acidburn-10

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Il tuo vizio è una stanza chiusa e solo io ne ho la chiave
(1972)

Enough going on to keep you interested
This is probably one of the longest titled movies I've ever seen, but equally enjoyable 'Your Vice' shows you the seedier side to this genre and concentrates more on the sexier side of things. This thriller thrives on its depraved persona as sex and sadism takes centre stage in the most over the top and outlandish ways.

This definitely takes a more different turn to the usual proceedings as it spends more time on developing the central characters and creating a tense Gothic atmosphere which sets it apart from all the others. While being truly demented and maddening as hell. Making this another well crafted Sergio Martino movie that makes bold decisions in mixing bizarre camera angles and precise editing, along with some cool and graphic murder set pieces. While many horror thrillers fall victim to becoming predictable, this is anything but and features some surprising twists and turns and enough red herrings to keep you guessing as to what's going on throughout.

The cast here are excellent and special nods go out to its 3 main leads, Luigi Pistilli takes on the troubled role of Olivero the abusive husband who appears to be a bloodthirsty madman whose plagued with a troubled past who has an odd obsession with his dead mother, he makes for a fascinating lead and does a wonderful job with the complex material showcasing a great range of emotions throughout the film. Anita Strindberg does an equally fantastic job as the battered wife Irina, she really delves into this character and gives it her all and in surprising fashion she carries a great deal of the movie on her shoulders and does it with such ease with her head strong character and outstanding performance. Then finally there's the ever wonderful Edwige Fenech who really shakes things up who takes on the role of Floriana the seductive niece who comes to visit and immediately steals the show with her painfully alluring and sexy nature, a true sensation in this role and was tailor made to bring this role to life.

All in all 'Your Vice Is A Locked Room' is atmospheric, suspenseful and erotic all at once, and while it may lag in a few places, there's enough going on to keep you interested.

Tutti i colori del buio
(1972)

A fun psychedelic ride, with beautiful imagery
A psychedelic flick with drug induced imagery and manic tenderises, covered in a thick mist of mystery and nightmarish encounters, this Italian horror simmers in its atmosphere and bound in a completely mean spirited manner. While this may not be as graphic or as sleazy as many of the other Italian giallo's, this is certainly sadistic and unnerving, adding that certain edge to the proceedings.

When it comes to surreal atmosphere and sadistic content, not many films come close to this nightmarish outlook and lensed with an expressive eye and visual flare by its director Sergio Martino, this stark thriller digs deep into its intertwined mystery and overwhelming visuals and various undertones. Even in its convoluted narrative it quickly draws you into its madness but in a good way in this beautifully crafted thriller.

Starring Italian Giallo goddess Edwige Fenech who gives another stunning performance as the troubled main character who may or may not be losing her mind, she really gives it her all in this with her alluring beauty; this is definitely one of her best performances and shows why she's the queen of the Giallo genre. Other standout performances include Nieves Navarro & Marina Malfatti who are both sultry as well as mysterious, who both bring a sense of awe and intrigue to their respective parts with their dreamlike appearances. In fact the entire main cast here were excellent including other big names in the genre George Hilton who also starred with Edwige Fenech in 'The Case Of The Bloody Iris', here he plays her supporting boyfriend who also has a sense of mystery about him and really keeps you interested as the movie goes on. Then there's Ivan Rassimov who takes centre stage as the cult leader who oozes mystical insanity and cruelty, he really haves fun with this role, enjoying every second.

All in all this is a really great movie, although not entirely perfect where sometimes the story may become a bit uneven at times, and doesn't quite have a lot of depth, but it was a fantastically fun ride all the same and definitely worth checking out if you're a fan of giallo.

Getting Schooled
(2017)

Interesting concept but executed poorly
This should have been great, it's an 80's throwback with five stereo typical teens spending their Saturday in detention and have to fight off their psychotic wheelchair bound teacher whose got them trapped in the school and is hell bent on killing them. So with a basic concept of a slasher movie version of 'The Breakfast Club' should have been awesome, and having the killer in a wheelchair is an interesting and unique angle, but despite this the execution was terrible, with way too many boring and pointless dialogue scenes that were drawn out to the point of boredom.

There seemed to be too much focus on out dated references and bad jokes instead of making an actual horror film and therefore giving the whole thing a very uneven tone and despite attempts of character bonding it doesn't work at all due to none of the cast having any sort of chemistry together, and when someone dies the movie expects you to care and quite frankly you don't as the character development is non-existent.

The acting wasn't very good and didn't find any of the cast convincing in their roles, they may have looked the part, but that was about it, none of them were likable or interesting, just flat and lifeless. Even the killer fell flat here, he was just way too over the top and wasn't a very good killer he just rolled around in his wheelchair yelling nonsense.

The only positives in this film are that for a low budget feature the movie does look pretty good with a new use of colours that really stand out and the gore effects were pretty decent with some fun kills. But apart from that nothing else works at all and just a total cringe worthy failure.

All in all I wouldn't recommend this at all to anyone, while the idea of doing a horror movie version of 'The Breakfast Club' can be interesting, it just fell flat here and fails on almost every level, which is a shame as this had potential.

Schrei - denn ich werde dich töten!
(1999)

Some decent potential here, but falls flat
Up until recently I had never heard of this movie and being a big fan of Slasher movies, especially when they became popular again during the late 90's, this one totally passed me by and don't recall seeing it on the shelves of my local video shop. So when I seek ed this out and looking at the cover with the killer wearing a creepy red mask and an awesome looking clown outfit, so naturally I was intrigued by this and when I got round to seeing it. Well I can see why this got lost amongst the shuffle.

The story follows a group of friends spending graduation night setting up pranks for their teachers at the school after hours and soon enough a killer shows up with a massive pair of scissors shows up and starts picking them off one by one.

This movie wasn't all bad, it does offer some great creepy locations with the school itself with a room full of creepy mannequins as well as a room of stuffed animals, which with the dark lighting does create an eerie atmosphere and the long dark corridors are used really well with a really cool Gothic look to them which does make for some really tense moments. The killer was very creepy and made for a real threat. The twists and turns that involve the killer or the last act which really took me by surprise and it really do keep you guessing up until the last act.

But there are several things that let things down in this movie, firstly the tame and lifeless acting, I don't know whether that was down to the bad dubbing and the pace was really sluggish and the dialogue was just stilted and awful. There were three distinct acts to this and the first act was really boring and dragged out and struggled to adapt to the tone. It's not until the killer appears is when things get interesting.

All in all 'School's Out' was average with some definite things that works in its favour including the mystery aspect, but gets bogged down by the pace and boring characters and if these things were tweaked a little, then this could have made for a much better movie.

The Final Girls
(2015)

Derseves to be a classic
The plot follows a young girl grieving at the loss of her mother a former 80's scream queen, so she and her friends go to see the movie she was in and gets sucked into the screen and end up battling the killer themselves along with the stars inside the movie.

This movie was a great satire to 80's slasher movies, with tons of tributes and homage's sprinkled throughout, most notably to Jason from Friday The 13th and would definitely highly recommend this to any fans of 80's slashers or just any type of horror in general. The story has a really cool concept with the cast getting sucked into the movie and the two different generations of teens interacting with each other, which was really fun and really boasts some interesting contrasts. Plus there were a surprising amount of emotional scenes in this movie, which made for a nice change and they totally worked, which was thanks to the strong cast of actors which really adds depth to this and made for an unexpected but welcome change.

Even by technical stand point this movie has some of the best cinematography that I've seen in a while, with some amazing camera work that you don't usually see in these types of movies. Even the lighting was fantastic which really helps set the mood for the movie, with the mixtures of colours that reflect the situations in each scene, which I thought was interesting and worked really well in the movie's favour. The style of horror mixed with comedy really balances out quite well and you can tell that the cast was having a blast and especially at pointing out the horror movie clichés and just running with them.

The acting was fantastic with some real strong female leads with Taissa Farmiga who I'd loved on American Horror Story and was equally as great here, she was definitely up to the task and becomes a total bad-ass towards the end and it was nice to see her do something different, definitely a talent to be watched. Malin Ackerman who played her mother was also great their mother daughter relationship really worked well and they had great chemistry together which was the emotional backbone of this movie. Alexander Ludwig was really likable as the boyfriend and male lead. Adam Devine was hilarious and was a definite standout, but wasn't in it long enough. Finally Thomas Middleditch was great as the horror fan boy and made for a great comic relief. In fact the entire cast gave decent and well rounded performances.

Although there are a few minor bad points to this though, such as the pacing towards the end was very slow and did kind of sag in places, while I get they were building up suspense for the last act, but it did just go on a bit too long and could have maybe been trimmed down a tad. Plus because of the rating of this movie did feel watered down as we didn't get any gruesome death scenes which for a slasher movie isn't a great thing, and that also meant that none of the death scenes really stood out, but thankfully the movie doesn't suffer too much because of this and it's still an entertaining watch.

All in all 'The Final Girls' is a fantastic movie with a great script, strong acting and witty and sharp dialogue and just a general great time. While it may not deliver on the gore, and the emotional scenes may not be for everyone, this movie definitely delivers on everything else and deserves to be a classic.

Due occhi diabolici
(1990)

Should have been a masterpiece
Here we have two short stories based on the works by Edger Allen Poe, and joint directed by 2 of the greatest horror directors alive George A Romeo & Dario Argento, as well as featuring a great cast that includes Adrienne Barbeau (Creepshow, The Fog), Harvey Keitel (Bad Lieutenant, Reservoir Dogs), & Tom Atkins (Halloween III, Night Of The Creeps) and not to mention wonderful special effects done by Tom Savini.

Now all this sounds like a recipe for greatness and while the entire movie is highly enjoyable and entertaining, but however it doesn't quite live up to the high expectations that you would expect from the finest directors of the horror genre. Both segments of this story are about an hour long and both do feel rather stretched with too much padding.

The first story 'The Facts In The Case Of Mr Valdemar" which was directed by Romero follows a young gold digging wife plots her husband's death so she and her lover can steal his fortune, only for the husband to come back from the dead and out for revenge. While the storyline is certainly intriguing and its small cast is good with Adrienne Barbeau being the clear standout with the complexity of her character creating much of the tension and Ramy Zada does well as her secret lover as we constantly doubt whether or not he can be trusted. Firstly it's nowhere near Romero's best work with quite a few dull moments, and definitely the most padded one out of the 2 stories and is not tackled with the imagination that this story should have had and the cinematography also falls flat and has that made of TV feel to it, making it look far dated than 1990.

The second segment 'The Black Cat' directed by Argento is definitely the strongest one out of the 2 which tells the story of a photographer driven insane by cat and therefore is cursed with bar karma. With some stunning and gory visuals and a brilliantly unhinged performance by Harvey Kietel who definitely steals the entire show as he steadily spirals into complete madness is just thrilling to watch, with a fast pace, an even more intriguing story and solid visuals, Argento balances his strong direction flare on an intense focused story with such style.

So all in all 'Two Evil Eyes' should have been a masterpiece, but sadly doesn't quite live up to that level, although both stories are entertaining , they're just not up to the level of what these directors have done previously and comes off on the whole feeling a little bit flat.

5 bambole per la luna d'agosto
(1970)

Style over Substance
Despite being a fan of Mario Bava and have loved some of his other movies such as 'Black Sabbath', 'Blood and Black Lace' & "A Bay Of Blood', I can't say that I liked this one however as I found this quite tame and very disappointing and just tends to limp from scene to scene without much thought or logic, even Bava himself said that this was his least favourite movie and considering he had no creative control over this project, it was a surprise that this wasn't a total disaster.

The plot centres around wealthy businessman George Stark who gathers a group of friends to his island retreat and hopes to gain a secret formula from one of the guests who happens to be a scientist for his own gain, but soon things take a turn for the worse when people begin to turn up dead in true whodunit style.

Obviously this takes inspiration from the Agatha Christies 'And Then There Were None', only adding more sex and craziness to the proceedings, as well as blending the novels mystery and suspense elements to the mix. But none of that seems to mesh well in this and the whole thing doesn't seem to flow very well either. One moment the story concentrates on the identity of the mystery killer, then that gets left behind when it focuses on the various bed hopping and relationships between the guests, or the bidding war over the secret formula that suddenly everybody wants. Then the decision to not show any of death scenes wasn't an entirely successful idea, because some outlandish deaths might have salvaged something from this mess, but sadly it wasn't meant to be and the whole thing just seems way too unfocused, with poorly written characters and no impact.

Although there a few small positives about this, such as Bava's visual style which from a technical standpoint is always great, moving the camera with such grace and fluidity, allowing for long and languid takes that suddenly erupt in a frenzy of camera movements. The mystery element really does work to some extent, as the twist at the end was fun and didn't see coming. Plus it was nice to see Italian goddess Edwige Fenech in her debut, but she isn't given anything to do and even she couldn't save this mess.

So in all I wouldn't really recommend this unless you're fan of Italian thrillers or Mario Bava, but otherwise it's fairly routine murder mystery fodder and the perfect example of style or substance.

6 donne per l'assassino
(1964)

Beautiful and Violent
I don't know why it took me so long to see this little gem, considering that firstly it was made by one of my favourite Italian directors Mario Bava and that it's considered one of the most important Giallo films and now that it has been released on Arrow films with a restored print, instead of trying to view with a not so great picture quality, and after viewing it I was pleasantly surprised by firstly at how beautiful it looked in its rich vivid colours and considering it was made in 1963, it doesn't look dated at all and very stylish.

The storyline here is that on one stormy night a young model is murdered outside a lavish fashion house where she works with a group of other young models and this sparks a chain of events when her diary goes missing which reveals the sordid details of what's going on with the people who work there and not long after more women start to get murdered.

This movie is definitely entertaining and relies heavily on its camera-work, set designs, artwork and lighting, all of which creates the perfect atmosphere. I have no complaints with this, only that I would say that the first half of the movie where the majority of the murders takes place is definitely stronger than the second half, which does have a neat little twist at the end which most Giallo's have and given that this movie was the one that started that started that trend, so that was pretty neat and makes this one of the strongest and influence shall of the genre.

With a strong cast including Cameron Mitchell and Eva Bartok, 'Blood And Black Lace' is a very beautiful and violent movie where Bava really excels himself as a director and showing off his unique visual style on what otherwise would be a sub-standard script, and okay this may not be the best or most riveting of the genre, but it is very decent and it does pull you into this manic world that Bava has created within this universe.

La notte che Evelyn uscì dalla tomba
(1971)

One of the more original entries in the Giallo genre
'The Night Evelyn Came out Of the Grave' is a fantastically atmospheric Giallo film directed by Emilio Miraglia and is drenched in perversion and sadistic to boot and focuses on the arc types of the genre such as sex, murder and mystery. The film follows the sordid life of Lord Alan Cunningham whose not only rich and handsome but also a raving lunatic whose just been released from the psychiatric hospital seemingly cured after the death of his wife Evelyn who was also having many affairs and driven to madness of her betrayal he murders young women. But eventually he meets a captivating young woman named Gladys who serves to temper his wild sickness but for how long.

Suspicion, greed and a hefty inheritance all comes into play once he marries Gladys or is there something more to what's actually going on and that is the beauty of the whole thing is that you think you know what's going on, only to have the rug pulled out from underneath you again and be completely surprised whist jarring at the same time. You have absolutely no idea of what's gonna happen next either which was an aspect that I truly enjoyed. Okay for much of the runtime it is pretty sluggish, but when it gets to the last act, then it becomes manic and you question everything you've seen so far.

Not only a Giallo but it also mixes in a supernatural thriller into the narrative which really fits in well with its Gothic setting and along with a score by Bruno Nicolai which is just majestic as well as captivating and sets the tone to the movie perfectly, as well as the beautiful scenery and art direction and set pieces which makes this a well and truly beautiful movie to look at.

Anthony Steffen takes on the tortured role of Lord Cunningham the well to do psycho who only wants to find love, romantically demented Anthony Steffen makes the role his very own as he puts an equal amount of effort into being sympathetic as well as sadistic and therefore bringing a hefty duality to the character and pulling it off beautifully making you feel disgusted as well as understanding him battling his madness, as well as carrying the entire film on his shoulders with such ease. Then there's Marina Malfatti as the newlywed Mrs Cunningham, extremely beautiful and sympathetic, she brings a lot to this role and often almost steals the show from the male lead and completely breath taking with her intense screen presence as you find yourself rooting for her as she delves deeper into the mystery of the estate and Alan and you are left fearing for her life.

All in all 'The Night Evelyn Came Out Of The Grave' may not be one of the most graphic entries in the Giallo genre, but it does have an intriguing plot and enough mystery and suspense to keep horror fans happy and plus it is one of the stronger and original entries you will find in this genre.

La coda dello scorpione
(1971)

Elegant and Intriguing
'The Case of the Scorpion's Tail' is a fantastic visual treat that allures you into a plot of an intriguing mystery and murderous mayhem, it begins rather abruptly with a suspicious death of businessman Karl Baumer dies when his plane explodes mid-air, while his wife Lisa indulges in an affair in London with her lover, then she inherits a cool $1 Million from his life insurance and this where the fun really begins with assorted characters keen to get their hands on the money where she gets threatened and blackmailed that eventually leads to murder.

This is movie is definitely a intense thriller with an interesting storyline that keeps you hooked as well as second guessing everybody's motivation throughout and despite the odd ropey special effect (like the laughable plane explosion) everything else in this is top notch and well and truly benefits from an unpredictable script and even taking a cue from Alfred Hitchcock's 'Psycho' where the movie switches heroines part way through, which honestly was a total surprise and did not see that coming and was a neat little twist. Of course like many Italian thrillers a large part of the attraction is seeing glorious exotic locations, which this movie does and thanks to excellent direction of Sergio Martino who showcases the globetrotting form in all its purest glory. Of course the other standard trademarks are here such as the black gloved killer, beautiful women and wonderfully crafted death scenes, all of which makes this an enjoyable ride. Also this movie is efficiently paced with many twists and turns throughout, including throwing a total spanner in the works towards the last act as well as several other tense scenes littered throughout.

The cast is very good here also with the ever wonderful George Hilton playing the insurance investigator who really sinks his teeth into the role, and the beautiful Anita Strindberg another Giallo legend plays the feisty photographer and really pulls you in with her astonishing beauty and has great chemistry with George. Evelyn Stewart was also a nice inclusion to the cast playing the adulterous wife Lisa who does well to keep you interested in her story during the first half of the movie and Janine Reynaud was just brilliant as the spiteful scorned ex-lover showing true menace and just having a ball with it.

So in all 'The Case Of The Scorpion's Tail' is yet another definite classic in the Italian Giallo genre with an engaging story with many plot twists and turns with some set pieces and beautiful scenery that is very elegant and a must see for fans.

Perché quelle strane gocce di sangue sul corpo di Jennifer?
(1972)

Essential viewing for fans of Giallo
'The Case Of The Bloody Iris' is a totally delirious, super sexy and demented Italian Giallo flick that came out during the height of the genre's game and featuring the ruling queen of the genre Edwige Fenech. Indulging in its sleazy style the movie introduces us into a world of paranoia, vibrant fashions and death.

From scrupulous characters to tense atmospheres 'The Case Of The Bloody Iris' is a well and truly turbulent ride that keeps you hooked all the way through. The story follows Jennifer (Edwige Fenech) who moves into a high scale apartment building where previously two women were brutally murdered, stalked by her obsessive and dangerous ex-husband and surrounded by a group of colourful and suspicious strangers will she make it out alive or fall prey to the killer as the body count begins to rise.

The movie throws you through a continuous loop with its many red herrings and maddening lunacy and of course that's the main attraction of these Giallo films and giving us hints and clues throughout, then pulling the rug out from under your feet with a nail biting climax that leaves you gasping for breath throughout. The production throughout jammed pack with all the usual tropes such as sultry moments, nudity and extreme violence and with every one of these aspects, the movie shines, the death scenes are quite brutal and executed very well, all the while still being artistically impressive and the Director captures all these moments with such flair and an impressive eye and mixes in an impressive cast of characters that makes everything work to its charm.

Edwige Fenech again never fails to disappoint and can see why she's the queen of this genre as she well and truly shines in this role in a mostly panic stricken stupor, she gives a sympathetic performance that forces you to feel for her character, extremely alluring and outstandingly mesmerising, she just takes this film by storm and projects that damsel in distress quality beautifully. Contrasting against Edwige's honest and admiral quality are the 2 male leads who shakes things up during the narrative and keeps you second guessing throughout, Ben Carra takes on the dubious role of Jennifer's ex-husband Adam a tremendous cult leader who will stop at nothing to get Jennifer back, he is straight up despicable and abusive and his inclusion in the role is one that injects a fresh sense of paranoia and a well and truly threatening presence and adding to that uneasy tone is George Hilton who takes on the role as the handsome and suave architect Andrea Barto who has an intense fear of blood and what's so interesting about his character is that there's so many clues that lead him to being a possible killer, almost so that it seems way too obvious, he's so charismatic as well as having a screw loose that adds many layers to his performance.

So in all 'The Case Of The Bloody Iris' is a satisfying viewing experience with all the right ingredients with an interesting cast of colourful characters and an intriguing mystery, this is definite essential viewing for any fans of Giallo movies.

La dama rossa uccide sette volte
(1972)

A visual treat
A fascinating Giallo thriller from director Emilio Miraglia who returns to the genre after (The Night Evelyn Came Out Of The Grave), and delivers something well and truly special and presented in a psychedelic light, this little unknown gem is a wonderful example of the genre with malicious murders, red herrings and everything the Giallo type can muster and all presented in such a fluid direction.

'The Red Queen Kills Seven Times' begins with 2 sisters Kitty and Evelyn who as children learn about a family curse that haunts The Widenbruck family every 100 years that a feud between two sisters ends in one of their deaths and the other one comes back as the Red Queen and kills seven people, before killing the remaining sister. Then flash forward to 1972 where Kitty is now all grown up, and of course it seems that history is repeating itself with someone in a red cloak is murdering Kitty's friends, and Evelyn seems to be nowhere in sight, could it be her or has the ghost of the red queen come back for revenge.

'The Red Queen' is a seriously loopy production that where it really strives is that it's unpredictable, there's a ruthless number of twists and turns and they all serve to up the stakes as people begin to get murdered one by one, the mystery surrounding the red queen is very intriguing, given the fact that she can kill and vanish without a trace is well and truly un-nerving and adds to the suspense and the overall supernatural feel to the production, this concept is not squander though as the director uses these to his advantage by incorporating creepy visuals and having everything filmed in a dream like fashion which proves startling at times and a killer draped in a red cloak and a long black wig is a treat for the eyes. All of these elements are handled beautifully with a solid plot with many clever plot twists and turns and moves along at a brisk pace with a wonderful score by Bruno Nicoladi that hits all the right notes, along with violence that is very sadistic and bloody with some great set pieces and perfectly balances the back story with what's going on in the present.

Barbara Rouchet tackles the character of Kitty with a timid manner and passive outlook, who doesn't do much but lay on the sympathetic charm and attempts to stay sane and alive and in that simple presentation she allows her outrageous beauty and overall appearance to take centre stage and shine, she may not be the type of character to take charge of the narrative onward, but is more like a tormented deer caught in the headlights, reacting to the situations that are going on around her. But that is a staple of the genre and it is used very effectively here. What allows this approach to work is the strong and memorable supporting characters such as Ugo Pagliai who does much of the heavy lifting as Martin Hoffman who gets swept up into the madness once he reveals his long standing attraction to Kitty, even though he may be a possible suspect within the cast, he does a wonderful job at playing detective like role as he delves deeper into the mystery of the red queen and the possible connection it has with his now estranged ex-wife whose locked away in an insane asylum, but is also a part of the mystery itself.

So all in all without a doubt 'The Red Queen' is a definite highlight of Italian Cinema that takes all of the usual troupes and just runs with them and mixing it up with a supernatural angle just makes the whole thing worthwhile and sadly like many other great movies from this time period, this one seems to be forgotten which is a shame as this deserves to be viewed more by a wider audience as it's just a total thrill ride that has all the right ingredients.

Shiryô no wana
(1988)

Deserves more recognition
If I had seen this sooner then, I would have definitely added this to my top 50 best slasher movies of all time, so I think an update is long overdue. After viewing this masterpiece my mind was just totally blown away. I mean rarely have I ever seen a horror movie that just gets everything this right, it just works on every level and should be better known.

The plot is very intriguing where a reporter Nami who hosts a TV show called 'The Late, Late Show' which is basically a mix of 'You've Been Framed' and 'America's Funniest Home Videos', gets sent a video tape which shows a young girl whose chained up getting brutally murdered, and at the end shows a picture of Nami, so instead of alerting the police, she decides to go with her crew to investigate, which leads them to a very creepy abandoned warehouse, and once there they split and start to get picked off one by one by a mysterious hooded killer.

'Evil Dead Trap' perfectly combines a mixture of other genre styled horrors such as 'Italian Horror', 'American Slasher Movies' & 'Japanese Horror' and makes something quite unique and even puts some of those to shame. It has stylish direction with a lot of eerie tension and a genuine creepy tone. Even when the characters wander around the building, the atmosphere is full of dread and the setting with its long and dark dingy corridors looks excellent and the director makes perfect use of this location. Even the score is very riveting and despite being used throughout the film no matter what situation it is, it totally works and very catchy.

Even the first murder which was nasty and very brutal, it also comes as a total surprise as you never expect it to be that fast, and even the other deaths remain well and truly mean spirited with some brilliant effects that are well staged with a savage tone. Plus we have a great heroine in Miyuki Ono who plays Nami brings a childlike innocence to the role and even without saying anything she can express her feelings with just her facial expressions which was very subtle and well done, and it's nice not having every character explain what their feeling all the time, it made her feel very human.

While each of these scenes are awesome, they all happen within the first 45 minutes, and the 2nd half of the movie does struggle a bit without the same momentum, but then at the final scene we do get a well and truly shocking twist that does totally take you off guard, and while it may seem a bit too bizarre for some, I personally found it brilliant and it did kinda make sense in a way, as there were unexplained things going on throughout the movie such as the killer just standing there while arrows and flairs are being fired, a tin can falling down the stairs seemingly on its own, and so on, and while the killer's identity wasn't a surprise at all, it's what comes after that which is the real shocker and almost takes on feels like a different genre altogether, kinda supernatural in a way, which was totally bizarre and my gripe with it is that it's never explained, but I guess that is what makes it so unsettling.

Another minor gripe with this is that there's a whole other subplot involving the killer's assistant which just went nowhere and was only there to add to the bodycount, but honestly that didn't spoil my enjoyment of this, although I would have liked to have known more about it. This is still a great movie that's very unique and gives you that feel that anything can happen at any time and the viewer is constantly on edge and although I did say that the 2nd half leaves little to do, it never gets boring and doesn't drag either, but it could have been slightly better structured.

So all in all 'Evil Dead Trap' is a definite must see for any fans of slasher movies, sure it's a little different to them but that's the beauty of it, it's definitely not generic in any way whatsoever and with stylish direction, gruesome bloody and inventive kills and decent performances, this is definitely a lost masterpiece that deserves more recognition.

Gatti rossi in un labirinto di vetro
(1975)

This is a bad movie, but fun in a way
I'm a big fan of Giallo movies, they're fun and totally over the top and yes incredibly trashy, and always feels like their in another world where logic and sense are totally abandoned in something that feels otherworldly , but that's okay as they're a lot of fun with an intriguing plot and mystery attached.

While 'Eyeball' is definitely a Giallo through and through, filled with all the typical troupes such as killer POV, gloved hand killer, overuse of primary colours (Red in this case), inept police force, oddly pacific kills, bad dubbing and a final bait and switch or the killers identity. Despite having these troupes, 'Eyeball' does nothing to enhance them or in fact add any sort of flair to the proceedings.

Despite an interesting storyline where a group of American tourists travel to Barcelona on a tour bus, and almost immediately start getting picked off one by one at every stop by a hooded figure wearing a red mac and plucking out their left eye. Now that does sound interesting and this could have been a hell of a lot of fun, but it isn't its just plain flat and completely devoid of any suspense and worst of all the kills are completely tame. There just seems to be a lack of communication between the cast and the crew as each character lifelessly plough from one scene to the next without any understanding of the script or motivation.

Even from a technical point everything just seems so lazy and unfocused; with the same theme music used in every scene (even when there's nothing happening) and the same ridiculous zoom in used in every shot. But despite the many, many faults everything does move at a brisk pace and the identity of the killer was a genuine surprise, even if it make no sense whatsoever and only the final scene holds any suspense whatsoever where the girl is all alone at the church and sees the murderer, after viewing an incriminating photograph of the killer's identity in broad daylight standing next to a bush holding a knife, which was hilarious and there are enough red herrings littered throughout to keep you guessing all the way to the end.

So on the whole while 'Eyeball' isn't a good movie by any stretch of the imagination, it is quite fun in a so bad it's good kinda way, and while it's nowhere near one of the better Giallo movies from this period, I'd say at least give it a shot as it can be considered an early slasher movie.

Fight for Your Life
(1977)

Decent movie, but does leave a bad taste
The video nasties have always been something that has intrigued me over the years, I always love reading or hearing about it, and through the years I think that it's safe to say that I have seen nearly all of them, mainly the better known ones. This is probably one of the least remembered ones in my opinion as it kinda slipped through my radar for many years and have only recently came round to actually seeing it, as I have always enjoyed the home invasion genre of horror.

This one sees 3 prisoners break out of jail and take a family hostage in their own home. I can see why this is so controversial seeing that the main villain constantly spews racist slurs amongst the family members, all the while murdering anyone who passes by and tortures the family in some very sickening situations. The positive aspects of this film are firstly the cast, from both the family members and the villains who are played really well. Plus while the story is very basic, it does move along at a decent pace and never gets boring, always keeping you interested at what's gonna happen next. The family itself are very decent and loving, giving you that nice warm feeling that these people are genially nice, following they're great chemistry with each other and they're interactions with each other, really makes you feel horrified when it comes to them being tortured by the impending doom that's about to wait for them.

But the negative aspects of this are mainly in my opinion my personal tastes. Firstly the murder of the young boy was very disheartening and sickening in my opinion, just being there for shock value and I hated it, I would have rathered this being left out entirely, especially when you get to know the boy and his friendship with the black kid, was just uncomfortable. Also the level of violence that these criminals inflict on the family, does go over the top and becomes rather cartoonish, to be honest apart from this family being black, there was just didn't seem to be any reason why the main villain is doing this to them, except for just the fact that he's psycho and then only given a very quick tacked on excuse at the end, which just felt lazy. Then finally the pay off at the end when the tables are turned is very underwhelming, and didn't really feel that they quite got they're just desserts.

The cast were very well played in their parts, William Sanderson who plays the ring leader Kane was the only standout from the bad guys side of things, and he was very despicable and really made you hate him, he played it very well and does have that eerie presence, never knowing what he's gonna do next. The other two convicts however were quite forgettable, while they did have their moments; there weren't any development on them to make them standout. The Turner family however made very solid performances, Robert Judd who plays the head of the family Ted with much dignity and restraint. The young son Reggie Rock Blythewood was played very well, showing true courage and braveness to a role that in any other young child actor's hands wouldn't have been half as believable. But the true standout was Lela Small as the wheelchair bound grandmother just stole the show, with her ballsy and no nonsense attitude was just a delight, especially when she shows no fear to her captors and cuts them down to size with her own brand of verbal abuse was just excellent, she stole every scene she was in.

All in all "Fight For Your Life" is an okay overall movie, but it does leave a bad taste in your mouth and makes you feel uncomfortable throughout, but overall it is saved slightly by a very strong cast.

Lost After Dark
(2015)

Decent genuine throwback but needs some fine tuning.
I came across this recently and being a massive fan of slashers that I am, this intrigued me given it's throwback feel, okay a lot of these have come out over the last decade or so, and a lot of them don't work, like looking way too glossy and over produced to have that classic era feel, meaning very few pull it off successfully, as everything else like plot, effects and cast all fall short. But in this case, I am quite happy to say does have that vintage feel pulled off to perfection, and does have decent gore effects and a great cast.

But what stops this from being a classic piece is that the movie itself does kinda fall apart in some places and can't help but feel that there's something missing. For now I am gonna talk about the positives, firstly the production design, the sets and the 80's fashion is top notch and the cinematography is simply stunning, the retro look and feel really does transport you to that time and era. The creepy farmhouse was a brilliant setting and does have an unsettling tone to it, as does the killers who while not an iconic slasher villain; he does have a creepy presence.

Also the cast of teens really make this work and always love the stereotype roles in these movies, but in this case they are not the usual bland run of the mill forgettable teens, they were very decent. Kendra Leigh Timmins who plays Adrienne the virginal good girl was really good and likable in her role and made me really feel when events took a total unexpected turn. Robert Patrick as the principal was totally silly and over the top, but fun. Jesse Carnacho as the fat kid Tobe was really likable and showed depth to his role. Elise Gatien, who plays the best friend role Jamie, would be a disposable character in any other type of film, but here she really steps it up and becomes a really good believable forefront character. Justin Kelly who plays the kind hearted jock Sean was really decent and should have lasted longer, Stephen James as the black kid was just okay, didn't really shine amongst the rest. Also Alexander Calvert was fun as the jerk bad boy character. Then finally Mark Wiede did good as the killer Joad, while not as memorable as other slasher villains, he was menacing enough.

Now for the lesser qualities, firstly despite a good set up, I just didn't feel a sense of dread or tension throughout the movie, while it was mostly predictable, apart from the first of the teens to die, which did totally take me by surprise, but apart from that it just became a bit slow paced and lagged in some parts. For a start the situation that these teens were in, they could have easily just left the area at any given time, but instead stayed around, just didn't feel realistic to me, if they were somehow trapped at the farmhouse, then the tension could have been cranked up a bit for me.

All in all yes "Lost After Dark" is a very decent throwback retro slasher that should definitely be looked at, but just needs a bit of fine tuning, and adds in some chills and tension.

Among Friends
(2012)

Great directional debut from a wonderful actress
I heard about this through an online review on YouTube which was very positive and given the fact that it was directed by one of my all-time fave scream queens Danielle Harris, who has entertained us for years with some brilliant turns in (Halloween 4, 5, Hatchet 2, 3 & Bloody Hatchet); even in crap she always does a decent turn. Now with her solo directional effort "Among Friends" that despite having almost no budget, she managed to turn in a very decent slasher movie.

The plot focuses on a group of 20 something's who attend a murder mystery dinner party hosted by one of their friends, but things take a sudden turn for the worst when they are drugged and tied up and forced to watch all their past mistakes on hidden camera, and end up going through hell and torture by their twisted hostess as the night goes on.

This is a very good movie, the set up is very interesting and the performances are also really good, it was nice to see everyone involved making an effort. The build up was pulled off effectively as we see at first the group having fun with the party games, then sitting down to the dinner table where the real fun is to be had, wasn't rushed it allowed us a decent amount of time to get to know the characters and the fact that everything mostly takes place in one room, never gets boring, in fact you never lose interest as each secret is unfolded, adds more suspense and drama.

Okay there is one or two shortcomings to this, but that's mainly down to budgeting reasons, like firstly the movie doesn't have a great look to it, looks kinda cheap at times and the ending which was so annoying as we didn't get to see their fates and should have went on a bit longer. But besides that, it's still a great watch.

Alyssa Lobit who plays the hostess Bernie does a stand up job, conveying true menace and authority to her twisted role, the fact that she also wrote the script shows she has definite talent. She loved every minute of it and it shows, you never know what's she gonna do next, which was thrilling and well and truly steals the show. Brianne Davis was also another standout; she was very funny, especially in her tripping out scene, where we get awesome cameos from Danielle Harris and Michael Biehn, which was awesome. Kamala Jones also gives a very noble turn as Sara , and also the cameo by Kane Hodder was also another fun moment in this.

All in all a very decent flick that may lack scares, but doesn't lack fun.

Twisted Nerve
(1968)

Brilliant almost forgotten gem
Something I've always liked to do is look through classic horror gems, and unearth some truly forgotten gems, like this one which was hampered with controversy when released and sadly failed to make any impact. This is a shame given that this is a well and truly crafted thriller with great performances that does echo tension with the actions of the lead character.

The biggest strength relies on Martin who has an alter ego who pretends to be a simpleton, just so he can con his way into a woman's affections. Despite living a lift of wealth and good looks, his mind is anything but stable, with an overbearing mother and a down syndrome brother who is put away for just being handicapped and is more or less forgotten about, apart from by Martin, a deep hatred for his stepfather, his mind begins to shatter like a broken mirror which sends him into a spiral. It is often difficult to pull this kind of thing of convincingly, but here it is done right and slowly builds throughout the movie.

Okay this isn't a perfect movie and does have some lower points, like there is just way too much time focused on Martin's descent into madness, instead of moving along at a quicker pace, it seems that other elements of the film suffers in a way, and also the message at the beginning of the movie just contradicted the events of what happens, is also just silly. But asides from this is a really good movie with camera styles and technique that echoes Hitchcock, along with well written main characters, something that's rare these days, does make this viewing a treat.

The casting like I already said is excellent Hywel Bennett who plays Martin was the clear standout, his performance was chilly and captivating, his pleasant features and broad range are both hypnotic and terrifying. Hayley Mills who plays the female lead was also excellent and pulls off the victim angle and of course has great chemistry with the male lead. Billie Whitelaw gives a great sympathetic turn as the owner and Susan's mother, she felt very tragic as a woman whose just wants to be loved.

All in all "Twisted Nerve" is a very complex thriller that may be slow burning at times, but well worth a watch.

Friday the 13th Part III
(1982)

Brainless popcorn fun with the iconic hockey mask
This was actually the 4th Friday movie I ever saw as a kid, my local video shop had part 1, 2 and 8, but didn't have any more. A friend of mine had this on video and I was so desperate to own it that I bought it off him for £13 quid out of my pocket money and never looked back. I just loved it and even though I was already a fan of the series, seeing Jason get his infamous hockey mask for the first time just made me smile and just watched it over and over again.

Well where do I start, for all those familiar with 1 and 2, then this one will come as no surprise and has all the right ingredients that makes this series work and viewing it again as a grown up, I do view it differently that I used to, I still love it though, even though it's not quite as perfect as I remember it. Firstly the 3D elements just too gimmicky and not used to full effect, and were just a blatant attempt for money grabbing and everything else like story and character development took a back seat. But some of the kill shots were pretty cool.

The opening disco music scene which gets a lot of complaints, but personally I love it and justs adds to the cheese factor. But there a few small elements that don't work like the flashback to where Chris got attacked, just seemed muddled and not fully explored and was just thrown in to add more to the thin plot and just felt unnecessary. Then there's the dream sequence ending which just felt rushed and after some research I found out that it was just filmed because they couldn't go with the original intended downbeat ending where the survivor has her head chopped off, which would have been cool, but sadly didn't happen.

But the positive aspects like I already said the iconic hockey mask was a genius touch to the proceedings and the death scenes are really cool we getting the eye popping scene which was awesome, spear gun in the eye and a guy chopped in half while doing a handstand was again brilliant. Even though the acting was quite to the level of the first 2 there were still some pretty decent performances. Larry Zerner who plays Shelly is one of the more developed and lovable characters in the franchise, Dana Kimmell plays one of the best final girls in the series, she proves more than a match for Jason, the 80's punks were hit and miss, plus the stoner characters just seemed to be there for the body count, but Richard Brooker who plays Jason definitely stands out as one of the best, bringing a hulking menacing, but human vibe to the character.

All in all Friday The 13th Part 3 definitely ranks one of the best in the franchise, just don't expect any substance, it's just brainless popcorn fun with some cool killings.

Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare
(1991)

Glad this wasn't the final nightmare
Another sequel in the long line of Nightmare flicks that gets a bad rep, this along with part 5 gets the worse rep, but where part 5 had some good going for it, does this one truly deserve all the hate, well my answer to that is probably yes and for years I always thought that this was the worse one (up until the remake).

But as time passed I have kinda warmed to it slightly. The first thing is that this was made with the wrong intentions, gone are almost all the horror elements that made this series great to begin with and instead they just went down the comedy route, the intention was that they wanted this to appeal to all ages and make Freddy a pop culture icon, which he already was, so why they decided to go down this route is beyond me. But what I did like about this though is that we got to delve deeper into Freddy's back-story which was rather interesting and the fact that he's wiped out all the teen population of Springwood, leaving only the adults was another creepy factor, but ultimately goes nowhere and what really lets it down is that it just gets way too stupid and over the top, with so many desperate attempts at humour and everything mostly failing, the lack of deaths isn't a problem, it's just that they were done so poorly and uninteresting, just style over substance. It just seems that more went on the set pieces than any actual tension or action, and to be honest they look rather dull and bland, and not filmed with any flair whatsoever.

The cast this time aren't all that interesting, due to not enough time given to them. Lisa Zane was decent in her turn as social worker Maggie, although nothing is done with her during the first hour and when it turns out she's Freddy's daughter, things do pick up and overall she proves to be a decent match for him. Shon Greenblatt as John Doe was okay as the last remaining kid from Springwood, but sadly his story arc goes nowhere as he's dispatched way too early. Breckin Meyer does okay as the stoner as do Ricky Dean Morgan, but again their characters suffers from a poor script and quickly become disposable. Lezlie Deane had potential as the troubled tough girl and Yaphet Kotto is great as always. Of course Robert Englund is brilliant as ever and is probably going through the motions at this point, but he can only do what's written on paper, but he's still a legend as always.

All in all glad that this one wasn't the final nightmare, and the series would redeem itself, but this does bring things to a full circle and does have some interesting plot points, but way too many were rushed and unresolved.

A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child
(1989)

Does have interesting ideas, but poorly executed
I remember when I first saw all the Nightmare On Elm Street movies back when I was a kid, and always thought that this one wasn't very good, well in fact it ranks as one of the worst. But as I've grown up, I've begun to see different aspects of it, okay it's still not a great sequel or movie in fact, but there are some positive notes on this, and it does attempt to add another depth to the story and does boast an interesting idea to the plot, even if it does wear thin.

The idea of Freddy using Alice's unborn baby's dreams to kill off her friends, while at the same time attempting to get back into the real world, was well rather different, I must say and does give it a very different feel to the rest of the series, but that is where the first mistake is made and can see why this marked a downward spiral in the series, it just fails to make you connect with the movie itself and again the main focus goes on the effects and visuals, instead of characters and an interesting storyline. But I did like the Gothic tone of this movie though, it was less colourful than the previous entries, but in parts does seem rather stale and bland. Also the deaths aren't as interesting as before, even in its uncut form (apart from one maybe). One of the other positive aspects was that more was given to Freddy's mother's back-story, which was quite interesting, but again like last time, only this time the characters are even less fleshed out and played even more of a back seat to Freddy taking most of the runtime.

But the fact that Freddy is given more screen time, only lessens his impact and he becomes even more cartoonish, no fault of his own, down to the weak script. Plus other aspects such as Alice seeing her unborn son at 8 years old in her dream, were rather unbelievable and are never explained, creating another plot hole. Plus the distinction between dream and reality is never really made clear and only adds confusion.

Bringing back Alice was one of the only good things to say about this, she is more stronger and confident this time round, and is again very likable and makes a decent female lead. But her friends this time are even more cardboard cut outs and are just simply there to be killed. Kelly Jo Minter is probably the only friend to have some sort of character or any screen time as well and does fine. Danny Hassal was again given nothing to do, and not much added to him and that's why his death failed to have any impact. Erika Anderson had probably the only interesting death scene, in what's one of the stand out scenes, but again not given much screen time. Joe Seeley as the comic book geek, could have been interesting and does have an interesting dream sequence, but let down by a poor climax.

All in all this is definitely not the worst in the series, but not far from the bottom beating only 2 other entries. This could have added a whole new twist to the series, but was again like some of the others, just a quick cash in and rushed, which shows in almost all areas, and in the end leads to a disappointing climax.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master
(1988)

The scares take a back seat to the visuals
While many say that part 2 was weak, but at least it kept to the creepy and eerie tone of the first one. As we now come to the 4th part in the Freddy saga, this was where things started to go downhill from here. Not to say that this was bad, in fact this did have a lot going for it, and still boasted decent special effects, some effective and inventive death scenes.

But this is also where Freddy became a pop culture icon and stopped being scary and became more fun. Also this was an obvious rush attempt after part 3 became so successful and there really should have been more time spent on plot and certain ideas could have been used. Okay it at least carries on the timeline, set just after the last one with the 3 remaining survivors coming back, but they are killed so quickly, that it just seemed pointless and the original Kristen didn't come back, played by Tuesday Knight, who isn't quite up to the job as Patricia Arquette. Also the way Freddy comes back isn't explained at all, we just get a crude dog pissing fire. But there are some elements that work though, again the dream sequences are outlandish and adventurous, sparking some impressive visuals with bright colours, but sadly loses its suspense and creepiness, and also ends up becoming very silly in parts. The viewer should have eased into them, instead of having everything happen all at once.

The idea of the Dream Master element is rather interesting, but doesn't make any sense and this is where the series starts to lose its intelligence. One example of this being rushed was the guy fighting the invisible Freddy, which was just honestly very lazy and lacked any creativity whatsoever. But other moment's standout such as the girl turning into a cockroach, which was gross and brilliantly done, and looked very realistic and also the final showdown was a very epic moment and does satisfy on the whole.

The cast were okay this time round, but weren't fully fleshed out like in the previous films, it seemed all the focus went on Freddy and the visuals, instead of the new teen cast. Tuesday Knight , like I said wasn't nowhere near as great as Patricia Arquette was, but she did try her best and did put effort into her role and the whole she was okay. It was great seeing Joey and Kincaid again, but they weren't given anything to do, but be killed off in the first 15 minutes, which was sad, but great seeing them again though. Lisa Wilcox as the new heroine Alice was very decent and was one of the only cast members to give a well rounded performance, and she did get better and better as the movie went on. Andras Jones was decent as the brother Rick, but again wasn't as fully formed or as interesting as he should have been, due to the script. Danny Hassal wasn't given much to do and didn't really stand out, just seemed to be there for plot convenience and came off rather bland and forgettable. Brooke Thiess was good as tough girl Debbie, but wasn't given enough screen time. Then of course as always Freddy again steals the show, Robert Englund was truly excellent and charismatic as always.

All in all despite the many flaws, this never got boring once, it's still an enjoyable popcorn flick and okay it fails to scare, but at least there's always something to keep you interested, despite the weak script, I would still rank this as a decent overall Nightmare On Elm Street movie, nowhere near as great as 1 and 3, but still better than part 2.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
(1987)

The best sequel
This was actually the first Freddy film I saw, as a child discovering these gems for the first time was a real treat and also discovering Jason and Michael Myers. But to this day The Nightmare on Elm Street series always had the better quality that helped them rise above the usual low budget fare. And seeing this one first, I can honestly say that I started with the best.

I'm always torn between this and the first one, but honestly I think I love this one more. After the' what's considered a disappointing part 2 (honestly I thought was decent), part 3 brought things back on the right track. Firstly bringing back the imagination was a good move and focused on the creepy, but fun aspect of the dream sequences (something the sequel did lack). This also brought something new and fresh to the Freddy story, by introducing his mother, which was an interesting back-story and doesn't feel completely made up at the last minute, you can see that a lot of thought went into it, which was great. Another great addition to the plot was that the characters can pull each other into their own dreams, which was again very interesting. Another thing that was awesome was the special effects, which still look fantastic to this day, especially the Freddy snake which was very cool and unsettling at the same time and the Freddy puppet which was also cool, and none of that CGI crap was used either, back in the good old days of practical effects, which always remain the best.

Even the plot was very decent and interesting, this just had a much better story and the fact that it was co-written by Wes Craven himself, was just an added bonus. This one has a group of teens who are the last of the Elm street children, rounded up in Weston Hills sanatorium and are all being stalked in their dreams by Freddy himself. Also bringing back the best heroine in the series Nancy was another nice touch, she's older and wiser this time, playing a doctor who studies dreams and tries to help the kids fight Freddy, by discovering that they each have special powers in their dreams.

Another thing that this movie got right was the casting and characters; each of them gets their fair share amount of screen time and is all relatable. Heather Langenkamp coming back older and wiser is like I said a brilliant move, and she brings depth and warmth to such a brilliant character and feels an intriguing part of the story. Patricia Arquette also truly shines as the new lead Kristen she proves a definite match for Freddy, while still maintain innocence and charm. Craig Wasson does well as the doctor and does work up great chemistry with Nancy. Ken Sagoes plays another interesting addition Kincaid, with each of his emotions feeling true and never forced. Rodney Easton also does great as the silent Joey, his expressions and emotions do more than what words can, he really shines in his role. Jennifer Rubin is probably one of the most memorable characters in the entire series, she was just brilliant as Taryn, and also just loved her punk look. Even the first 2 victims Phillip and Jen were interesting and sympathetic and were definitely sad to see them go so early. Another sparkling move was bringing back the ever amazing John Saxon, whose just great as always and even pre fame Laurence Fishburne was also cool to see. Then finally Robert England himself was just as brilliant as ever, and hasn't quite turned into the wisecracking clown yet as this point, but even then he still steals the show.

So all in all this sequel takes full advantage of its surroundings and is executed perfectly, showing that everything from the cast, the story and the effects, everything was done at the correct balance and truly stands out as one of the best all-time slasher movies.

Il cartaio
(2004)

Okay just doesn't take any risks
I'm a big fan of Dario Argento's work; his early works are true works of perfection and have seen most of his stuff and mostly his work do strikes many of emotions such as thrills, tension and brilliant over the top death scenes. But after during the late 90's to present most of his stuff have been hit and miss, and this one from reading the reviews have been classed as a miss. But In my opinion I actually rather enjoyed this effort from him, sure it doesn't have almost none of his trademark technique's. But on its own it does stand as an okay murder mystery.

Firstly the plot is a very interesting and intriguing one, we get the old serial killer playing cat and mouse with the police routine, and in this case we get a killer setting up an online poker game with the police force, while using an innocent woman as bait and if they lose, she dies. This does make for a very interesting story line and it does keep the viewer interested in seeing what happens, and I did feel for these victims in that situation, but the fact that nothing is shown, doesn't leave a lasting impression, as nothing is shown afterwards and kind of makes the outcome disappointing.

Plus it lacks the stunning visuals that Argento's normally provides, instead the look and feel of the movie, looks very standard, and more towards the mainstream side of things. But the two leads are very decent, Stefania Rocca as Anna was a very strong leading character, she does keep you interested and has a good presence on screen even with the bad dialogue, and Liam Cunningham makes for another good character as her partner John and even their forcibly written romantic subplot, they makes it believable and they do share great chemistry together, along with the both of them fighting their demons does anchor the story along at a nice pace. Also Slivio Muccino was another good addition as the computer wiz kid, he was just brilliant. But the other side characters were just forgettable and were just poorly written.

But some of the other aspects of this movie doesn't really work, like the whodunit mystery in which this movie very much relies on, wasn't really inventive or shocking, and the final climax was just very predictable and just plodded along, and even the motive or lack of and honestly had a hard time remembering who he was at the end and just seemed lacking and lazy, but the overacting at the end was rather fun.

All in all "The Card Player" is an okay serial killer mystery flick, but for fans of Dario's visual style, you will be sorely disappointed, as this just doesn't take any risks at all and feels just rather safe and plodding.

Deadly Game
(1991)

Interesting mix of Action, slasher and mystery
I remember catching this on TV many, many years ago and just loved it, and tried for years to find it and couldn't remember the title, but when recently I finally got round to seeing this again and found that I loved it just as much as I did back then.

The storyline had me intrigued we have a group of seven strangers summoned to an island by a mysterious millionaire, who has something else in mind for them, such as forcing them into a game of survival as they end up getting hunted down by armed gunmen, and it turns out that they have all wronged this unseen person at some point in their lives.

The mystery aspect really had me hooked all the way through, and I was very interested to see what the outcome would be and boy it didn't disappoint, as it does lead to a very exciting climax. The elaborate set ups throughout the woods are also another interesting aspect, as we get to know each characters confessions and story arcs, which adds to the depth of the story. Even with the interruption that doesn't stop this from being a one hell of an entertaining movie, successfully mixing action with slasher elements and all intertwined with a mystery that fully works. Even at the end with the revealing twist that was a total shock and came out of nowhere, but still totally believable, and nobody will see it coming.

Of course it's the interesting batch of characters and actors that make this fully work to its true potential. One of the standouts is Marc Singer who is ridiculously over the top and chews the scenery to utter brilliance and makes him one of the more memorable cast members. Mitchell Ryan is another standout as the cowardly jerk whose out for himself and even sacrificed his own wife to save himself. Michael Beck who plays the main hero/leading man is also very decent and adds depth to his character and has great chemistry with the only leading female Jenny Seagrove who's very strong willed and holds her own when up against the men. Also Roddy McDowell is also another great addition to the cast as the kind hearted doctor that adds another great aspect to this. Finally the main villain Fredric Lehne as Osiris was kept in the shadows and was neatly pulled off.

All in all there may not be much on screen violence, but for a TV movie this doesn't feel watered down or run of the mill at all, it's definitely worth a look and it's a fantastic roller-coaster ride.

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