A Blade in the Dark (1983)
In Attendance- Me, Eryn, Machine, The Vanilla Gorilla, and Nick.
Cast Members of Note- None really, save for Michele Soavi who has had a long career on both sides of the camera; working alongside Argento for many years and directing the masterpiece Dellamorte Dellamore (Cemetery Man.)
What's it about?- Riiiight... Like any one on the planet can just "tell you" what an Italian Horror flick from the late 70's/early 80's is about? Guess what, they can't. Why do men from Tennessee often circumcise themselves by rubbing their peckers against rusty barbed wire fences? Can you tell me that? Oh, but that's different, right? You're all sheep.
So anyways, our little Giallo story begins with three mongoloid children throwing a ball down a creepy staircase into a dark cellar; one of them is transgendered, and the other two nearly gay bash the poor kid to death. The kid runs for his life into the basement, only to be gay bashed to death for real this time, by the creepy killer in the cellar. At least Mr. Murder gives the other two their ball back.
We next meet Bruno, the slow witted composer who just moved into a posh villa to finish work on his latest movie score. He soon begins to hear noises around the house and decides to investigate; unfortunately for him, he is hindered by some "slow motion" disease that he got from a hooker in Barcelona. A few hours later, he finally makes it out of the room, and (Slowly) heads downstairs to the biggest basement ever made. He saves a girl, Katia, from a scroach (That's a spider-roach hybrid for those of you who haven't been to Europe), and she asks him for a cigarette.
He forgets she is there, and begins composing; for the record, his big accomplishment was finishing the first half of one song during his entire stay. He plays it over, and over, and over again, prompting a psychotic killer into action... Katia pays for his lack of any sort of enthusiasm ans sense of urgency with her life.
Within ten minutes of all of this happening, another chick randomly pops up in the house, and this time Bruno gets laid. The next morning, he kicks her out because he is very busy working on his half of a song, but is dismayed to find yet another young, sex starved girl show up randomly, only this time outside of the house. He lets her swim and shower, and she too is killed.
I won't ruin the end here, but suffice it to say that more people die, and Bruno never finishes one frigging song.
The Good- Lamberto Bava is the man; Like his father before him (We love you Mario Bava!), The films of Lamberto are true Giallo through and through; Tense, atmospheric, bloody, creepy, confusing and poorly bubbed... a blood soaked treat for us all.
I can see how some people would look at a movie like this and instantly see a cheesy, dated mess... but then those are the horror fans who pay to see The Hitcher Remake and Shutter, and actually enjoy watching the turds. Yes, I'm an elitist prick.
There is so much at work in a movie like this, that it satisfies on different levels, despite it's shortcomings. Italian Horror is about atmosphere and visuals, excessive violence and tension... the price we pay for those heights that these movies usually hit is usually on the back end, and in the form of coherence and lack of sense.
It's worth every minute.
The Bad- This guy... What in the hell is his deal anyways?
The Downright Horrendous- Cross dressing children... when will it end?
The Gory- Plenty O' gore to be had here, from a bloody tennis/baseball, to multiple slashings and stabbings. Stay classy Italy, we love you!
The Naked- A pair of late 70's style A cup pancake boobies... and that's it.
What did we learn?- Scroaches do exist. Also, if you rent a villa in Europe, random slutty chicks will just show up and hang out with you.
Rating- B For its time and for what it was, it's a solid flick. I'd recommend renting it before buying though, as it may not be everyone's cup of tea.
Sub-Genre- Italian Horror
In Attendance- Me, Eryn, The Vanilla Gorilla, and Nick.
Cast Members of Note- Stanko Molnar... Come on, the guys name is stanko!
What's it about?- Love. Yep, it's about love.
...A 10 year old sisters love for her 4 year old brother (Ages approximate), and the bathtub that she drowns him in while her mother is out whoring. Is anything sweeter?
...The love of a woman (The one out whoring) and a man, even after a traffic accident kills him and severs his head from his body. That doesn't stop the lovemaking... no way. Passion will not be denied.
...The love of a blind man (Blindy we'll call him) and his ancient mother, who still loves to bathe him... slowly, with a hard bar of soap... Sadly, she dies because she's 103 years old, so no more baths... Blindy quickly falls in love with the whore who still loves a dead guy, and accepts her in all of her bat shit crazy splendor.
Love drives her to kill her other kid, mentally abuse the blind guy, and make love to a severed head. Really.
The Good- The best thing about Macabre, is that it's a disturbing flick that will make you feel like you need a shower afterward.
It's not the best example of early 80's Italian horror, but it has it's good points; the bathtub scene, the creepy daughter, and the end.
The Bad- About halfway through this one I would have taken a "Screaming Seagull" from someone if they would have stopped the movie. Maybe even an "Alabama Hot Pocket."
The Downright Horrendous- Seriously mom, he's like 30 years old, he can bathe himself. Drop the soap! Now!
The Gory- The, um... "sex" scene towards the end is fairly gross... as is whats in the freezer. Other than that, Macabre is light on the blood.
The Naked- A little bit of cheesecake, but it was more creepy than it was hot.
What did we learn?- Kids are evil. Also, getting head can have more than one meaning, and sometimes at once. Also, severed head breathe, fly, and bite. Yep.
Rating- C- Effective enough, but a rough ride. Rent it before committing to the buy.
Final Thoughts- That little bitch was creepy!