December 2008, Issue #7
The greatest Mondo film of all time, released in 1966 is the Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi masterpiece, Africa Addio. The film is much better than their earlier work Mondo Cane, which doesn't live up to the hype like Africa Addio does. I recently had the pleasure of viewing the original directors cut in Italian with English subtitles by Blue Underground. This version of the movie is the longest and complete cut of the film at 140 mins. I am glad I saw the complete version of the film vs. the various other cuts of the movie. The film is best when preserved in its entirety rather than being chopped up to exclusively show its most graphic scenes, as in the Africa Blood and Guts version.
Finally a real copy of one of the greatest giallos of all time. Grindhouse Releasing does a superb job presenting Pieces in crystal clear quality. This version is a tremendous upgrade over the $5 Diamond Entertainment copy.
I remember the first time I saw Pieces it was around the mid 90s and their was a beat up VHS copy of it at my local blockbuster. About half way through the movie my VCR ate the tape and I couldn't finish the movie till years later when I ordered the cheap Diamond print. That copy was almost unwatchable, you can tell that it was ripped directly off of an old VHS copy. But now we are honored by the presence of the perfect print of Pieces. The best thing about this transfer isn't even the film itself, its the special features present on the DVD. After watching Pieces from beginning to end I discovered that there is an alternate version of the movie. The Spanish version of Pieces known as "Mil gritos tiene la noche", is different from the American version people are used to viewing. The first difference is the opening credits, but the most notable difference is the difference in the audio track. The music is completely different throughout the entire movie, and makes the movie feel completely different.
Savage Cinema has produced their first film, a project that had been in the works for almost a decade. The movie Berdella is based on the life of Kansas City serial killer Bob Berdella between the years 1984 and 1988. This four year span resulted in the deaths of 6 men who were violated, tortured, and mutilated. Many historians make the claim that Berdella was more brutal and violent than Dahmer.
The film is currently in editing, and is slated for a Summer 2009 theatrical release date.
Bob Berdella who originated from Ohio, moved to Kansas City in the 1960s to enroll at the KC Art Institute. Shortly after his move to Kansas City, Berdella purchased a house on 4315 Charlotte Ave. This house would serve as the grounds for some of the most bizarre acts of torture and mutilation ever performed.
HBO'S True Blood is an amazing show that does a lot for the vampire genre. In all honesty I thought that genre was on life support because their hasn't been a good vampire effort since From Dusk Till Dawn. I am a little bias because i'm a fan of HBO programming. Now be alert, True Blood isn't for everyone. My father doesn't like the show, but he's 65 and is obviously not their target demographic. True Blood is directed towards a younger audience, its not your Hammer Horror or Universal Pictures vampire show. The show has a very interesting story, whoever thought about "V" is a genius, where humans get high on vampire blood ...reminds me of a good mushroom trip. The acting or possibly just the dialogue is a little weak at times, but the show is action packed. The special effects and the amount of gore present will satisfy even the most picky or stubborn horror fan.
Hitch-Hike (1978), directed by Pasquale Festa Campanile, is an offbeat Italian thriller starring Franco Nero, Corinne Clery, and David Hess.
Nero and Clery play a married couple who pack up their trailer and venture west to save their struggling marriage. Along the way, they run into Hess who is hitch-hiking along the road. Hess explains that he is a college student heading to San Diego to pick up some extra classes for the summer. It doesn’t take long for Nero and Clery to discover that Hess’ story isn’t all it seems. He is actually a violent bank robber looking for a quick getaway. He quickly turns on the couple, making them his hostages.
The Killer Must Kill Again
The Killer Must Kill Again (1975) is an Italian giallo-style thriller starring George Hilton and Michel Anton. It is directed by Luigi Cozzi.
An interesting backstory on Luigi Cozzi:
At age 22, Cozzi directed a low budget sci-fi film titled Tunnel Under the World (1969). While it received little critical acclaim, it did succeed in bringing the young filmmaker to the attention of horror great Dario Argento. At this time in his career, Argento was still establishing himself in the genre. Argento took Cozzi on as his assistant, after which they became good friends. The two remained so close that to this day Cozzi can be found managing Argento’s horror shop in Rome, Profondo Rosso.
I finally got a chance to see Criminally Insane. I'd actually owned the DVD by Shock Cinema since it was released, but for some reason or another I never got a chance to view it, until now. My viewing of the film wasn't your usual viewing, my roommates were playing beer pong and listening to "I'm Sprung" by Pretty Ricky, so Criminally Insane came with a R&B soundtrack. Like most of my childhood memories, I remember seeing this movie on the top shelf of my local Blockbuster in the horror section. I remember being around ten years old or so, give or take, and my father wouldn't let me rent Criminally Insane. I don't know what it was that attracted me to the film, possibly the meat cleaver, the obese woman, or just the propaganda on the cover of the VHS tape. Whatever it was, I knew I would see this movie sooner or later.