Wednesday, October 5, 2022

sex and violins.

Pop music, the fashion, killings and a helluva lot of permed hair today in our 31 Days of Horror choice.

Damn that almost sounded semi-professional.

Paganini Horror (AKA The Killing Violin, 1989).
Dir: Luigi Cozzi.
Cast: Jasmine Main, Maria Cristina Mastrangeli, Pascal Persiano, Donald Pleasence, Pietro Genuardi, Giada Cozzi, Elena Pompei and Dame Daria of Nicolodi.

Somewhere on one of the many canals in Venice (or it might be the dirty old stream behind the producers house, who knows) a fright haired, scarily Victorian styled child (the directors daughter, Giada Cozzi) is heading home aboard a row boat cum taxi after a hard day of violin lessons and working part-time as a Railway Children lookie-likey.

Arriving at her palatial abode she happily bolts upstairs to see her mum (who is currently having a soak in what can only be described as a cheap Parisian brothel themed bathroom), stopping only to grab what looks like a glam rock Skeletor doll from her bedroom before skipping into the aforementioned bathroom (it must have cost a bomb to decorate so they have to get their moneys worth) and chucking a hair-dryer into the bath.


Frighteningly I can imagine one of my beautiful twin podlings doing exactly this but I'm not saying which one.

"where's the soap?"

Jumping forward God knows how many years (around seventy odd by the state of the wee girl and her mum I'd wager) and top poodle haired popstrel Kate (Main AKA Jasmine Maimone, the harsh faced star of Demoni and The Black Cat) and her 'rawk' band are busy recording a new single whilst not wearing trousers (less Jem and The Holograms more Jim and The Whorishgrans) and whilst these crazy chicks (and studly drummer Daniel) seem to be enjoying murdering what sounds like a Karaoke cover of You Give Love A Bad Name their monkey browed manager Lavinia (star of the Italian hit Breakdance, Mastrangeli) however is suitably unimpressed.

Basically she thinks it's shit.

Which, if I'm honest it is.

She reckons that to become the top of the pops the band needs something new, something unexpected and maybe a wee bit dangerous and Daniel (Persiano from Demoni 2 and Voices from Beyond) thinks he may have just the thing.

Less Donald where's yer troosers
more Donald where's yer dignity.

Taking a boat to a deserted industrial estate and armed only with a ladies satchel full of dollar bills and a nipple revealing silk shirt he meets up with the mysterious and suavely hatted Mr. Ralph Pickett (Pleasence, one step closer to death and Fatal Frames, poor sod).

Swapping the money for a (fake) leather briefcase (just like the one your geography teacher had) with the spooky lock combination of 666. Daniel excitedly opens the case, revealing a hither to unseen piece of music written by 19th century Italian violinist, violist, guitarist, composer and owner of the most luxurious sideburns in Christendom , Mr. Niccolò Paganini*.

"Baby baby baby!"

Well, it seems this particular piece of music was written specifically for Old Nick himself and is said to have unearthly, nay evil powers tho' Lavinia is more concerned about any copyright/royalty issues.
Daniel puts everyone at ease by Tippexing out Paganini's name and putting his own on there instead (in joined up writing and everything) meaning Kate and co. are free to pick some spooky outfits to wear on stage whilst Lavinia is so impressed that she even hires world famous horror film director (and star of 'V') Mark Singer (Genuardi from Cemetery Man and Gates of Hell) to shoot a 'music video' for it at Paganini's old villa.

The villa by the way is now owned by the strangely attractive - in a senior librarian kinda way - Sylvia (the gloriously gorgeous Nicolodi, who needs no introduction), who is more than happy to welcome a band of talentless half naked, no talent sluts into her home for a few days (for a shed load of cash obviously).

Anyway, we've yet to hear the group play this great song (now entitled Paganini Horror) so let's cut to Kate wandering around the mansion in a white wedding dress like some clap ridden council estate Madonna wannabe whilst Daniel (decked out in a frill fronted shirt and velvet suit that not even Jon Pertwee would be seen dead in topped of with a huge felt fedora, a gold painted poppy eyed skeleton mask and brandishing a gold violin) as Paginini chases her about for a bit before stabbing her in the stomach.
Director boy Mark can hardly contain himself as he shouts "Cut!" whilst Lavinia jumps up and down on the spot like a gin soaked chimp, rubbing her hands together with glee at the thought of all that lovely money she's going to make.

Sylvia on the other hand just stands in the corner holding a tray of tea and biscuits looking incredibly saucy, tapping her feet and nodding her head in time to the music.

Which frankly is enough excitement for any red blooded male.

"Boiled onions!"

Obviously needing to pad the movies meager running time Kate and her pals perform the song again, only this time wearing boob tubes, braces, tiny black skirts and a selection of cocktail waitress outfits (yes even Daniel), luckily Kate's insistence on staring straight into camera, all wild eyed and puckered lipped helps stop the men watching from having any impure thoughts of any kind.

Which makes a nice change.

Anyway all this sexiness is way too much for foxy, firm of tummy bassist Rita (Ravegnini; imagine a youngish, cheaper Joan Collins stinking of gin and holding her shoes at a bus stop and you're halfway there) who, throwing continuity to the wind decides to change out of her electric blue bunny girl outfit into something a wee bit more sensible for the final scenes of the video.

However unknown to her the real demonic violinist (wearing an exact copy of Daniels frankly shoddy Paganini outfit) is hiding behind the coat rail in her dressing room.

Thinking it's Daniel up for a bit of a laugh, Rita lightheartedly tells him to stop looking at her (fairly firm I must admit) breasts and get back to work, totally missing the fact that the violin he's holding has a huge blade attached to its bottom that's pointing straight at her toned flat stomach.

With one graceful move our golden pal plunges the blade into poor old Rita ending any dreams she had of playing bass in a Robert Palmer video (or getting paid) in an instant.

Uncomfortably shuffling and attempting to make small talk whilst waiting for Rita to return, Lavinia makes an incredible leap of logic and deduces that she has, in fact fucked off home after tiring of the whole rock 'n' roll lifestyle and orders Mark to replace he with a shop window dummy in a joke shop wig with a guitar round it's neck.

"No-one will notice" she says.

And on that bombshell Daniel excuses himself and heads off to the toilet where he comes across Rita, resplendent in a soaking, nipple revealing tissue paper dress with wild frizzy hair, lurching around like a (very attractive I'll admit) piss stained tramp.

Holding in his wee, Daniel decides to follow her thru' the cobwebbed corridors at the back of the house and into a small (and unfortunately empty) wine cellar where he's promptly stabbed to death by the violently vicious violinist.

In Liz we Truss.

Trapped in the mansion and with a killer on the loose, Kate, Lavinia, Mark and Sylvia can only pray that they'll survive till morning (or at least till Sylvia remembers where she's put the front door key).

Or is there more to the killings than meet the eye?

"Shite in mah mooth!"

From the mind of Italy's third (or is that fourth?) best director named Luigi comes this fantastic tale of music and mentalism topped off with an arse clenchingly bad Eurotrash score, the kind of non-acting usually reserved for prison productions of Chaucer and enough cheese to keep Domino's Pizza in business till the end of time.

Yes dear reader, the film is really that good.

Famous for directing (and writing) some of Italy's most enjoyable movies (oh, and Demons 6), including such classics as the Caroline Munro sci-fi epic Starcrash, the alien egg based thriller Contamination, the Italian re-edit of Toho's Godzilla (or Cozilla as it's widely known) and a couple of Lou (Hulk) Ferrigno Hercules adventures, Paganini Horror is the pinnacle of the great man's work and a perfect example of lo-fi high entertainment at its greatest.

Like all of Cozzi's work the plot may be nonsensical and the production values cheaper than your mum but it doesn't matter as his genuine love for the horror genre oozes like the movies bright red fake blood thru' every frame and the enthusiasm he has for the material infects the actors much like a zombie outbreak.

Everyone involved seems to be having a great time and the audience can't help but be swept along for the ride.

And surely that's what good cinema is all about?

"Put it in me!"

Speaking of the cast, Donald Pleasence seems to be having a ball (probably not a leathery one) in his cameo as the sinister Mr. Pickett, all twinkly eyes and dodgy accents whilst the goddess that is Daria Nicolodi is at once sinister, sexy and motherly in a role that would fade into obscurity had it been played by a lesser actress, she even manages to look good in an outfit that even Lady GaGa wouldn’t be seen dead in.

The woman was a legend and should be worshiped frankly.

Even the worst members of the cast are great; Jasmine Main's manic eyed performance seems to consist mainly of teeth, a bubble perm and the ability to screech whilst not looking good in a skimpy outfit (which must take real talent judging by the outfits) but it's pitch perfect for a film where everyone else appears to be just wandering around in a badly dubbed haze of harsh red and blue lighting waiting to be offed by what looks like a giant child's home made puppet monstrosity made flesh.

Which is no bad thing.

Some cinema somewhere should be brave enough to organise a Cozzi weekender so that the great man's work can be foisted on an unsuspecting public brainwashed by crap commercial horror fare and lowest common denominator action pants.

The fuckers wouldn't know what hit them.

The campaign begins here people.

Let the world's first Cozzi-Con become a reality.

*As you're probably already aware Paganini, got into a bit of bother whilst lying on his deathbed, as he was convinced that he just had a mild dose of the Flu, so decided not to call his local priest with regards to giving him his last rights.

Which would have been OK had he not popped his clogs within minutes of this decision.

In true News of The World fashion, the gossip columnists of the time took this as a sign that the poor guy had sold his soul to Satan.

This is of course total bollocks.

But when has fact ever gotten in the way of a good story?

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