Italian | Varied Celluloid

Bay of Blood

Posted by Josh Samford On October - 9 - 2013

Bay of Blood (1971)
Director: Mario Bava
Writers: Mario Bava, Giuseppe Zaccariello, Filippo Ottoni, Sergio Canevari, Dardano Sacchetti, and Franco Barberi
Starring: Claudine Auger, Luigi Pistilli, Laura Betti, and Claudio Camaso

The Plot: Our film begins, as all great stories do, with an elderly woman being strangled with a noose by her husband. Although this may seem cliche, A Bay of Blood isn’t afraid to switch things up! So, we then watch as the deceased woman’s husband is killed by a faceless assailant immediately after he finishes the job. This new killer then drags the murdering son, Fillipo, out to the bay that their home sits upon, leaving the police to find a forged suicide note that tries to explain the elderly woman’s death. Meanwhile, Fillipo’s body is not found during the investigation. Our film then skips forward in time and we meet four young teens who are hoping to spend their weekend partying by the bay, unfortunately they are instead hunted down and murdered one by one. In a very violent sequence of events that are not foreshadowed in great detail, the movie dispatches all four of the teens as they become part of the bodycount building up around this bay. We then meet real estate agent Frank and his wife Laura who are interested in some property by the bay, and as the film unfurls, through them we will witness why all of this undue carnage has been taking place.

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Posted by Josh Samford On October - 31 - 2012

Autopsy (1975)
Director: Armando Crispino
Writers: Armando Crispino and Lucio Battistrada
Starring: Mimsy Farmer, Barry Primus, and Ray Lovelock.

The Plot: Autopsy follows Simona Sana (Mimsy Farmer) who is a medical student in the process of writing her thesis on differentiating between actual suicides and simulated ones. While this goes on, Italy is being ravaged by a string of suicide deaths that have been brought upon by sun spots. When Simona runs into an American girl who turns up on her autopsy table the next day, dead from an apparent suicide, she finds herself wrapped up in a very large conspiracy that will have her questioning her own sanity and even investigating her own father.

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Black Sabbath

Posted by Josh Samford On October - 16 - 2012

Black Sabbath (1963)
Director: Mario Bava
Writers: Mario Bava, Alberto Bevilacqua, and Marcello Fondato
Starring: Boris Karloff, Mark Damon, and Michele Mercier

The Plot: Black Sabbath is an anthology horror title that tells three separate stories. The first one told is “The Drop of Water.” This story tells of a Victorian-era housekeeper who is brought in to take care of a deceased fortune teller. As she goes about her job, she notices a fancy piece of jewelry that she intends to steal. When she does, she finds that she will have a night of true terror ahead of her. The second story is “The Telephone.” In this story, we are introduced to a modern woman who is contacted via the phone by a former lover who is supposed to be dead. The third story is “The Wurdalak.” Our final story tells of a nobleman who travels around Russia before finding a very peculiar family living in a cottage. As this family awaits the return of their father, it seems that they are all worried that he will return as a Wurdalak, a vampire. When he arrives, he is pale and quick to aggression, but they decide to wait the night out and see if it is their true father who has returned to them. This turns out to be a grave mistake.

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Phantom of the Opera, The

Posted by Josh Samford On October - 5 - 2012

The Phantom of the Opera (1998)
Director: Dario Argento
Writers: Giorgina Caspari
Starring: Asia Argento, Julian Sands, and Andrea Di Stefano

The Plot: When a baby in a basket is rescued by rats who live under an opera house within Paris, he is raised as a violent but quiet man. He (Julian Sands) becomes our “Phantom of the Opera,” and he strikes against those who threaten his way of life by entering the secret underground canals that lie beneath the opera. We are soon introduced to Christine DaaĆ© (Asia Argento), who is a young girl trying to break into Opera. Christine and the Phantom are soon wrapped up in a very strange relationship that revolves around sexual desires and the bizarre telepathic link that they have. Although Christine seems to love The Phantom, there is also the Baron, Raoul De Chagny (Andrea Di Stefano), who is currently making plays for Christine’s attention. As this love triangle ties together, it seems that a tragedy may be waiting around the corner.

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Django Strikes Again

Posted by Josh Samford On June - 20 - 2012

Django Strikes Again (1987)
Director: Nello Rossati
Writers: Sergio Corbucci, Franco Reggiani, and Nello Rossati
Starring: Franco Nero, Christopher Connelly, Licinia Lentini, and Donald Pleasance

The Plot: Deep in the heart of Columbia, our film introduces us to a very familiar monk. This monk is a man with a very dark past who desperately searches for retribution after a lifetime of killing. This man is the infamous gunslinger known as Django. Taking place twenty years after the original titular film Django, we find that our leading man has separated himself from all forms of violence and looks forward to a very simple life. However, Django is soon visited by a woman from his past who claims that she is dying. She asks that Django visit her daughter and look after her, but Django refuses because he feels that he has finally found his calling. The woman soon advises Django that the young girl is his very own daughter, and with that our hero is off to meet his only known relative. When he finds the town where she was supposed to live, however, he discovers that it has been destroyed. Most in this town are now dead, but the few who survived have been taken hostage by the homicidal Hungarian aristocrat Orlowsky (played by Christopher Connelly). Django is soon captured by Orlowsky’s men as well, but quickly manages to escape his prison with some help from a man named Ben (Donal Pleasance). With vengeance on his mind, Django soon digs up his machinegun and decides to take on this European tyrant with every fiber of his being.

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