23 October 2008 | Bunuel1976
THE TORTURER (Lamberto Bava, 2005) *1/2
This is only the fourth effort from Bava Jr. that I've watched not counting the co-directing credit on his father Mario's last film, THE VENUS OF ILLE (1978); the others were BLASTFIGHTER (1984), DEMONS (1985) and DELIRIUM (1987). I hadn't been impressed thus far, and this latter-day giallo with the current (regrettable) torture-porn mentality certainly didn't improve his lot if anything, it further sank his chances of ever hoping to equal his old man's influential achievements!
Being shot on Digital, the film displays no style whatsoever and looks ugly into the bargain; as for the plot, it's strictly by-the-numbers fare and, therefore, wholly uninvolving. A handsome young man is revealed to have had a disturbed childhood cue an excruciatingly annoying and recurring ditty so that we're led to believe that he's the titular figure (especially since the victims are aspiring actresses who had just been auditioning for the would-be boy genius). Then comes the admittedly stunning heroine who's really there to probe into the fate of a friend who's gone missing but, lo and behold, she instantly falls for the hero. Also involved is his domineering father-in-law/agent and mother (a Daria Nicolodi wannabe) who's all-too-obviously crackers.
Needless to say, Bava Jr. lazily opts to pile up, and linger on, the gore (and nudity) rather than pardon the pun pump new blood into the exceedingly tired situations. As I said, the revelation of both the reason behind our hero's torments and the villain's identity provides no surprise at all, nor the fact that the heroine is rescued (by her lover's mother, who suddenly regains her senses!) in the nick-of-time from a fate worse than death. For what it's worth, I have a bunch of other titles by Lamberto on hand namely GRAVEYARD DISTURBANCE (1987), UNTIL DEATH (1987), THE PRINCE OF TERROR (1988) and THE OGRE (1988) which I may or may not get to in time for this Halloween challenge