Fragmentfischen im Naturtrüben: Dear Dead Delilah (1972)

    Es ist schon die Axt den Bäumen an die Wurzel gelegt. Darum, welcher Baum nicht gute Frucht bringt, wird abgehauen und ins Feuer geworfen.

    (Matthaeus 3:10)

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‘The pain of being a woman is too severe!’ – The films of Roberta Findlay: The Oracle (1985)

Two highly distinct approaches become discernible when taking a closer look at Roberta Findlay’s post-porn career in mainstream filmmaking. The, be they gritty or be they tender in nature, highly personal stories told in the quite straight “Tenement” (1985) and “Lurkers” (1988) as well as the madcap insanity prevelant in in the more tongue in cheek than anything else “Blood Sisters” (1987) and this one, her very first film post transitioning. More in line with the snarky, self-deprecating public persona the introverted directress created for herself than her remaining filmography, they revel in a unique, utterly off-beat understanding of humor while falling somewhat flat in their more traditional conceptions as horror films. In contrast to some of her greatest achievements in Golden Age pornography, they are always two steps away from outright comedy, playing the game straight and yet sabotaging the expecations of a horror crowd with small, intentional but never narrative based acts of directorial transgression. Big guy John Fasano fleeing the scene in the most hilarious fashion imaginable and the way Elizabeth Rose’s glasses seem to prefer viewing directions of their own volition otherwhile – weird flourishes like these place “Blood Sisters” in its own goofy corner equal steps adjacent to completely serious and satirical peers. Even more than Findlay’s sorority girl slasher “The Oracle” utilizes these interfering agents to bridge what would otherwise be considered barren gaps in a drawn out horror narrative – with sound being, as per her unmistakable habit, one of the prime instruments. Weiterlesen…

The Unexciticist – Upsidedown Cross (2014)

With advertising making it appear as something of a wild crossbreed between Friedkin classic “The Exorcist” and “Her Name Was Lisa” (Roger Watkins, 1979), William Hellfire’s “Upsidedown Cross” sparks some rather diverse expectations and ultimately subverts them all. Opening with a nearly twenty minute long sequence chronicling Nadine’s (Erin Russ) bread-and-butter job as a nude model in the most unagitated way imaginable, the spirit of Watkin’s bleak reflection on lifes slowly burning away in erotic industries of differing nature is very much channeled. Even somewhat mirroring the way the New Yorkian mad hatter employed rooms coated in myriads of expressive colors to spur his narratives, one important difference though is discernible from the get go. There is no pretense that any of this is – and be it only in a temporary pull-the-rug-from-under-your-feet way – real. That’s not paint laughing from your walls but deep red variations of bath towels, old curtains and improvised color stainers of similarly somber fabrics hung up to conceal two different yet closely related kinds of emptiness. Red, the color of love – it is perhaps the most important fixture in Hellfire’s film, doubling for passion where there is none to harbor. Weiterlesen…

‘The pain of being a woman is too severe!’ – The films of Roberta Findlay: Lurkers (1988)

New York City possesses quite an interesting facial layout in Roberta Findlay’s cinematic universe – cheeks blooming with the brightest red excitation can muster up, planted right between them a pallid nose frozen stiff by sorrow and social iciness and throning above this dichotomy a pair of eyes filled with the marvel of discovery, experimentation, the ability to combine all these emotional extremes on the silver screen. She really was one of the great chronists putting this lively, in the good as well as the bad, mega city to record – and yet it does not seem to exist in her up to this day final theatrically released feature. Sure, pinpointing single shooting locations is easy enough to do, even for someone who’s never taken a bite from the big apple (like me). But in the end they’d still remain nothing but peripheral driblets of reality trickling away in the only real fairytale she ever told. There was a potent grittyness about her post-porn work in horror cinema that is inexplicably absent here. Much rather coated from head to toe in a vague uneasyness highly remiscent of her pornographic magnus opum “From Holly With Love” (1978) it is quite fittingly another superb score by Walter E. Sear sounding the depths of human and beyond-human emotion in “Lurkers”. Weiterlesen…

Le Foto di Gioia (1987)

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In dem Interviewband Spaghetti Nightmares sagt Luigi Montefiori aka George Eastman über seine Zusammenarbeit mit Lamberto Bava: „Lamberto is a fairly good director but I only acted in Blastfighter and Le Foto di Gioia to make money. I don’t think much of either film, though I’ll admit the former had more originality and style.“
Harte Worte von einem Mann, der behauptet, sein Drehbuch zu Joe D’Amatos Sesso nero (1980) basiere auf Max Frischs Homo Faber. Und auch wenn er nicht ganz Unrecht hat, markiert Lamberto Bavas Spätachtziger-Giallo mit Serena Grandi doch eine Art Zäsur in seinem filmischen Schaffen. Nach diesem Film sollte er sich mit einigen interessanten, doch selten gewordenen Fernsehfilmen künstlerisch emanzipieren.
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Il Maestro del Terrore (1988)

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-Paul Hillary: „My scripts unlocked the universal sources of terror, the archetypal nightmares!“

-Vincent Omen: „That was a long time ago!“
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Le porte del silenzio (1991)

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Quando Alice ruppe lo specchio (1988)

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„Es ist Zeit, Lebwohl zu sagen.”
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Terza Visione – 1. Festival des italienischen Genrefilms (April 2014)

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Wir empfehlen eine Reise nach Nürnberg: Terza Visione – 1. Festival des italienischen Genrefilms zeigt von 25. bis 27. April 2014 zwölf ausgesuchte und teils sehr seltene Filme des italienischen Genrekinos der 1960er bis 80er Jahre. Aus der Veranstaltungsankündigung: Weiterlesen…