As luck would have it I think I may have finally found a way of juggling all these half finished reviews with my 'proper' job of drawing dead rockstars and ropey robots.
Yup I'm going to take a leaf out of one of those TV Quick/Take A Rape style magazines and review the last few months of marvellous movies in oh so easy to read digest form.
No mooth shite, no big words and definitely no laugh now's, just a few cheap digs and a basic plot outline.
Are you ready?
La notte dei diavoli (AKA Night of the Devils, 1972)
Dir: Giorgio Ferroni.
Cast: Gianni Garko, Agostina Belli, Roberto Maldera, Bill Vanders, Cinzia De Carolis, Maria Monti, Teresa Gimpera and Umberto Raho.
Tragedy strikes an unfortunate travelling wood salesman, Lesley (played by the mightily moustached Maldera) when he's carted off to a local asylum after he's discovered wandering thru' the forest clad only in a dirty sweater and torn Action Slacks.
Prodded and poked by the concerned (or constipated, I couldn't tell) Dr. Tosi (Enter The Devil's Raho) our mental mates terrifying tale unfolds through the medium of dance (oh go on then, flashbacks), leaving him horrified to discover that he's become embroiled in yet another remake of the Leo Tolstoy novel The Family of the Vourdalak.
But this time not one directed by Mario Bava or starring Boris Karloff.
|"You ain't seen me, right?"|
It transpires that during his trip home from a particularly successful building conference Lesley, after drinking far to much of the local brew and taking a wrong turn managed to wrap his car around a tree leaving him stranded in the Yugoslavian countryside.
Which is a wee bit like being stuck in Dudley in the West Midlands but with less chance of getting your arse felt by a tramp.
Luckily (for the viewer obviously otherwise it'd be a really crap horror movie) he finds shelter for the night in the home of the Ciuvelak family, headed by grumpy patriarch Gary (Vanders).
All seems well, until night time that is when our hero (if you can class someone who self MDF and hardboard for a living a hero) is kept awake by strange noises emanating from the woods but upon questioning his host the next morning he's told not to worry as it's just a bloodthirsty witch that lives in the trees.
Which is nice if a little unexpected.
|After running out of strawberry jam, Madeline McCann made a stunning reappearance.|
It seems that the witch killed Gary's brother a while back before deciding that it'd be a wee bit more fun for everyone to resurrect him as an exotically monikered Vourdalak, a mythological Russian vampire with a penchant for time keeping, fact fans.
Anyway back to the plot where Les seems to be taking all this gypsy gossip in his stride, which might be because he's fallen head over heels in love with Gary's busty redheaded daughter Sdenka (button nosed beauty Belli), either that or the constant bowls of oxtail soup and bread are beyond compare.
|Agostina Belli: Your grandad did. Twice.|
Either way he doesn't even bat an eyelid when Gary decides to don a big furry hat and heads out into the woods to confront the witch once and for all.
Number one son Terry (Garko) tho' is prepared for the worst, fearing that his poor dad will get vamped and return home the next day at precisely 6 o'clock and wreak havoc on the household.
See? Told you there was time keeping involved, I don't make this shit up you know.
Well, not all of it.
|Beware! He's going to put his big chopper in you!|
The family (being a bit fick) believe him.
It won't come as too much of a surprise when I say that he's lying thru' his pointy teeth, leading to 60 minutes of death, depravity and dodgy trousers.
|"I'm sorry, I have my woman's period."|
Criminally under-rated and hardly seen by anyone outside the directors immediate family, Giorgio (AKA Calvin Jackson Padget) Ferroni's penultimate picture is a slow burning supernatural shocker that's a joy to watch from it's starch slacked start to it's devilish denouement.
Whilst it never reaches the giddy heights of the directors earlier Mill of the Stone Women it's well worth the effort to track down, if only to compare how two totally different film makers approach the same source material.
|"Shite in my gorgeous Italian mooth you wood loving bastard!"|
With a pitch perfect cast playing the whole scenario as straight as Chuck Norris,
Ferroni is free to let his camera camp up the proceedings as it treats both gore and nudity with glee abandon.
And it's this freewheeling style, aided by Giorgio Gaslini's sinister score that enables the film to flip from gothic chiller to frantic chase movie almost without warning as it builds to it's climax.
|"Is it in yet?"|
T'is a pity then that such a great movie is lumbered with such a generically piss-poor title, which probably hasn't helped it's availability (or reputation) over the years, which is almost as much a shame as the fact that Ferroni made so few horror movies.
That and the fact that his best known work, Le baccanti (AKA Bondage Gladiator Sexy) is rubbish.
Well that's a bit of a downer to end on isn't it?