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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Review - Calvaire (2004)

This is a very slick Belgian shocker from Fabrice du Welz that borrows from American classics such the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Deliverance but add some Euro sleaze into the mix and you have one disturbing movie. Out now on Region 2 PAL DVD from France with English subs, for European DVD Trashites there in no reason not to pick this up. If your in the US and not already equipped with a multi-region player, nows the time!

Read my review over at 10kBullets.

More info on the film at

Available from Amazon France and Xploited Cinema

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Frightfest comes to Glasgow!

Horror in Glasgow

Just when you thought it was save to venture out again after all of your Christmas and New Year excesses, FrightFest is coming to get you. Well, coming to get you if you live in Scotland that is. Not content with "doing Brighton", see the reports else where on this web site, the festival now has it's sights now firmly set on Glasgow. At the behest of the Glasgow International Film Festival, the UK's biggest fantasy and horror genre event has joined forces with it's Celtic cousin, Dead by Dawn to present a day of tartan terror. On the 18th February 2006, The Glasgow Film Theatre is the place to be as we are heading up north to the homeland of one of the FrightFest organisers Ian Rattary. We have pulled out all the stops to find a terrific line up of five films including four must see premieres to take with us. So wrap up warm, as it is cold in Glasgow in February, and join us for a day of all the usual FrightFest surprises, give-aways and fun and games.

Tickets are on sale now priced at a very reasonable £20 for a day pass and an equally good value £6 per individual film. Tickets can be purchased or reserved in advance, from the box office in person or over the phone on 0141 332 8128 between 12 and 9 p.m. daily. Postal bookings should be accompanied by a stamped addressed envelope and cheque made payable to GFT. The cinemas address is 12 Rose Street, Glasgow, G3 6RB. Reservations should be collected no later than 20 mins prior to the performance time. Tickets purchased in advance cannot be exchanged nor money refunded, except in the event of cancellation.

Source: Frightfest

Monday, January 23, 2006

Tenebrae star Tony Franciosa 1928-2006

A great actor and with Tenebrae being the first Argento flick I ever saw, he was a particular favourite of mine. RIP, Tony.

Anthony Franciosa - 1928-2006

"Fifteen years before Robert De Niro and Al Pacino became the major Italian-American film stars in the 1970s, there was the vibrant actor Anthony Franciosa, who has died aged 77 (five days after the death of his second wife, Shelley Winters, obituary January 16). Franciosa came to Hollywood in 1957 in the wake of the new wave of actors such as Marlon Brando, Rod Steiger, Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman, schooled in "the method" at the Actors Studio in New York. It stressed a more instinctive approach to acting, the performers arriving at their interpretation of a role through seeking equivalent emotions in their own experiences.

Franciosa claimed that his expressive performances derived from his deprived background. Born Anthony Papaleo in the Little Italy section of New York City, he was the only child of a construction worker and a seamstress. His parents divorced when he was a year old and he later said he felt abandoned by his father.

Without completing high school, Franciosa took on a number of jobs, including shipyard worker, until the day he accompanied a friend to an audition at the YWCA (to meet girls) and was handed a role. Taking his mother's maiden name, he won a scholarship to the Dramatic Workshop, founded by the leftwing German exile Edwin Piscator.

The tall, handsome, cleft-chinned actor, with a flashing smile, soon found work in New York repertory theatre before making his Broadway debut, aged 25, in the Actors Studio production of Calder Willingham's controversial End as a Man (1953-54). Set in a military academy, with a homosexual subtext, it featured fellow Italian-Americans Ben Gazzara and Harry Guardino, both of whom appeared alongside Franciosa in A Hatful of Rain on Broadway in 1955. As the drunken brother of a junkie who attempts to hide his addiction from the rest of the family, Franciosa won the New York Critics' Award for best actor in a supporting role. The addict's pregnant wife was played by Winters. Franciosa and Winters were married in 1957 after he divorced his first wife, writer Beatrice Bakalyar, and she had divorced her second husband, Vittorio Gassman.

In the same year, Franciosa went to Hollywood to reprise his role in Fred Zimmermann's film version of A Hatful of Rain, for which he was nominated for an Oscar. Franciosa also appeared as a tough man-of-the-world who falls for virgin Jean Simmons in Robert Wise's This Could Be the Night; as a slimy agent of a singer in A Face in the Crowd, Elia Kazan's searing satire on media manipulation; and as a cowhand on a ranch in George Cukor's Wild is the Wind, falling for Anna Magnani (on and off set), the wife of his boss, Anthony Quinn.

In the meantime, Franciosa was getting a reputation as being as explosive off screen as on. In the year of his first Hollywood triumphs, he served 10 days in the county jail for kicking a photographer. There were also stories about arguments with directors and other actors, which might have contributed to his getting fewer film roles from the 1960s.

"I went out to Hollywood in the mid-1950s," he remarked in a 1996 interview, "and I would say I went there a little too early. It was an incredible amount of attention, and I wasn't quite mature enough psychologically and emotionally for it." Nevertheless, Franciosa, despite often confusing histrionics with intensity, made an impact in The Long Hot Summer (1958) as southern patriarch Orson Welles's weak son, and as an egotistic stage actor in Career (1959), one of his best performances.

In 1958, Franciosa played Goya in a piece of Hispanic hokum called The Naked Maja opposite Ava Gardner as the Duchess of Alba. Franciosa, who seemed in the habit of having flings with his leading ladies, made no exception with Gardner, whom Winters threatened to kill by hiring a "hit-man". The marriage ended in 1960 despite or because of Winters' assertion that "if there had been an Olympic sex team, Tony would have been the champion". This reputation resurfaced in a song by Tom Waits, Goin' Out West: "Well I'm goin' out west/Where the wind blows tall/'Cause Tony Franciosa/Used to date my ma."

In 1961, now married to Judy Balaban Kanter, an author and real estate agent, Franciosa went to Italy to make Go Naked in the World and Senilit, co-starring Gina Lollobrigida and Claudia Cardinale respectively. Back in the US, he was effective as heavies in the western Rio Conchos (1964) and in the gangster movie Across 110th Street (1972), and spent three years as an investigative reporter in the TV series The Name of the Game (1968-71) and as a secret agent in Matt Helm (1975-76). However, he was fired from the former by NBC executives who cited "the wear and tear" he had caused on the set. As a result, he got more regular work in Italy where he made a few so-called "giallo" (yellow for fear) thrillers, including Tenebrae (1982) by gore-master Dario Argento. His last role was as a mafia boss in City Hall (1996).

Franciosa is survived by his wife of 35 years, former German model Rita Thiel, and three children. "

Source: The Guardian

Friday, January 20, 2006

3 Enzo Castellari Classics in April

3 Enzo Castellari classics arriving in April from Blue Underground:

The Big Racket (1976)

All The Bone-Breaking, Double-Barreled Action Fully Restored For The First Time Ever In America! Fabio Testi (REVOLVER, CONTRABAND) stars as Inspector Nico Palmieri, a tough police detective tearing apart Rome to bust a ruthless protection racket. But when these violent thugs expand their empire into drugs, rape and murder, Nico throws away the rulebook to unleash his own brand of justice. In a city ruled by fear, there's a fine line between cop and criminal.and one lawman is about to blast it to pieces! Academy Awardc nominee Vincent Gardenia (DEATH WISH) co-stars in this explosive crime thriller - featuring some of the most amazing stunts in '70s cinema - directed by Enzo Castellari (STREET LAW, THE HEROIN BUSTERS), now transferred from original vault materials and packed with explosive new extras.
Featuring: Fabio Testi - Vincent Gardenia
Special Features: Audio Commentary with Director Enzo G. Castellari. " Theatrical Trailer.
Director: Enzo G. Castellari
Genre: Action/Adventure; Thriller
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen, 16x9 Anamorphic
Region Code: 0
Studio: Blue Underground
Street Date: April 25, 2006

The Heroin Busters (1977)

Sex, Violence And A Kickass Score By Goblin All Fully Restored For The First Time Ever In America! Fabio Testi (THE BIG RACKET, CONTRABAND) stars as a cold-blooded cop gone deep undercover to take down an international drug syndicate. But when a hair-trigger Interpol agent (David Hemmings of BLOW-UP, DEEP RED and GLADIATOR fame) joins the investigation, the case takes a deadly detour into sexual depravity and sudden violence. Can two tough detectives trapped in a criminal underworld now stay alive long enough to ignite a citywide massacre? Sherry Buchanan (ZOMBIE HOLOCAUST) co-stars in this action-packed thriller - with an unforgettable motorcycle and airplane chase climax - co-written and directed by Enzo Castellari (HIGH CRIME, INGLORIOUS BASTARDS), featuring a pounding score by legendary prog-rockers Goblin (SUSPIRIA, DAWN OF THE DEAD) and now transferred from the original camera negative.
Featuring: Fabio Testi - David Hemmings
Special Features: Castellari Knows Action Better Than Anybody!" Inzomniac Audio Commentary with Director Enzo G. Castellari. Theatrical Trailer.
Director: Enzo G. Castellari
Genre: Action/Adventure; Thriller
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen, 16x9 Anamorphic
Region Code: 0
Languages: English
Studio: Blue Underground
Street Date: April 25, 2006

Street Law (1974)

Robbery. Assault. Murder. One Man Has Had Enough! The legendary Franco Nero (of DJANGO and DIE HARD 2 fame) stars as Carlo Antonelli, an average citizen until the day he is brutally beaten during a violent robbery. But when the police drop the case and the suspects remain free, Carlo is pushed beyond his breaking point. Now one man will launch an all-out war against the criminal scum who plague our cities, where justice has its own rules, vengeance needs no badge and the only force that matters is STREET LAW. Barbara Bach (BLACK BELLY OF THE TARANTULA, THE SPY WHO LOVED ME) co-stars in this vicious DEATH WISH-inspired crime thriller (also known in Europe as VIGILANTE II) directed by Italian action maestro Enzo Castellari (THE HEROIN BUSTERS, KEOMA) now presented uncut and uncensored - including all of its infamous violence - for the first time ever in America.
Featuring: Franco Nero - Barbara Bach
Special Features: All Movie Guide Audio Commentary with Director Enzo G. Castellari. Laying Down the Law - Interviews with Director Enzo G. Castellari and Star Franco Nero. Theatrical Trailer. TV Spot.
Director: Enzo G. Castellari
Genre: Action/Adventure; Thriller
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen, 16x9 Anamorphic
Region Code: 0
Languages: English
Studio: Blue Underground
Street Date: April 25, 2006
Official DVD Artwork to follow.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Darkside DVD Review Plagiarism!

I'm sure many of you are aware of the plagiarism carried out by the Darkside magazine and DVD World magazine, indeed I've had a subscription for many years to the Darkside but it ran out at Xmas and will not be getting renewed.

You can read about all the stolen reviews here at a site called the DarkSide of Plagiarism!

Just before this all came out, I was reading DVD World thinking I was going mad as I felt I had read some the reviews before, yet I had just bought the latest issue. I thought no more about it until the Latarnia forums broke the story. Its a fascinating, but cowardly state of affairs, stealing reviews and giving the writers zero credit. But what's even more cowardly is the editor denying all knowledge of it!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Step right up! DVD Clearout on Ebay!

Some shameless promotion here, I'm having a big DVD clearout on Ebay so take a look and see if anything is calling your name!

Check it out here.

Thanks for looking.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

DVD covers for forthcoming BU Gialli revealed

Here is the boxart for the 4 Blue Undergrounds gialli to be released on March 28th. All must-buys in my opinion.
Link to earlier post with info about all 4 title is here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Cinema News: The Night Evelyn Came Out the Grave

One for Scottish film fans only, but gothic giallo "The Night Evelyn Came Out The Grace" or "La Notte che Evelyn Usci' dalla Tomba" will be shown on Valentines Day, 14th Febuary at the Glasgow Film Theatre. It's a pretty good giallo that will be made all the better by seeing it on the big screen. Definitely try and catch this if you can.

Goto the GFT site for more info.

Thanks to Whiggles for spotting this.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Review: Shoot the Piano Player

New review of Criterions "Shoot the Piano Player" directed by Francois Truffaut. Another classic given the usual high quality make-over by Criterion.

If you have never experienced any of the French New Wave directors, then this is as good a place as any to start.

Review is here at the 10KBullets site with reviews from the Arthouse to the Grindhouse.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Review: 42nd Street Forever

New review today of "42nd Street Forever" from Synapse. 47 exploitation trailers for your delectation, they don't make 'em like this anymore.


Any comments about this or any other review are most welcome.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Special Feature: Italian Cop Movies!

So Double Game (aka Torino Violenta) is on it's way from NoShame on the 28th March but Italian cop movies (often know as "Poliziotteschi") are often overlooked with Giallo's and Horror all'Italiana getting all the attention.

However its well worth investigating this genre as you will recognise many of the actors from other Italian cult movies and best of all they are generally highly entertaining, violent and totally non-PC. The scores in these movies are of a real high standard as well with contributions from Ennio Morricone, Goblin (famous for scoring Suspiria and Profondo Rosso) and Francesco de Masi.

Its hard to know where to start if you are new to the genre, but Fernando di Leo is as good a place as any. In my opinion he has made some of the very best, with Milano Calibro 9 one of my favourites. Other well known directors of that era also made valuable contributions to the genre, inlcuding Umberto Lenzi with "Milano Odia" and "Milano Rovente", and Sergio Martino with "The Violent Professionals"

Another set of titles I urge to track down and enjoy are the Nico Giraldi movies, starring the excellent Tomas Milian. Often directed by Bruno Corbucci, they are part crime/part comedy which is a nice break from the more serious Di Leo titles. The only drawback is that very few have been released on Region 1, with more having seen the light of day in Italy without subtitles. The one I recommend to start with is Squadra Antiscippo (Cop in Blue Jean) as it comes with English subtitles. If you are proficient in Italian then head to Thrauma DVD and go nuts!

Poliziotteschi Resources:

Italian Crime Films @Xploited

Raro Video of Italy have released many of Di Leo's classics onto DVD and they all generally come with English subtitles, so go check them out.

Scorebaby have loads of reviews of the groovy soundtrack you won't be able to get out your head, and then you can buy them at Moviegrooves.

PollanetSquad is an excellent resource with loads of info on the genre. In Italian only.

New Poliziesco from NoShame USA

Double Game (R1, NoShame)

The wife of a wealthy doctor is fatally stabbed in a city park while a gang of young thugs targets cinemas and supermarkets for smash and grab heists and a 17-year-old girl is raped and strangled with wire, the work of a likely sex maniac. With a gang war about to erupt between the local dons and an invading French outfit, police inspectors Moretti (George Hilton) and Danieli (Emanuel Cannarsa) have their hands full trying to stop Turin from becoming the crime capital of the world. Unknown to Danieli, his partner moonlights as a vigilante killer calling himself "The Avenger" and working outside the law as judge, jury and executioner for all of Turin's underworld.

Released in the United States as DOUBLE GAME, this ultra-rare Italo-cop film was made as Torino Violenta with George Hilton (THE STRANGE VICE OF MRS. WARDH) in a typically take-charge performance as the two-faced Moretti. Directed, written and photographed by Carlo Ausino, DOUBLE GAME is a fully-loaded crime thriller in the vein of DEATH WISH and MAGNUM FORCE, shot on the streets of Turin, depicted as a city brimming with enough criminality to ruin Dirty Harry's day. Also starring Giuseppi Alotta (CONFESSIONS OF A POLICE CAPTAIN) and featuring a vintage EuroCult score by Stelvio Cipriani (DEATH WALKS ON HIGH HEELS).

NoShame presents this obscure title from the end of the poliziotteschi cycle for the first time on DVD in the US, uncut and in anamorphic widescreen in a 2 DVD collector's edition along with its rarest-of-the-rare 1980 sequel... for which all original elements no longer exist!


Disc One

• Introduction by Director Carlo Ausino
• Double Game, One Player – Interview with Director Carlo Ausino
• Carlo Ausino’s Short Films: - Christmas Tale (Racconto di Natale) (16 mins aprox) with introduction by Dir. Ausino - The Trailer (Il Trailer) (18 mins aprox) with introduction by Dir. Ausino - A Modern Fairy Tale (Una Favola Moderna) (18 mins aprox) with introduction by Dir. Ausino
• Original Italian Theatrical Trailer • Poster and Still Gallery – from Dir.. Ausino’s private collection

Disc Two

• TONY, L’ALTRA FACCIA DELLA TORINO VIOLENTA – Ausino’S 1980 sequel to DOUBLE GAME (95 Mins.) Finally available, Ausino’s long lost and never before available sequel to DOUBLE GAME restored from the director’s personal 35mm print. With introduction by Dir. Ausino
• The Burning of the Marus Department Stores in Torino – 1974 news reel filmed by Carlo Ausino for Rai TV (restored from the original 16mm print)
• Sahara Killing Theatrical Trailer – the never-seen-before trailer for a film that was never completed.
• KILLER’S LIST (Sulla lista del Killer) Trailer - original Italian theatrical trailer – Ausino’s just completed action/thriller, with introduction by Dir. Ausino

Source: NoShame

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Masters of Horror on Bravo

First of all, I'd like to wish all DVD Trash visitors a very happy and prosperous New Year, I hope 2006 is good to you all.

Masters of Horror is currently showing on US cable network "Showtime" whereby each week for 13 weeks, a renowned horror director will bring you a 1-hour episode each in their own inimitable style.

There will be contributions by Dario Argento (Suspiria, Deep Red), John Landis (American Werewolf in London), Tobe Hooper (Texas Chainsaw Massacre), and George Romero (Dawn of the Dead) amongst others.

The good news? This starts in the UK on Friday 13th on Bravo (SKY 124 and NTL 104)

There has been some good buzz about this series, so check it out if you get the chance.