ORBzine - Slasher Flicks 2017 Movie Reviews

TITLE & REVIEW

Hatchet for the Honeymoon

Hatchet for the Honeymoon This is a 1970s Giallo directed by genre founder Mario Bava . However, it is an unhappy mish-mash that lacks the polish of later Giallos. It focuses on a serial killer, rather than on the Columbo-like detective investigating him. Our killer wears the black jumpsuit of Danger: Diabolik! , but forgoes the black gloves that are an essential for the killers in Dario Argento Giallos. The title is misleading, because he uses a meat-cleaver instead of a hatchet. And somehow he never spills much blood, totally lacking in any form of medical realism.

The killer targets brides on their wedding day. His motivation is Paranoia - yes, yet another medical term mis-represented by a slasher film. It would have been more straightforward to use his unhappy marriage as a motive. But despite the typical sloppiness, the film really takes off when the killer gets stalked by the ghost of his most recent victim. There are shades of Les Diaboliques as the killer's sanity takes a turn for the even worse.

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    Venus in Furs

    Venus in Furs James Darren ( Star Trek: DS9 ) is at a party when he witnesses the murder of a young woman. Over the next few days, the victim reappears and bumps off her assailants - including Klaus Kinski ( Nosferatu (1979) ).

    This movie has a weird supernatural vibe, possibly because it was shot by a European director ( Jess Franco ) and contains a lot of soft-core nudity. The soundtrack makes it seem incredibly dated. It also stands out because it was shot in the exotic city of Istanbul.

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    Deep Red

    Deep Red This is a Giallo (an Italian slasher movie) directed by Euro schlock-meister Dario Argento . An English pianist (David Hemmings - Barbarella ) witnesses a murder. Rather than leave it to the cops, he investigates the killing himself.

    The hallmarks are all there - the serial killer with black gloves who performs a series of stylish kills.

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    Cat O'Nine Tails

    Cat O'Nine Tails This is an early effort by Dario Argento that bears many of his hallmarks.

    The title refers to a whip used by a serial killer. Blind investigator Karl Malden ( ) teams up with journalist James Franciscus ( Beneath the Planet of the Apes ) to find the killer.

    The explanation for the killer's rampage is that he has a double-Y chromosome, which gives him a genetic pre-disposition to criminal behaviour. This film has that strange thing - a piece of movie science that actually rings true in real life!

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    Phenomena

    Phenomena Pre-teen American girl Jennifer Connolly is sent to a Boarding School in Switzerland. Unfortunately, a Giallo killer is prowling the forests.

    Our little heroine meets Scottish (!) scientist Donald Pleasance ( Halloween ), who by incredible coincidence is an advisor to the Police investigator. In another unlikely coincidence, he is an expert in insects ... And the girl has a superpower - she can talk to the insects!

    This is one of Dario Argento 's biggest films, in terms of scope anyway. It is nearly forgotten, which is almost a pity - the supernatural aspect is ridiculous, but the film certainly has its moments.

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    Tenebrae

    Tenebrae Novelist Anthony Francisca ( Beneath the Planet of the Apes ) and his publisher (John Saxon - Nightmare on Elm Street ) fly into Rome as part of a book tour.

    Unfortunately, a black-gloved Giallo killer is killing attractive women in a fashion reminiscent of the protagonist's new novel, Tenebrae. The killer is obsessed with the novelist's work, and the police investigation centres around him.

    This is one of Dario Argento 's early forays into International film-making, evidently aimed specifically at the American market. The climax has a few surprises, but all in all it is not nearly as good as his earlier efforts such as Deep Red .

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    Stendahl Syndrome

    Stendahl Syndrome A lady cop in Rome's Anti-Rape Department (like Law and Order: SVU) is targeting a serial killer (Thomas Kretschmann - King Kong 2005 ). Unfortunately, he is hunting her too.

    This is a pretty weak effort, compared to the Director's other work. The mediocre dubbing into English is the least of its problems. It is based on a book, and that may be part of the problem. Like The Cardplayer it is a Police Procedural, concentrating on the cops instead of the killer. The star ( Asia Argento ) is too young, and her father ( Dario Argento ) directed it around her.

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    The Cardplayer

    The Cardplayer In Rome, where everyone speaks English all the time, a hi-tech psycho kidnaps women and plays online poker with the police. For every hand the cops lose, the victim also loses body parts ...

    The heroine is a lady detective. She is partnered with Liam Cunningham ( Game of Thrones ), a hard-drinking Irishman who is also a gun-toting Scotland Yard detective on assignment to the British Embassy.

    The problem is that the film concentrates on the cops rather than the killings, so it is a police procedural rather than a slasher film. The result is slow and predictable - but it comes to life when the killer targets a couple of characters who are involved in the investigation.

    It is only by looking at the credits that one can ascertain this was directed by Dario Argento , master of the Giallo genre. With the exception of one single camera-shot, this completely lacks Argento's impressive visual flair.

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    Amer

    Amer This is a European art-house horror film, favouring style over substance. A young girl grows up in a creepy house. Is it haunted, or is there just a deformed relative living in the spare room?

    Years later, the woman returns to her childhood home. The place is stalked by an unseen figure, the classic Giallo villain with black leather gloves and a straight-razor.

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    Soon

    Soon

  • 2000
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