Category Archives: Italian Cinema

Dog Tags (1987)

Three of the cinema’s best genres are finally mixed together to produce a love child of death, dismemberment, and amputee fellatio! Taking the very finest elements of the Vietnam POW movie, the stolen Nazi gold movie, and the micro-budget mid 1980s Italian action movie, Dog Tags manages to even work in a strip club scene for no reason except that director Romano Scavolini (Nightmare In A Damaged Brain) is just that damn good! Could anything less be expected from the brother of the writer of American Rickshaw? Continue reading

Heroes in Hell (1974)

Heroes In Hell gives you an up close and personal look at the lives of a group of World War II POWs. It’s up close and personal not because you get to know the characters or you are treated to a day to day examination of what life in a German prison camp entails. It’s up close and personal because most of the freaking film is shot right in these guys’ faces! And it didn’t serve to build tension or give a sense of claustrophobic suspense so much as left the viewer straining to see around everyone’s big fat skull! Continue reading

Massacre in Dinosaur Valley (1985)

This Brazil-set cannibal epic from one of your off-brand Italian auteurs (Michele Massimo Tarantini) is an entry level one meaning that normal people will be repulsed by its sleazy smorgasbord of violence which includes people shot, impaled, gutted, raped, enslaved, drowning in quicksand, dying in plane wrecks, animal abuse and of course a breast scratched by a triceratops claw. Continue reading

Hercules Unchained (1959)

Truly then, the gods have smiled upon us this day when they sent forth this second adventure of Hercules. Fresh from whatever it was that Herc accomplished in his first epic film, this movie opens with him saying his goodbyes to his buddies from the Argos and preparing to journey to his hometown of Thebes with his new wife Iole and his buddy Ulysses. Continue reading

Seven Blood-Stained Orchids (1972)

sevenbloodstainedorchidsposterOn the surface, it’s an odd combination to say the least – a Cornell Woolrich story serving as the basis for an Umberto Lenzi film. Woolrich was the author of several stories during the fifties that were turned into such film noirs as Black Angel and Phantom Lady. Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window was also based on a Woolrich story.

Lenzi is best known as king of the cannibals for his Cannibal Ferox, Deep River Savages, and Eaten Alive films. But he was also proficient earlier in his career with thrillers in the giallo mold including Spasmo and Orgasmo so maybe it isn’t such a surprise that itt all works much better than you would suspect, resulting in an easily digestible confection of mystery, graphic violence, and Antonio Sabato. Continue reading

Rolf (1984)

rolfcoverMario Siciliano was a pretty minor player as far as Italian scuzz cinema goes with credits on a few spaghetti westerns, a bunch of sex comedies, and Evil Eye. Mario proves though that it isn’t how much you do, but what you do with what you have. Some folks like Lamberto Bava or Bruno Mattei may be willing to share their gifts with us three or four times a year. Others, like Mario, may simply explode one day on the scene and burn brightly for a single film or two before returning to the relative obscurity whence they came. Continue reading