Notes from the attic: Italian horror

November 4, 2015

We've been wading in Italian gore the last month in movie club. Here's what we watched:

Deep Red (1975)
A jazz musician witnesses a murder in his apartment building and sets out to find the slasher with the help of a pushy journalist who "isn't seeing anyone at this time." This movie is insane, and it's not just the elementary-school murder-art that comes up throughout the film. Part of the English dubbing was either lost or never recorded (who knows!), so instead of just releasing a subtitled version, you'll get scenes -- or lines of dialog -- that snap between English and Italian. I guess it ramps up the weirdness factor. Like a lot of Argento films we've been watching, the shocking payoff at the end is what the film's about. Most of Deep Red doesn't make any sense and seems a vehicle for cool decaying architecture and the Goblin soundtrack (which is sadly underutilized). The end is great, though, if you're thirsty for blood.


The Beyond (1981)
From the king of eye-gouging Lucio Fulci. A woman inherits a decrepit hotel in Louisiana with B&B dreams. Little does she know it's built on a hellmouth! Short and sweet, this nihilistic zombie flick has enough gooey nasty gore for everyone.

"I keep shooting them in the guts but nothing happens."

The House by the Cemetery (1981)
Fulci was a busy guy this year. A researcher moves to Smalltown, New England, to finish the work of a college who murdered his lover and killed himself. He and his family aren't too keen to learn they're living in a haunted house. Though, the son seems get along fine with the neighborhood ghost. Just, don't go down into the basement!

What did we tell you about the basement!