HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Bruce Lee & I
Doraemon The Movie: Nobita's Dinosaur
Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood
Invasion Planet Earth
Ferdinand
Buddhist Spell, The
Steel and Lace
Reivers, The
Angel Has Fallen
I Lost My Body
At First Light
Free Ride
Crawl
Transit
Blank Check
Mad Monk, The
Wind, The
Holly and the Ivy, The
Atlantique
Now, Voyager
Wolf's Call, The
Nostalghia
Nightingale, The
Eighth Grade
Irishman, The
Betrayed
Lords of Chaos
Operation Petticoat
Dead Don't Die, The
On the Waterfront
Last Faust, The
Moonlighting
Art of Self-Defense, The
Ironweed
Booksmart
Prisoners
Beach Bum, The
Kill Ben Lyk
Into the Mirror
Support the Girls
   
 
Newest Articles
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
   
 
  Something Creeping in the Dark Bump in the NightBuy this film here.
Year: 1971
Director: Mario Colucci
Stars: Farley Granger, Stelvio Rosi, Mia Genberg, Lucia Bose, Dino Fazio, Giacomo Rossi-Stuart, Angelo Francesco Lavagnino, Gianni Medici, Franco Beltramme, Giulia Rovai, Loredana Nusciak
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Weirdo
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: On a dark and stormy night, bickering couple Sylvia (Lucia Bose) and Donald (Giacomo Rossi-Stuart) are en route to a friend’s post-plastic surgery party (classic line: “Helen picked a fine night to unveil her new nose”) when they witness a car chase wherein Inspector Wright (Dino Fazio) and his partner Sam (Franco Beltramme) apprehend a wanted murderer named Spike (Farley Granger). Joined shortly thereafter by Doctor Williams (Stelvio Rosi), who is desperate to reach a dying patient, his nurse Susan (Mia Genberg), and enigmatic professor of philosophy Lawrence (Angelo Francesco Lavagnino), the group discover the bridge up ahead has collapsed, leaving them stranded. Seeking shelter at a spooky old house, the travellers meet surly caretaker Joe (Gianni Medici) who, when not sneaking away to grope his girlfriend (Giulia Rovai) informs them this was once home to the late Sheila Marlowe, notorious occultist, sex fiend and macrame enthusiast. Okay, that last part was a lie. Anyway, Sylvia fancies herself a spiritualist and promptly (stupidly?) organises a seance seemingly summoning Sheila’s spirit that then seeps throughout the house exerting an unholy influence on the visitors.

Among only two films directed by Mario Colucci, a screenwriter with more spaghetti westerns and Eurospy flicks to his credit, this dull and dreary giallo also slots into the bunch-of-folks-stranded-in-an-old-dark-house sub-genre. On top of that it is yet another example of a gialli trading on the spectacle of watching smug, rich folk suffer and die, with all the characters cast as shrill, whiny yuppie types whom Colucci evidently holds in utmost disdain. All the men here are smug sadists while the women are closet masochists. Witness the extended and frankly pointless sequence where Sylvia fantasises about being violently raped by Spike in boob-bouncing slow-motion. Laden with pseudo-intellectual nonsense the screenplay is far less subversive than Colucci seems to think, given its one-dimensional misanthropic worldview.

Which is a great shame because those aspects that do work, go like gangbusters. Despite the pedestrian drama and casual misogyny, Colucci works hard to conjure an ominous atmosphere. Using canted angles, subjective camera, wide lenses and more heavy breathing than a sex line operator would hear in a week (not that I’d know - honest!!), he ably evokes a spectral presence menacing the unwary travellers, culminating in an eerie animated finale that might have had some influence on Sam Raimi seeing as it evokes a similar sequence in his stellar Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987). Not all the ghostly goings on prove quite so malevolent. It is implied that Sheila Marlowe’s spirit transforms Susan into a foxy minx as she removes her glasses, lets down her hair and shags Doctor Williams in classic “Why Miss Jones, you’re beautiful” fashion. Curiously, the brittle Susan (along with Williams, the closest thing the film has to a sympathetic character) is subject to a significant tirade from Inspector Wright. When she suggests he rest his strained nerves, the policeman tells her to mind her own business then breaks into a lengthy rant about how the world would be so much better if women knew their place. This comes after an effective sequence has Wright trapped in the cellar where a portrait of Sheila appears to fly out of the dark, hinting her ghost is some sort of liberating feminine force, though the suggestion is vague at best.

Given none of the characters are especially engaging, with Stelvio Rosi a hopelessly bland hero and Hollywood star Farley Granger - a long way away from his vintage Hitchcock roles in Rope (1948) and Strangers on a Train (1951), or even his more memorable steamy giallo Amuck! (1971) - an unfathomably plastic presence, there is no reason for viewers to care about their fate. The film is in essence a random assemblage of somnambulistic soap opera silliness strung together with a nonsensical quasi-supernatural non-explanation. “The past and the present intertwine. The answer is found only in the future”, muses Professor Lawrence. Oh shut up, you pompous twit. Besides, who is scared of a ghost called Sheila?

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2339 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: