Sunday, June 19, 2016

Junesploitation 2016 Day 19: Italian Horror!

When the lights go out, the knife goes in!

110 comments:

  1. Michael GiammarinoJune 19, 2016 at 2:18 AM

    Just a heads up for everybody. I know I said I found a giallo channel on YouTube -- Euroslash -- even though technically giallos aren't exactly considered Italian "horror." Well, I did a YouTube search for "Italian horror movies" and managed to find a slew of them. Considering Netflix isn't exactly a hotspot for Italian horror right now, I figured I'd give everyone a heads up. Enjoy, and happy Italian Horror Day!
    (And happy Father's Day to all the dads participating in Junesploitation this month!)

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    1. Thanks for the heads-up, Michael. I already had another movie picked for today (see below) but the selection of obscure Italian giallos and little-seen horror flicks in Euroslash is impressive. Will be visiting it often, especially since that guy is one or two disputes away from being shut down for copyright violations. Gotta watch as many of those Italian flicks before the boom is lowered on that account, which you know will happen eventually. :-(

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    2. Just so I'm clear, we're joking about this "gialli aren't Italian horror" based on the conversation Doug and I had on a recent podcast, right? I know that not all gialli come from Italy and that not all Italian horror is gialli, but there's a lot of overlap. Like I said, I assume everyone is half joking about this. I just wanted to make sure I'm not a crazy person.

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    3. Michael GiammarinoJune 19, 2016 at 9:41 AM

      I was half joking, yeah, but I also wanted to pass the word on the location of some more traditional Italian horror.

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    4. While there is a lot of overlap I do consider them different genres. Or maybe just a sub genre of Italian Horror. I dunno. Doesn't matter.

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    5. Michael GiammarinoJune 19, 2016 at 10:38 AM

      There's Always Room for Giallo.

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    6. Michael GiammarinoJune 19, 2016 at 12:43 PM

      Sigh...

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    7. I totally appreciate you passing that link along!

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    8. Yep, me too. I feel like a Junesploitation! Christmas kid waiting to open a bunch of pervy presents. Thanks, M(.)G! :-P

      BTW, if you want an appetizer and you don't know which Euroslash flick to start with (so many giallos to choose from!) you can't go wrong with Umberto Lenzi's "Orgasmo". It's like "The Talented Mr. Ripley," except trashy and sleazy as fuck. Just saying.

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    9. Actually, if anyone has anymore recommendations like that it would be great. Well outside my knowledge now!

      As soon as I'm in holidays I'm watching the shit out of all this. Everyone seems to be having a great time :)

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    10. Michael GiammarinoJune 20, 2016 at 12:47 AM

      I'm glad I could be of some help.

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    11. So what on Euroslash specifically would you recommend?

      (I actually watched 'The Night that Evelyn Came out of the Grave' on it a week ago cos I read Patrick's little review and I thought it was super interesting!) Thanks :)

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    12. Sorry... totally misread that, thought you were replying to me. Anyway... everyone can just carry on I suppose.

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  2. Deep Red (1975)

    Last Junesploitation I watched Suspiria and completely fell in love with it. I've yet to see another Argento film I've liked.

    Yes, the film is about as slow as humanly possible and is a complete slog to get through. Yes, it has a leading man who makes plywood look charismatic. And yes, it had the least romantic romance this side of Man of Steel (okay not that bad). Still, that doll in the tux is one of the scariest things I've ever seen. Holy smokes, that abomination came out of nowhere!

    I don't want to sound horrifically dismissive, but I wasn't a fan. However, I hope to come around on Argento soon.

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    1. Which version did you watch? The longer cut can be kind of slow, but it also includes a lot more of Daria Nicolodi's character. You should watch Tenebrae. That might be an Argento you dig.

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    2. I watched Deep Red a couple Junesploitations ago. I didn't really like it but it had atmosphere for days and yes that doll is... memorable.

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    3. I watched the Italian cut where the language goes back and forth. haha I'll definetly check out Tenebre. I have no plans to give up on Argento! Especially since I love Suspiria so much.

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    4. Michael GiammarinoJune 19, 2016 at 12:42 PM

      Tenebrae is incredible.

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    5. Yeah, I go back and forth on which version I prefer. I like so many of the Daria Nicolodi scenes but the American edit moves a lot better. LIFE IS HARD.

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    6. Then I'll have to check out the American cut!

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    7. Which version is on Shudder? I watched that one today and really enjoyed it. Although the final reveal was a bit anticlimactic.

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    8. I think it's the shorter American cut.

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  3. City of the Living Dead (1980)

    What a treat! Always love me some Fulci/Italian horror in general. Great gore, incredible score, cheesy as hell - everything one expects out of a Fulci film. The drill sequence remains a classic.

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    1. Also - seriously, what the fuck is that last shot?

      "NOOOOOO!! DON'T RUN INTO THE CAMERA!! YOU'RE GOING TO BREAK THE LE--"

      Only Fulci.

      Or Bergman in Persona, but that seems more appropriate (as if there's anthing "appropriate" in this film).

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    2. The zombie climax in this one is a work of art. Love it!

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  4. Satoshi Kon's PERFECT BLUE (1997, 80 min.) on DVD.

    DING! DING! DING! DING! Winner, winner, chicken dinner! :-)

    If Dario Argento had been Japanese instead of Italian and done anime instead of live-action horror, "Perfect Blue" would have been his "Deep Red." If Brian De Palma had made the ultimate Hitchcock-caliber mindfuck of a movie he spent his entire career pursuing and falling short of delivering, it would have been "Perfect Blue." I saw it nine months ago at Brooklyn's Nitehawk Cinema, and the next day I bought it on DVD (which ain't cheap unless you're buying used) because I knew Junesploitation! would be coming back. Easily fitting a dozen categories (slasher, 90's horror, sexsploitation, monsters, etc.), to me it's the ultimate psychological horror giallo that Italians would be proud to call their own.

    Don't let anyone spoil "Perfect Blue" before you see it so you can have your mind blown at how tightly-told-and-neatly-wrapped-in-80-min. a horror thriller it is, including an ending that tops even the all-mighty "Sleepaway Camp" in the 'that sends a fucked-up message about a group of people' politically incorrect scale. It manages to say and show profound things about the entertainment industry, the objectification of women by obsessed men and how easily manipulative narrative features are of audience emotions via the blurring of time/reality. It even has a jaw-dropper of an uncomfortable rape scene, which is naturally exploitative (what rape scene isn't?) but 100% integral to the plot and necessary to move the story/characters along. Not bad for a film starring a female character that is simultaneously sympathetic and a cipher into which you can imprint whatever personality you wish. The best Junesploitation! movie I've seen in the four years FTM has been doing this, by far.

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    1. Thank you yous much for this! It's so great when people know what's missing in your life. This was perfect.

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  5. Suspiria (1977)

    My first Italian Horror, and I really enjoyed myself. I am always a sucker for a dream like structure, and it meant the movie did not have to follow through a b or c the movie could go anywhere it wanted to, or moments don't have to pay off. And the whole thing looked gorgious with all the reds, greens and yellows. I will be revisiting this again.

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    1. I watched this today also and also really loved it. I haven't watched a lot of Italian Horror (despite seeing Goblin play live a while back) and didn't want to go too far off the beaten path with this one. I'm sure I'll do that more during October, but for now not only is Suspiria well-regarded but it stars Phoenix from Phantom of the Paradise. This movie doesn't even really have to make much sense, you just go with it.

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    2. Suspiria (1977)

      I'm in the same boat, I'm basically a noob when it comes to Italian horror, so went with one of the big names.

      Nightmare logic is exactly the right term for this, and I just let it wash over me, which seemed like the right thing to do with this one. And I loved it.

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    3. The soundtrack for this is crazy good too. My 10 year old is humming the theme melody all the time , even though he hasn't seen the movie (of course). I've shown a few scary, child friendly scenes,only.

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    4. I have had the score in my head all this morning

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  6. Demons 1,2 an yes Demons 3 also know as The Church, should be a fun Sunday :)

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    1. Nice choices, I love parts 1 and 2, Ps, interestingly in the UK Demons 3 is called The Ogre, I have not heard of that title, the Ogre is a bad one, I do remember a film called The Church from the late 90s though, much better than The Ogre

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    2. Thx yeah I just looked up Demons 3 an it looks like their are three Demons 3 titles all diffident movies lol With I think the Ogre maybe being the official one its not real clear. Looks like I may just add another movie today an I don't think Ive seen it Thanks Dennis.

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    3. The Ogre is not a great movie but the score kicks ass.

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    4. True, I would not recommend it, I was wondering if it was a UK thing, a 3 in title only, it is on YouTube so you can see it for free,

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  7. Cat in the Brain (1990, dir. Lucio Fulci, on DVD) – First Time Viewing: This is the meta Fulci movie written, directed, and STARRING Fulci as himself. Fulci is losing his mind and his movies are combining with his reality. Basically he stumbles from one messed-up situation to another and gets increasingly freaked out. While this movie has all the Fulci tropes, the gimmick wore off after a little while and it became a little tiresome. For hardcore Fulci fans only (3 out of 5 Griers).

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  8. Follia Omicida a.k.a Murder Obsession a.k.a Murder Syndrome (1981) Last film by the criminally overlooked Riccardo Freda.

    What seemingly starts off as a pretty standard thriller, Freda throws all that shit out the window around the 30 minute mark and takes off running. The film features some incredible dream sequences (or are they?) some crazyness that comes out of nowhere and a great location. Basic plot: Some actors are staying with one of the actors Moms at a huge mansion. The Mom and Son have a weird relationship and he's got some problems as he killed his dad when he was a child. People start getting tormented and killed. It turns into something much better than that description though.

    This was also the last film that the lovely Silvia Dionisio starred in. (Silvia is married to Ruggero Deodato)

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  9. FRANKENSTEIN 80 (1972)
    Yet another “Frankenstein, but in the modern day” movie. The monster is created, gets loose, people are killed, etc. It leans heavily on the giallo style, complete with an appearance by the Black Gloved Hand. I’m making it sound more interesting than it is. Kind of dull, really.

    THE BLOODSUCKER LEADS THE DANCE (1974)
    If it weren’t for the sensationalistic title, I wouldn’t have known this is horror. Most of the movie is a naughty who’s-sleeping-with-who soap opera. It’s not until the ending that there’s murder, an accusing parlor scene, and a final twist. Except for the sex scenes, it’s a whole lot of nothing. And what the heck is that crappy intro that Redemption Films added to the beginning?

    EVIL CLUTCH (1989)
    A female vampire and her zombie pals prey on tourists in the Italian countryside. This is one slow-going during its first half, but stick with it because the second half explodes into a total over-the-top Evil Dead movie. A terrific combination of Italian dreamlike horror and Raimi slapstick gore. Really liked this one!

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    1. Dude, you've nailed 3 movies a day since the start! Killing it.... respect!

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  10. Nightmare City (1980)

    A nightmarish plague turns humanity into raging killers with mud on their faces!

    It's not great. But it's trashy and has eye trauma, so it's just what you need for Italian Horror day. For a movie so violent and mean spirited, it's strangely bright and has an almost cheerful tone. So odd. And the ending is GARBAGE. But the thought that Patrick showed this to Doug for his first italian horror film is hilarious!

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    1. That ending is legit the worst.

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    2. It feels like an insult to humanity, yes.

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  11. The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh (1971, dir. Sergio Martino)
    What??

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    1. Mother of Tears (2007, dir. Dario Argento)
      Huh?

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    2. Giallo (2009, dir. Dario Argento)
      Adrien Brody's Rambo makeup in this is hilarious.

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    3. Is Mother of Tears as bad as every modern critic says it is? Because I strangely want to watch 2007 Argentina, and it does complete the trilogy?

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    4. It's awful. It feels like a Cradle of Filth video. I just saw it, and I can't remember what it was about at all.

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  12. La maschera del demonio a.k.a Demons 5 (1989) Dir. Lamberto Bava

    Loose remake/homage to Lamberto's father's "Black Sunday". It had me from the jump as the film takes place in winter and I absolutely love "snow" Horror. 8 teens go skiing and fall down a hole where they find a woman wearing a metal mask frozen in the ice. As they explore the cave they discover a church and a passageway that leads to a city buried in the snow. Turns out the women who was frozen was a witch who was killed a long time ago. Now, she is back for revenge since they removed the mask.

    I really liked this a lot! It takes it's time to get going but the atmosphere really helps. Most importantly, I was introduced to my new girl friend, Debora Caprioglio, who is F-ING amazing. Seriously, google her. You might lose your mind. Fuck it- here you go.

    I don't believe this film has ever had a proper release which is odd because the version on YouTube is pristine, Blu Ray quality. The film looks gorgeous.

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    1. *which means now I HAVE to watch Tinto Brass' Paprika.

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    2. Yes sir wow mind lost..... seriously tough is hanging out!!!

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    3. Keep in mind it takes it's time to get going, be patient, but besides that, I really liked it.

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    4. I like the dress she's not really wearin!

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  13. Tenebrae (1982)

    Alright Italians, you win (and Patrick was 100% right, because he knows what he's doing). If I had to state my reaction in one word, that word would be HolyFuckingShitballs! This was incredible, and I'm legitimately not sure how Argento shot that strangulation in the car without actually killing that guy. Maybe he did kill him, I don't know. Italians be crazy.

    There's a plot involving a writer being stalked by a killer, but that's secondary (at best) to the style and utter batshittery on display. It's not soaked in color like Suspiria (a movie I've never really warmed to but would very much like to give another chance) but it's still strangely beautiful. I think I'm in love.

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    1. This will be your tipping point. Just watch. So glad you dug it. That movie is amazing.

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    2. "I'm legitimately not sure how Argento shot that strangulation in the car without actually killing that guy. Maybe he did kill him, I don't know. Italians be crazy." That was freakin' hilarious.

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    3. I thought The New York Ripper was the tipping point? Maybe only the turning point. It was definitely the turning/tipping point for me. I had watched it after Patrick said anyone wanting to get into horror should watch"anything by fulci"... I later realized he wasn't being serious...

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    4. Is anybody going to watch Zombie? I would love to hear someone who hasn't seen its reaction to it.

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    5. I was thinking that or Demons. Would love to see the first reactions to either.

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  14. The Beyond (1981)

    Stay away from room 36.

    My first real venture into Italian Horror and oh my god this was amazing. It looks fantastic and even though some of the gore looks very fake it still made me squirm. It moves along brilliantly paced, hits you with the gore or that tense feeling of unease, gives you a minute or two to relax and then hits you again.

    The plot follows a young woman who inherits a hotel in Louisiana built above one of the 7 entrances to hell and all sorts of ungodly despair is released while the hotel is being renovated.

    If like me you're late to this genre and haven't seen this one then I implore you to seek it out.

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    1. Hell yeah man! There are about 5 that are essential to start with and The Beyond is one of them.

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    2. The Beyond is BEYOND great.

      My pun skills are legit, folks.

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    3. Don't Step on my Duckling is great too.

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    4. *Don't Torture A Duckling

      Whether it's being stepped on or not...

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  15. Tenebrae (1982)

    Amo questo cazzo di film. Grazie, Patrick. Il vostro cervello è grande quasi quanto le palle giganti.

    There is no way I can do this film justice. I watched it in pieces then I read Patrick's review and then I watched it, again. The score, the sets, the kills...everything works. There is a continuous shot in the movie that legit is one of the best I've ever seen. 3 years ago, I didn't know what italian horror was. Now, I want to watch ALL OF IT. F this movie has made me into this crazy, movie watching zombie...and I couldn't be happier:)

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    1. wait? Our brain is almost as big as the giant balls? HAHA!

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    2. Amazing how many Italian horror fans today's Junesploitation! is fostering. Guess Patrick turning around on the genre after years of 'not getting it' (remember the old 'Massacre' podcasts? :-P) is the main reason. I mean, when FLP (Fearless Leader Patrick) says he likes something and he's on board, the F-head masses will follow assured they won't get burned.

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    3. It has been a heartwarming day to see so many people digging what they're watching and opening the door to the genre.

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  16. "No one will ever know whether the children are monsters or the monsters are children"

    The house by the Cemetery 1981

    The perfect 3am slot film for a movie marathon, you could stay awake and watch every scene or you could nod off here and there and just catch parts and it would make about the same sense, a very dreamy haunted house movie with a lot of scenes with kids and one particular scene with an axe where your wondering if they really are gonna Axe a cute kid in the head?
    One of our Video nasties from the UK, not really over the top gore but a few nice shots, I always enjoy this one

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    1. Bob is gonna give you nightmares for like 25 years. He has plagued me my whole life. Bob and Bob from Twin Peaks so I don't think I fuck with Bob's.

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    2. Cool sounds like a good place to start with Fulci, werid kid and all

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    3. Lindsay, it's not just a weird kid - it's the most annoying kid in the history of cinema, period. Do not take this warning lightly! Btw - props as you have been killing it this month with the flicks!

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    4. I love this movie and... get ready for this.... I don't mind Bob.

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    5. I love the flick too but you don't mind Bob?! Mind blown. I've never wanted to choke a kid more, maybe Babadook kid 2nd, but Bob takes the cake every single time.. No other kid holds a candle to his annoyance.

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    6. Don't get me wrong, he's such an insane character it's hard to believe he exists in a movie. He's like a physical manifestation of Fulci's insanity as a filmmaker. He's kind of fascinating.

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    7. Thanks Chaybee. I will take your warning to heart. Though this month has given mouth has an even longer list to try and organize for SMM.

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    9. I understand the reactions to Bob, I borrowed my brother the Babadook and he hated the kid so much it ruined the film for him, Bob is a different bag than that kid but I guess he is polarising

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  17. Don't Go in the Attic (1982)

    What attic? I didn't see any god damn attic...

    After getting high on Tenebrae, I took some downers. These people inherit a mansion haunted by the ones who died there. Then...oh, who fuckin cares. DON'T...see this movie.

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  18. The House of the Laughing Windows (1976)
    I have been meaning to venture into Italian horror for a while, but have always been a little apprehensive. I think this movie was the wrong choice to start with. I was really intrigued by it but constantly disappointed by how boring it is.

    A man is hired to preserve a mural that was painted by a disturbed man who often painted people that were moments before death.

    I was really hoping it would go farther or really do anything at all. It's a lot of talking, eating, walking, suspense, and then right back to talking with no fruition of the suspenseful elements. Tomorrow I'm going to give Torso a shot to try a proper Italian horror. I really want to like this stuff.

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  19. Tenebrae (1982)

    I picked up the super fancy blu-ray from Synapse a couple of weeks ago, so I was super excited to put it to good use today. I have not watched any of the special features yet, but the film itself looks gorgeous.

    I had seen this at a Massacre a couple of years ago, but, as most of the Italian horror they show, it started somewhere around 2 AM. Therefore, I didn't really remember any of it--which was great, because it was like watching it for the first time (except for the finale, which I remembered as I was watching it).

    I like the interviewer at the beginning asking Peter Neal (Anthony Franciosa) about the misogyny in his books--I immediately thought of The Bird with the Crystal Plumage--and him responding that he voted for the Equal Rights Act. It complicates things in an interesting way, and then the interview, which is supposed to be scheduled for later, never happens. What is the line between art and artist? I think this goes on to be explored further in ways that I can't talk about here, but it's something to chew on while watching it.

    Overall, I highly recommend it.

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  20. BLACK SUNDAY (1960)

    If a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing right.

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  21. KILL BABY KILL (1966)

    After watching Black Sunday, my girlfriend wanted nothing more than to watch more Bava...so here we are.

    This flick is something, to say the least.

    After this, we are going to continue to raid Prime for Bava until we go to sleep. Feels like the best way to close out a weekend!

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  22. Happy Father's Day, everybody! If you're still awake, push pause on your blu-ray player and go hug your kids.

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  23. The Case of the Bloody Iris (1972, dir. Giuliano Carnimeo)
    So-so giallo aided immeasurably by the presence of Edwige Fenech. The red herrings don't play fair. Neither does the resolution. Still, it's stylish and has a couple of really strong sequences.

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  24. Michael GiammarinoJune 20, 2016 at 12:54 AM

    Nightmare Castle (1965)
    The version of this I saw on YouTube was cut by at least twenty minutes, I think, but it still served it's purpose. I still need to pick this up on Blu-ray. Felt like a Roger Corman Poe picture and a Mario Bava picture.

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  25. Black Sabbath (1963)

    I lost interest very quickly and kinda stopped paying attention. I'll give it another shot eventually and I'll probably have an opinion on it then.

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  26. BLACK SABBATH (1963)

    First Bava of the night I hadn't seen. That was a mistake -- I thought it was fucking AMAZING. Goddamn, did that man know how to shoot a movie. Eerie & gorgeous & freaky & nuts.

    Loved it so much...and the best part is my girlfriend agreed to watch literally every Bava movie on Prime/Shudder with (of which there's quite a few left) me this week because she loved them too.

    Thanks for improving my life more than you usually do, Junesploitation!

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    1. Do you realize the wormhole you guys are going down. It's her job to tell you that you are a crazy man...as they say in Italian, "Il pazzo".

      Seriously, that's awesome that you're both on board and loving the same genre...

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    2. "Behind every great man there's a woman telling him he's a crazy person."

      That's a quote, right?

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    4. We take turns telling each other we're crazy and then laughing.

      Turns out we are happy being crazy together. Doing so with Italian horror (I intend to introduce her to Argento next) is just another brand of the special crazy we can share together.

      Basically...it's pretty sweet.

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  27. Blade of the Ripper (Sergio Martino, 1971)

    About 1 minute in we get our first boob, and seconds later it's being violently stabbed. Then Italian words on the screen, followed by the gorgeous Edwige Fenech. There is heavy dubbing over of everyone voice. An extra sentence was squeezed in at one point. 4 minute mark girl is being beaten in pouring rain, which quickly changes to rain soaked boobs, to rape, to passionate lovemaking.

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    1. aka The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh

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    2. Martino might be my favourite giallo director. Torso is really good, and this one is less good, but still freaking amazing. Or maybe I just like boobs...

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  28. Dressed to Kill (1980)

    When in doubt it counts, right? De Palma is an Italian-American filmmaker and this could be considered a slasher I think...anyways, I liked the movie but am just as much puzzled by it than enjoying it. I admire how crazy it is and it's very watchable.

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  29. Black Sunday (1960) (first time viewing)

    My second movie of the month where Barbara Steele plays 2 different characters. This one was better. It had creepy atmosphere, was well shot, and had a decent story. It did get a little slow in the middle, which is not good when you're on day 19 of #Junesploitation. #GonnaSleepThroughJuly
    I would definitely still recommend this one though.

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  30. A Bay Of Blood (1971) Mario Bava

    Starting watching Rabid Dogs before realizing it wasn't really horror. Liked this one enough. Cool photography and some rad kills, but this lulls, amiright? I guess I still haven't been totally bitten by the Italian horror bug, but I'm def gonna finish Rabid Dogs cause that shit is awesome.

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  31. Ghosthouse (Jan 1, 1988) Umberto Lenzi

    Oh boy, I don't know why I do this to myself sometimes. I decided to go against the grain and dig up this little under appreciated Italian gem, and trust me when I say that this movie is definitely something else. It was intended to be an Italian "Poltergeist" almost, but the plot of this movie is almost completely incoherent. Really I don't know why I enjoyed this movie as much as I did, there is almost no real plot, the acting (if you can even call it acting) was some of the worst acting I have ever seen in a movie, and the direction is honestly not that great. What really compels me about this movie though is that is has absolutely one of the best scores I have ever heard in a movie. The score is just absolutely gorgeous, it is haunting and sets the atmosphere perfectly. It is by far the real reason to watch this movie, well that and the creepy clown doll that pops up throughout the movie. I don't know what it was about that doll, but it was genuinely unsettling to look at. The design of that doll was amazingly scary, possibly the scariest doll I have seen in a horror movie.
    I honestly can't recommend this movie to anybody except for the truest of Italian Horror fans, because while the clown doll and the music score are amazing, the rest of the movie falls flat and is most of the time hard to sit through. All in all Ghosthouse is a movie worth seeing for only two reasons, which makes it a movie not worth seeing.

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    1. I saw this for the first time when Scream Factory put it out and had a similar reaction -- I loved it but I can neither explain nor defend that response.

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  32. Don't look now

    What a creepy film, especially that ending which unfortunately got spoiled to me by my Dad of all people! Really good film with incredible editing

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