Friday, May 27, 2016
I recently watched DON'T HANG UP (aka DON'T OPEN THE DOOR) from 1974 and something came to mind: What the heck came first - this one of BLACK CHRISTMAS?! IMDB has BLACK CHRISTMAS coming out in 1974, but December, while DON'T HANG UP is May of the same year. I thought this was really interesting. There are elements of both that are very similar.
Of course, BLACK CHRISTMAS is the better film by far. DON'T HANG UP is entertaining, but slow and amateurish with acting that's...well...fit for the stage of a college play, really. But, it does look like it came out before BLACK CHRISTMAS. I just never heard about it before.
DON'T HANG UP is very giallo - even down to the lighting with it's bright red and green lights blasting from time to time. SO Bava it hurts with it's old dark house feel and who done it nature. It follows in the BAY OF BLOOD styling.
There are family goings on and murders and sick grandmothers and memories of past events that happened to the lead when she was a little girl. And, someone (an obvious someone) who wants to get the lead and her grandmother out of the way. That someone makes a series of phone calls and seems to be very aware of where our heroin is, what she's wearing and what she's doing when he's talking to her. VERY much like old Creepy Giggle Voices from BLACK CHRISTMAS. That's pretty much it.
The reason why this film doesn't come rocketing into people's minds when they think back on the genre is due to the fact that S.F. Brownrigg just is NOT Bava when it comes to direction and Schaefer and Newcomb don't really bring much to the table on the writing side. The pace is slow and the style is VERY B movie. However, it does have something to offer and should be viewed if you're into the genre from a historical standpoint. It's an entertaining watch, albeit slow.
Check it out if times allows!
DON'T HANG UP (Don't Open The Door)
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
What Have You Done to Solange? (Italian: Cosa avete fatto a Solange?)
I finally caught this classic giallo a while back and enjoyed it. It's a strange one, but so are most gialli.
If you're not aware of what giallo films are.....
"Giallo is a 20th-century Italian genre of literature and film, usually with mystery elements and often with slasher, supernatural horror or crime fiction elements. In Italy, the term simply denotes thrillers, typically of the crime fiction, mystery, and horror subgenres, regardless of the country of origin."
And this film has some classic elements for sure. Gloved killers. Women in distress. A LOT of violence. It's not for the weak of heart - that's for sure. Giallo films also tend to have a lot of violence against women and this is no different. Triggers for some for sure. But, sadly, that's a horror trope that's hard to avoid.
We're dealing with a fun mystery here. There are murders happening and a teacher MAY be having sex with a student...and may be involved in the murders. At least, that's what the police suspect. As we twirl down this particular rabbit hole, we start learning that there may be something more going on at the school....and with the missing beauty... Solange.
I loved the overall look of the film as well. It had a style to it that I found appealing. Very 1972, but somewhat slick as well. Massimo Dallamano directed the film - credited with such hits as A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS and FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE, and also helped write it along with Bruno Di Geronimo.
Seeing THE EDITOR recently had me thinking about these old classics. It was a perfect send-up of films like SOLANGE. I loved the twists and turns SOLANGE had. It was a fun watch.
At the time of this posting, you could find the film here:
Give it a watch and find out what they've done with Solange! :)