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Masters Of Horror Rewatch: “Jenifer”

When Showtime announced their lineup for their Masters of Horror anthology series back in 2005, one thing became clear pretty quickly: the show was going to focus almost entirely on American masters of horror. With the exception of Takashi Miike’s “Imprint” in season 1 and Norio Tsuruta’s “Dream Cruise” in season 2, the only episodes directed by a non-American are the ones directed by the great Dario Argento, the Crown Prince of Italian horror. And for those of you keeping score of these Italian horror designations, Mario Bava is the Godfather, Lucio Fulci the Maestro, Bruno Mattei the Fool. Everyone has their role to play.

Season 1, Episode 4: “Jenifer”

Director: Dario Argento

Original Air Date: November 18th, 2005

Argento’s first Masters of Horror offering, called simply “Jenifer,” is another highlight of the series and arguably the best thing the director has made since Trauma in 1993. Based on a 1973 comic book short story by Bruce Jones,
See full article at DailyDead »

Blu-ray Review – The Cat O’Nine Tails (1971)

The Cat O’Nine Tails, 1971.

Directed by Dario Argento.

Starring James Franciscus, Karl Malden, Catherine Spaak, Horst Frank, Pier Paolo Capponi, and Cinzia De Carolis.

Synopsis:

A blind man and an investigative reporter team up to get to the bottom of a murder mystery connected to a pharmaceutical company.

Continuing their trawl through their catalogue of Dario Argento titles to give the 4K restoration treatment to, Arrow Video have turned their attention to the Italian director’s second film, 1971’s The Cat O’Nine Tails, which carries on from the giallo stylings of his debut The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, points the way forward to where he would go with Four Flies On Grey Velvet and Deep Red and yet doesn’t quite pull off anything as inspiring or as satisfying as any of those other movies.

Of Argento’s gialli movies The Cat O’Nine Tails is probably
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Giallo Fever: 'The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh'

  • FEARnet
Giallo Fever: 'The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh'
An ambassador, Neil Wardh (Alberto de Mendoza), and his wanton wife, Julie (Edwige Fenech), arrive in Vienna for business in the midst of a vicious killing spree that has everyone in a panic. Julie's return to the city rouses memories of former lover Jean (Ivan Rassimov) and their sadomasochistic relationship. It also helps that her husband is utterly dull, busy, and inattentive. The restless Julie has a dark secret that only Jean knows about: blood frightens her, but it also arouses her unimaginably. Julie's cruel ex-boyfriend stalks her and sends unnerving love letters, but she finds comfort at swinging parties and in the arms of another man, George (George Hilton). As the city's body count begins to rise, and a mysterious caller threatens to expose her adulterous and kinky secrets, Julie suspects she's next and that Jean is behind the murders and madness. She escapes to Spain with George for a fresh start,
See full article at FEARnet »

Giallo Fever: 'Four Flies on Grey Velvet'

  • FEARnet
Giallo Fever: 'Four Flies on Grey Velvet'
We're back again with the third chapter in our ongoing feature on vintage Italian cinema thrillers, and since we've previously covered titles from Lucio Fulci (Don't Torture a Duckling) and Mario Bava (A Bay of Blood), it's time we examined a film from the final member of the genre's “Big Three,” Dario Argento. While Argento's most beloved work is unquestionably the stunning 1977 horror classic Suspiria, which was set in a dreamlike supernatural world, he was previously most famous for his pioneering approach to the giallo genre, beginning with the stylish The Bird with the Crystal Plumage – the huge success of which earned him the nickname “The Italian Hitchcock,” a handle he didn't particularly care for at the time. After that film, audiences craved more thrillers with Dario's eccentric touch, leading to what is loosely described as his “Animal Trilogy,” in that all of the titles include the name of an
See full article at FEARnet »

'Berberian Sound Studio' – Original Soundtrack Review

  • FEARnet
'Berberian Sound Studio' – Original Soundtrack Review
The horror community in general, and fans of European cult horror cinema in particular, have been buzzing like crazy about Peter Strickland's meta-horror film Berberian Sound Studio, which made the festival rounds last summer. Reactions were mixed, to put it mildly, but the flick got a lot of people's attention – especially regarding its faithfulness to Italy's golden era of giallo cinema, a time when directors like Mario Bava and Dario Argento created nightmarish thrillers and murder mysteries with their own brand of disturbed logic and surreal imagery. A critical element of any good giallo is the music, with bands like Goblin breaking free of symphonic and jazz scores and into the domain of progressive rock, with heavy electronic elements that were fresh and new at the time. Berberian recreates the look, feel and sound of that era (the title is a reference to '70s avant-garde composer Cathy Berberian
See full article at FEARnet »

11th Fantastic Films Weekend: Day 3 – Report

The third and final day of the Fantasy Film Weekend started and although I was tired there was plenty to look forward to. The first film would be Red Sonja, which was an easy one to start off with. I knew that the highlight of the day would of course be The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm and the Masks screen talk with Andreas Marschall. It was nice to know that the end was near of course as tiredness was starting to become normality and my brain needed some serious rest.

Red Sonja

Red Sonja is a film that can no way be called good, but it has it arguably has its place in cult history. Not many films would pair up Arnold Schwarzenegger and Brigitte Nielsen in a Conan the Barbarian setting but this is obviously what they were looking for. Conan is of course superior but to
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

This week's new film events

Fantastic Films Weekend, Bradford

This horror and sci-fi festival would rather sift through the cultural debris for classic trash than scrabble for the latest offerings. There's a rare chance to see 1970's notorious rabid-hippy bloodbath I Drink Your Blood in its fullest grindhouse glory, for example, or neglected Dario Argento horror Four Flies On Grey Velvet (1971). Still too highbrow? Then how about 80s heroines like Grace Jones's Vamp or Brigitte Nielsen's Red Sonja? And a Troma triple bill? How low can you go?

National Media Museum, Fri to 17 Jun

Anthony Burgess And Cinema, Manchester

It's the 50th anniversary of the publication of A Clockwork Orange, and this celebration of Burgess's great dystopian (Mancunian?) novel spreads the net a little wider than simply Stanley Kubrick's legendary movie. There's a fine "making of" documentary, and a one-hour intro to the film on 29 Jun, plus Andy Warhol's lesser known (and altogether lesser,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Preview: 11th Fantastic Films Weekend, Bradford 2012

The National Media Museum in Bradford is, from 15th – 17th June 2012, set to play host to the 11th Fantastic Films Weekend, giving horror, fantasy and sci-fi fans in the North their annual fix of thrills and spills.

This year the festival will focus on schlock, women in horror and sci-fi, and feature a festival first – a Cinerama screening of The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm. Other highlights will include an evening of giallo treats new and old, family fun with Coraline 3D and live make-up demos, and a Hammer strand packed with rare and premiere Hammer screenings.

Special guests will include Renée Glynne who worked for many years as continuity/script supervisor for Hammer before going freelance. Her work includes The Nanny, Legend of the Golden Vampire and The Quatermass Xperiment, the HD premiere of which will be screened following her screentalk. She will be in conversation with Hammer archivist,
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

Review: The Stendhal Syndrome (Blu-ray)

One of the most polarizing films amongst his fans, The Stendhal Syndrome is Dario Argento’s first film shot in Italy after his foray in the United States with Trauma and Two Evil Eyes. Argento loosely adapts Graziella Magherini’s novel of the same name into a psychological thriller that is unlike anything else in his canon.

Asia Argento stars as Anna Manni, a police officer in Rome who is sent to Florence to investigate a series of rape/murders that have baffled the authorities. Following a tip, she goes to the Uffizi gallery in Florence where she succumbs to the titular syndrome, and hallucinates herself into a painting before passing out and hitting her head.

“The Stendhal Syndrome” is an actual medical condition named for the French writer Stendhal where people are afflicted with headaches, dizziness, hallucinations and fainting spells after being exposed to great works of art. After recovering from this episode,
See full article at DailyDead »

‘The Cat o Nine Tails’ May Be Dario Argento’s Most Generically Competent Thriller (Italy)

Last week’s installment of Foreign Objects took a look at the third film in Dario Argento’s so-called “animal trilogy,” Four Flies on Grey Velvet. Why start with the third film and not the first? No reason. But today we’re continuing with the theme and covering the second film, The Cat o’ Nine Tails. Don’t worry about continuity though as the three movies are in no way related. A burglary at a local genetics institute catches the eye ear of a blind retiree, and when people associated with the incident start dropping dead he teams up with a reporter to try to crack the case. The duo discovers an elaborate chain of events surrounding the lab’s recent discovery of a genetic marker that may indicate criminal tendencies and a drug that may cure it. Is someone killing to protect the discovery… or are they killing to hide the fact that they’re a
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

Foreign Objects: ‘Four Flies on Grey Velvet’ (Italy)

I’ve spoken before about the highs of Dario Argento’s early career and how it sits in direct contrast to the abysmally depressing filmmaker he’s become in the last two decades. But his filmography doesn’t have a timeline clearly separating the good from the bad. His best work remains the five features he made from 1975 to 1985 with everything before and after that period being a major mixed bag. And that includes 1971′s Four Flies on Grey Velvet. A rock drummer finds himself stalked by a masked killer out to frame him and make his life miserable, but who’s doing it and why? And more importantly, how will it affect the sales of his upcoming album? “I’ve made a decision. Sticking it out here is better than going to prison.” Roberto (Michael Brandon) is a professional drummer with a budding music career and a lovely wife named Nina (Mimsy Farmer) waiting for him
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

Blu-ray Review: Four Flies On Grey Velvet

Dario Argento's Four Flies on Grey Velvet is a film with a strange hold over horror film fans built mainly upon the fact that for a very long time it has been very difficult to get a hold of. It wasn't until the last two or three years that the film finally arrived on DVD, and even then, it was not in the greatest condition. Recently, whatever legal entanglements that have hamstrung this film's journey to home video have begun to clear and both the UK's Shameless Screen Entertainment and Germany's Koch Media have announced Blu-ray editions of the film to hit the European market. First out of the gate is Shameless with their 40th anniversary Blu-ray edition, and I must say, it is pretty...
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

The Cat 'O Nine Tails

A newspaper reporter and a blind puzzle expert team up to try and solve a string of murders.

Dario Argento's sophomore effort has proven something of an elusive beast over the years, never gaining the positive recognition lavished on the likes of his massively influential debut The Bird With The Crystal Plumage or breakout hit Deep Red. As the middle part of his Animal Trilogy, it's neither as satisfying as its predecessor or as viciously outlandish as the recently-reissued Four Flies On Grey Velvet. It is, however, a...
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

DVD Review: 'Four Flies on Grey Velvet' (Blu-ray re-release)

  • CineVue
★★★★☆ The third film in Dario Argento's patchy 'animals trilogy', Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1971) is one of the filmmaker's most stylistically satisfying films. Following his astonishing debut The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970) and the weak Cat o' Nine Tails (1971), the film has been unavailable for many years due to disagreements with Paramount, with Shameless Entertainment now presenting a near-immaculate restoration to mark the film's 40th anniversary.

Read more »
See full article at CineVue »

This week's new DVD & Blu-ray

Drive

Director Nicholas Wending Refn's film is more defined by what it doesn't do than by what it does. The plot – wafer thin and corny as hell – is the sort of thing normally dressed up by one-liners, explosions and rapid-cut editing to disguise just how laughably trite it is.

On paper, this could be yet another Hollywood action movie, but Refn is slow and serious where others are fast and furious. The minimal story of a stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver and becomes a hero to the woman he loves is pared down even more into something that aims for the stark simplicity of Michael Mann's debut movie, Thief, and Walter Hill's The Driver, two classics which make up the bulk of Drive's DNA. Ryan Gosling tersely plays the driver (and that's how he's credited, not with a name but with a profession) as a black hole.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

[Update: Region Free!] Four Flies On Grey Velvet Blu-ray Details From Shameless Screen Entertainment

[Many people, including myself, have been dying to find out if this release would be region free, and word has come down from mission control at Cult Labs (link below) that Four Flies on Grey Velvet Will be an All Region disc! Get yer wallets out, people!]Several months ago we shared the announcement from Shameless Screen Entertainment that Dario Argento's long unavailable Four Flies on Grey Velvet was coming to Blu-ray and DVD.  Today's announcement gives more details on that release, including some very welcome news regarding some of the films rarer footage.  It seems that about 40 seconds of the film has been missing from various versions of the film, but Shameless have acquired this footage and are going to be including it in...
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

The Cat O'Nine Tails Blu-ray Review

Dario Argento's second giallo, The Cat O'Nine Tails, suffers only mildly from the sophomore slump after the dizzying debut of The Bird with the Crystal Plumage. Argento, himself, ranks it among his least favorites, and the least of the "animal trilogy", which also included Four Flies on Grey Velvet. I have to say, Cat is a bit more straight forward than his other films, but it has its strengths and is a worthy addition to the giallo genre. Arrow Video have provided a special edition worthy of the film with several worthwhile extra features and a very solid A/V presentation. This disc is at least the equal of the Blue Underground Us disc, if not better for the inclusion of new bonus material.Italian master of...
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Four Flies On Grey Velvet Blu-ray Details From Shameless Screen Entertainment

Several months ago we shared the announcement from Shameless Screen Entertainment that Dario Argento's long unavailable Four Flies on Grey Velvet was coming to Blu-ray and DVD.  Today's announcement gives more details on that release, including some very welcome news regarding some of the films rarer footage.  It seems that about 40 seconds of the film has been missing from various versions of the film, but Shameless have acquired this footage and are going to be including it in this version.  The footage in question is not in the best shape, so it is in Sd, but it will be available either via seamless branching or separately.  This is awesome stuff.  The extras also sound pretty great, including exclusive interviews and the original English audio...
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Greatest Horror Movies Ever Made: Part 6: Best (Italian) Giallo Films

The term “giallo” initially referred to cheap yellow paperbacks (printed American mysteries from writers such as Agatha Christie), that were distributed in post-fascist Italy. Applied to cinema, the genre is comprised of equal parts early pulp thrillers, mystery novels, with a willingness to gleefully explore onscreen sex and violence in provocative, innovative ways. Giallos are strikingly different from American crime films: they value style and plot over characterization, and tend towards unapologetic displays of violence, sexual content, and taboo exploration. The genre is known for stylistic excess, characterized by unnatural yet intriguing lighting techniques, convoluted plots, red herrings, extended murder sequences, excessive bloodletting, stylish camerawork and unusual musical arrangements. Amidst the ‘creative kill’ set-pieces are thematic undercurrents along with a whodunit element, usually some sort of twist ending. Here is my list of the best giallo films – made strictly by Italian directors, so don’t expect Black Swan, Amer or
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Fight for Horror Supremacy Week 3

For the horror buff, Fall is the best time of the year. The air is crisp, the leaves are falling and a feeling of death hangs on the air. Here at Sound on Sight we have some of the biggest horror fans you can find. We are continually showcasing the best of genre cinema, so we’ve decided to put our horror knowledge and passion to the test in a horror watching contest. Each week in October, Ricky D, James Merolla and Justine Smith will post a list of the horror films they have watched. By the end of the month, the person who has seen the most films wins. Prize Tbd.

Justine Smith (11 viewings) Total of 31 viewings

Purchase

Spider Baby or The Maddest Story Ever Told

Directed by Jack Jill

This movie is very fun, not so much scary as gleefully depraved. The film revels in it’s childhood attitude,
See full article at SoundOnSight »
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