Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Film Discoveries - Glenn DelRossi ""

Friday, December 25, 2015

Film Discoveries - Glenn DelRossi

Glenn DelRossi is a home video nerd and recluse cinephile. You can find him on both Twitter and Instagram: @GWDelRossi
(and I highly recommend you follow him)
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An Angel for Satan (1966) Dir. Camillo Mastrocinque
Barbara Steele's final Italian Gothic and it's a tour de force with what quite possibly could be her finest acting performance of an already very impressive decade. Steele once again takes on double duty in a dual role and is at her most evil as she wreaks havoc throughout a small lakeside village seducing, manipulating and destroying several unlucky townspeople.

The Phantom of Soho (1964) Dir. Franz Josef Gottlieb
Film adaptations of the crime novels of Edgar Wallace were very popular in Germany and to say they made a lot of them would probably be a gross understatement. These German Krimi (short forKriminalfilm) in the case of this particular film even adapted the work of Wallace's son, Bryan Edgar Wallace. The Phantom of Soho combines the beautiful B&W cinematography of Film Noir with the sex and stylish violence found in the giallo. An early use of the Killer POV slasher trope reoccurs throughout as the gloved killer brutally assails their victims. The Soho setting is ripe for exploitation from its smoke filled nightclubs with sexy strippers to its damp streets populated with vulnerable prostitutes ripe for the picking of the killer. The B&W scope photography is gorgeous and uses the frame exquisitely.

The Killer Must Kill Again (1975) Dir. Luigi Cozzi
I dived head first into the Italian giallo early this year and instantly fell in love with just about every single one I had the privilege to view. Director Luigi Cozzi, a long time collaborator and friend of Dario Argento took his crack at the genre his colleague help make famous. The film contains many of the genre tropes giallo fans are accustomed to and as usual style is present throughout. Fulci fanatics will appreciate the appearance of Antoine Saint-John in a pivotal role. Saint-John was the persecuted man in the pre title sequence of The Beyond. Sadly the Mondo Macabro DVD is currently OOP. 

Perversion Story (1969) Dir. Lucio Fulci
Being accustomed to Fulci's more gorier outings of the late 70s and early 80s I was very intrigued to see his see his earlier efforts in the giallo genre. (Don't Torture A Duckling, The Psychic, A Lizard in a Woman's Skin) Perversion Story came to the screen a few years before the great Italian giallo boom of the early 70s and with its bombastic jazzy soundtrack courtesy of Riz Ortolani and stylish cinematography, it's is a joy to behold. Marisa Mell is a sizzling sexpot whose nightclub scene introduction will have your eyes popping out like a cartoon. The plot with all its twists and turns, typical for the genre are engaging and the end result is very rewarding in my humble opinion. Severin Films' DVD (which includes the soundtrack) is currently OOP but I highly recommend people attempt to seek out this film.

Death Occurred Last Night (1970) Dir. Duccio Tessari
Surprisingly engaging combination of the giallo and poliziotteschi genres that is ripe for rediscovery with its recent Blu-ray release from RaroVideo. Frank Wolff, a personal favorite of mine plays a police detective on the hunt for a very unique kidnapped girl. His search perfectly blends the slow burn police procedural with the violence and style of the giallo.

Anna: the Pleasure, the Torment (1973) Dir. Giuliano Carnimeo
More melodrama than your typical euro-crime outing. The real draw for me here was the presence of its star Edwige Fenech, who I've been unabashedly enamored with since first seeing her in Mario Bava's Five Dolls for an August Moon. A more personal role for the actress who typically was relegated to more simple one note victims. Fenech is allowed to show off her acting chops in a more personal role, both the character and herself were single mothers. The film spans several years as you follow Edwige first as a girl caught up and enamored with a dangerous man, all the way to a young mother attempting to escape a dark past. 

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