Monday, January 2, 2017

the ghost man always rings twice.

Spent the majority of the holidays mixing visuals and making animations for a David Bowie tribute event (see? It's not all blood and boobs) so thought I'd celebrate their completion with a good movie

Unfortunately this was the first thing that came to hand.

Until Death (AKA The Changeling 2, Brivido Giallo: Per Sempre. 1987).Dir: Lamberto Bava.
Cast: Gioia Scola, David Brandon, Giuseppe Stefano De Sando, Roberto Pedicini, Marco Vivio and Urbano Barberini.

Professional brunette bad-lady Linda (Scola from the fantastic Raiders of Atlantis) has decided, along with her horse-cocked (yet scarily rodent faced) lover Carlo (Stagefright's Mr. Serious Brandon) to off her baw headed boring hubbie Luca (Pedicini best known for his voice work in Dellamorte Dellamore, looking like a human/frog hybrid and emptying our bins) and set up house together whilst running their homely seaside bed and breakfast cum restaurant cum boat business like some murderous Basil and Sybil Fawlty.

But obviously without a Spanish waiter with an attention seeking wannabe celeb for a granddaughter.

And not just because he's sadly dead.

As in it's a shame he died not that he was sad about it.

Tho' he probably was.

Just checking the facts surrounding his death I've just discovered that he died of dementia so he was probably unaware of his impending demise anyway.

I'll admit tho' that any of these scenarios would have added a certain something to the movie.

Namely enjoyment.

But I digress.

Ballie's: more custard than cream.

Anyway, enough character background - and looking back at that paragraph butchery of the English language - let's get back to the story which begins good and proper with the aftermath of Luca's murder and the deadly duo about to dispose of his still fresh corpse in a nearby swamp.

But he's not properly dead and with his last vestige on strength tears one of Linda's huge market stall hoop earring out.

Of her ear not his own obviously.

Hitting the poor sod on the head with a large pizza tray to finish him off our loving couple head home to settle into their new (if rather fraught) lives; baking, shaking and raising Linda's muppet like poppet Alex (AS Roma fan Vivio, who seems to have had the biggest career out of anyone else on screen).

Aw, sweet.

Eight years down the line the couples idyllic - yet it has to be said, fairly paranoid - existence is disturbed by the unexpected arrival of ruggedly raffish traveler (OK, hobo), the hunk-tastic Marco (Sam J Jones alike Barberini from Opera, Demons, Casino Royale and your Aunties bed).

I'd get that seen to son.

After checking out his cooking skills - and it has to be said frankly magnificent arse - Linda and Carlo hire him on the spot to help out in the restaurant.

But it's not long before the pair begin to notice Marco’s frightening familiarity with their home-life, business affairs and even where Linda keeps her clean undies.

He also has an almost unhealthy fondness for lil' Alex but most disturbingly for Linda, he knows all of her secret family recipes.

Nice to see she's got her priorities right, no doubt she'll leave him babysitting next time her and Carlo pop out for tapas.

"Hey senorita! You fancy a little mooth shite-in?"

All this insider knowledge begins to play on Carlo's barely hidden paranoia, leading him to surmise that Marco is working with the police to trap the couple for murdering Luca.

Obviously Italy have a special 'head-fuck' department specially recruited to play with criminals minds.

Or something.

Linda however is way too busy fiddling with herself whilst lusting over Marco to  jump to such bizarre conclusions and poor Alex is too shot to fuck by his recurring dreams about arms bursting thru' his bedroom walls and trying to goose him whilst soggy tramps attempt to crawl out of swamps to care one way or t'other.

"Laugh now!"

Is Carlo reading too much into the situation?

Will Linda get her end away with the hunky bum?

Will Alex get touched up by the nightmarish ghouls?

Will the movie end with a blazing inferno?

But most importantly will Marco steal all of Linda's recipes and pass them off as his own, getting his own teevee show in the process?

If you really are what you eat then he must have eaten a warty testicle.

Only a director of Lamberto Bava's (albeit slightly tarnished) reputation could take the plot of The Postman Always Rings Twice and re-imagine it as a psychological horror tale before turning it into a cheaply made teevee movie and still make it moderately successful.

Under no circumstances to be confused with the 2007 Jean-Claude Van Damme cop caper of the same name (tho' if you did I reckon you deserve all you get), Until Death is, bizarrely enough one of Bava's most subtle and successful movies, returning to the promise he showed with his first feature Macabre then subsequently pissed up the wall with every movie since (Demons being the obvious exception).

"Ooh Alex come and have a wee nibble of your mums nice hot pie!"

It's nicely acted, stylishly shot and features the best line in denim fashion wear this side of Brokeback Mountain.

Or your dad going to one of his classic car weekends.

Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your alcohol levels) it has one of the most idiotic and shlocky twists ever committed to celluloid.

More fun than Graveyard Disturbance but nowhere near as sexy as Blade in The Dark (or your sister), Until Death is still worth owning.

Especially if you have a wobbly table that needs straightening.

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