Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Girly, 1970 (*****)
forgotten UK classic in the shape of a highly twisted black comedy based on Maisie Mosco's stage play Happy Family, a sleazy Pinteresque orgy of moral relativism - if you, like me, are a fan of The Baby then you urgently need to see this

Short Night Of The Glass Dolls, 1971 (*****)
intelligent and disturbing mystery drama set in Communist Prague: the atmospheric exteriors and interiors of the city are a marvellous backdrop for the search for an American journalist's missing Czech girlfriend, one which leads to a breathtakingly horrific finale

Let's Scare Jessica To Death, 1971 (***)
off-kilter and effectively creepy US film notable for Zohra Lampert's haunting performance as Jessica, a young woman recovering from her recent spell in a mental institution

Night Train Murders, 1975 (*****)
incredibly powerful remake of The Virgin Spring set on an Italy-bound train from Munich; director Aldo Lado delivers a far more satisfying, artful, coherent, plausible, darker, faster-paced experience than Wes Craven's inferior Last House On The Left

Bestialità, 1976 (****)
shocking cocktail of swingers and zoophilia and philosophy and Leonora Fani on a remote Mediterranean holiday island

Rabid Dogs (*****)
the genius that is Mario Bava, with this superb charismatic quasi-Brechtian abduction drama (and almost no budget to work with), puts the clumsy cartoonish gangster hero-worship pretensions of Scorsese and Tarantino, amongst others, to shame - a true classic

La Orca, 1976 (*****)
compelling and shocking kidnap drama: the evolving relationship that develops between captors and their captive Alice - affected as it is by her sexuality, social class, and the remote context - is brilliantly portrayed

Oedipus Orca, 1977 (***)
intriguing sequel to La Orca which explores the aftermath of Alice's kidnapping whilst filling us in on much of her family's darker secrets

Maladolescenza, 1977 (**)
highly dishonest exploration of pre/adolescent sexuality, albeit surprisingly explicit

Pensione Paura, 1977 (*****)
Leonora Fani is extraordinary as the young put-upon daughter who's left alone after her mother's death to look after a hotel full of deeply unpleasant guests; Francesco Barilli's Pensione Paura is an astounding work: a classic by any standard, let alone amongst gialli - it also features the most breathtakingly urgent and passionate kiss I have ever witnessed on celluloid

Nenè, 1977 (****)
the incredibly talented Leonora Fani stars in Samperi's superior coming-of-age sexual drama set in post-WW2 Italy while the CIA steals the election from the Italian Communist Party

To Be Twenty, 1978 (*****)
yet another incredible Italian masterpiece from the 70s, this time in the form of a sexy satirical comedy which explodes with arguably the darkest, most downbeat ending you will ever see

Vacation Massacre, 1980 (**)
this otherwise promising italosleaze is fatally undermined by the hopelessly miscast Dallesandro's laughable ineptitude, and not only at acting - he barely demonstrates the kissing skills of a nervous 11-year old, let alone a dangerous sex-starved escaped criminal

No comments: