Monday, October 17, 2016

Giallo Journeys: The Third Eye

Hey folks. Sorry for last week, a lot of family interaction plus I tore some muscle and sitting down in front of a computer just was not happening. I'm fine now and by God we will get started on some reviews. I thought we could take another look at the Giallo movies for two reasons. One, it goes as far back as 1964 with its main originator Mario Bava (Evil Eye, Black Sunday, Blood and Black Lace, Planet of the Vampires, Kill Baby, Kill, Danger: Diabolik, Blood Brides, A Bay of Blood and Baron Blood) a cinematographer/director/matte painter and truly the Godfather of Italian horror. Two, inspiring his own son Lamberto Bava (Demons, Demons 2, Macabre and The Cave of the Golden Rose), Lucio Fulci (Don't Torture a Duckling, The Beyond, City of the Living Dead, The House by the Cemetery, The New York Ripper, Manhattan Baby and Touch of Death) and Dario Argento (Deep Red, Suspira, Inferno, Tenbre, Phenomena, Opera, Trama, The Phantom of the Opera and Mother of Tears).

Why yes, I am Django.

Again, Giallo hails from the Italian word "yellow" in reference to the cheap paperbacks containing crime fiction that had serial slashing or a supernatural element to it in the mid 1960s. Think the pulp murder mysteries of the 1930s and on for the states or the French fatastique genres.

Today we focus writer/director Mino Guerrini's eerie tale of a young count destined for happiness in marriage when fate's cruel hand decides a roll of the die not in his favor and his fiancee dies in a car accident... or was it an accident? This is The Third Eye.

Like a good neighbor...CRAP!  STATE FARM IS THERE NOW DAMMIT!!!

Our movie opens with a young girl Laura (Erika Blanc of Kill Baby, Kill, The Devil's Nightmare, El juego del adulterio a.k.a. The Game of Adultery, Blood Money, Nobody's Children, Bello come un arcangelor a.k.a. Beautiful As An Archangel and Eye of the Cat) romping through the meadows with flowers in hand and a song in her heart as the young count Mino (Franco Nero of Django, Submission, Sahara Cross, Force 10 to Navarone, The Visitor, The Shark Hunter, Enter the Ninja, The Last Days of Pompeii, Django Strikes Again and Django Unchained) looks on with love in his very being for this girl, his mother (Olga Solbelli of Odessa in fiamme, The Little World of Don Camillo, Mill of the Stone Women and Quando la pelle brucia a.k.a. When Skin Burns) and maid Marta (Gioia Pascal of Menage Italian Style and The Third Eye) turn their collective noses up at the bride-to-be.   For Marta an allusive love for Mino is there but he does not see Marta at all.    For his mother, she simply wants the strapping fellow to never leave. Momma got issues to say the least. With less than a month for the wedding, mother stews and Marta longs.

Gimme that.  Go wash your hands.

Laura is leaving for a few days at the most and Mino has his mother claiming their relationship is nowhere near what it was, he will abandon her so on and so forth. Yup Mino, pack your bags for the guilt trip of unreasonable coming your way. Taxidermy is a hobby of young Mino and you get hints of Psycho if Norman had noble blood and frankly I am disturbed by anyone that stuff sawdust into bodies of small animals period. Laura speeds off in her car with Mino in hot pursuit ten minutes behind. Mother has an "accident" after arguing with Marta.

A story of unrequited love, jealousy and murder as frustrations of not getting what you want drive people to the breaking point of madness and shot in black & white, this even paced tale unfolds perhaps a tad too slow for the "born with a cable modem crowd", but ideal for the fans of suspense and gothic horrors. Yes it takes a whole twenty five minutes to kick in but after that it is down the rabbit hole of bat shit crazy. It's macabre with human depth and emotion and I highly recommend it. For you more bloodier Giallo murder mystery buffs, the gore is good for the day and focuses more on character development.

Funny bit of trivia, exploitation/sci-fi fantasy and horror director Joe D' Amato (Heroes in Hell, Emanuelle in Bangkok, Eva Nera a.k.a. Black Cobra Woman, Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals, Porno Holocaust, 2020 Texas Gladiators, Ator the Invincible, Cave Dwellers and Quest for the Mighty Sword) remade our flick under the title Beyond the Darkness written by Mino Guerrini's son, Giacomo Guerrini. Et tu, Giacomo?

Honey, all I said is I just don't want to stay at your mother's place.