns but in fact the industry is bigger and far more impressive than that. In the sixties there was a golden era of film making, true to form Arrow Films under its Arrow Academy banner have released one of the most noteworthy movies of that time withL’Assassino.

L’Assassino is the tale of Alfredo Martelli (Mastroianni) a playboy antiques dealer arrested under suspicion of murder of his older lover Adalgisa (Presle). Protesting his innocence to the police his please fall on deaf ears as they increase the pressure on him to confess, convinced without a shadow of a doubt that he is the killer.

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Let’s Watch A Giallo: 'Blood And Black Lace' (1964) aka Sei Donne Per I’assassino

by Marcey Papandrea,

What is a ‘giallo’? – Giallo is Italian for yellow; a term which came from crime/mystery paperbacks with the yellow toned covers. In turn, highly stylized films of the same genre with elements of eroticism became known as ‘giallo’ films themselves.

Why did you pick this film? – Blood And Black Lace is one of the earliest giallo films, from a masterful director. The film has been such a huge influence on many things, and overall this is simply quite a fantastic film and visually one of the best you are likely to see.

Who is behind this one? – It was directed by Mario Bava, a man who got his name and reputation for his gialli and being one of the innovators of the genre. It stars Cameron Mitchell, Eva Bartok, Thomas Reiner, Ariana Gorini, Dante Dipaolo, Mary Arden, Franco Ressel and Claude Dantes.

The Film
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Horror Writers Association Presents 2009 Stoker Winners

This past weekend at World Horror Con in Brighton, UK, the Horror Writers Association revealed the winners of the 2009 Stoker Awards. The recipients list, for superior achievement in all aspects of horror writing, reads like a who's who, or at least a list of names you should know and will be seeing again.

Also presented was the Lifetime Achievement Award to Brian Lumley and William F. Nolan. The Specialty Press Award went to Ray Russel and Rosalie Parker of Tartarus Press. In addition, the Silver Hammer Award, for outstanding service to the organization, was presented to Kathryn Ptacek while the President's Richard Laymon Service Award went to Vince A. Liaguno.

The awards, named for Dracula scribe Bram Stoker, were special this year in that it was the first time they've been presented outside the North American continent, showing that the Hwa truly strives to be a worldwide entity for horror.
See full article at Dread Central »

See also

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