Oh my goodness. Lordy.
This is another fantastic gem of a giallo. Another OLD DARK HOUSE like situation here with a family up to no good. Twists and turns after twists and turns.
I have to admit, I was confused - happily - through most of the film. Long and the short is there is a family with a secret. A dark and sad secret. It looks like the Father was a bit handsy with the daughter, so the daughter killed him. Mom goes and buries him, but....yes, bare with me....and escaped convict sees her bury the body. He's caught, but keeps the place in mind for future endeavors.
Everything slips into normalcy and 13 years go by. But, something isn't right with the daughter, Mom seems a bit off as well, and old brother seems to keep forgetting sister is sister and not girlfriend.
It all keeps getting more and more insane as we have the return of the escaped convict from the beginning, wild police goings on, murders all over the place, and twist after twist as we watch things play out.
I had a fantastic time with this madness. The screenplay by the films director Sergio Bergonzelli is all over the place crazy and I love the idea supplied by Mario Caiano and Fabio De Agostini. If you are fond of madness and mystery with a bit of the holocaust slipped in for good measure, you'll want to check out this wild ride.
Saturday, May 26, 2018
Ok, I'm warning you folks in advance here - there will be spoilers in this review. I have to. This movie is nuts.
I thought, "Wow...written by Fabio "The Red Queen Kills Seven Time" Pittorru and Massimo "Strip Nude For Your Killer" Felisatti?! And Directed by Massimo as well?! This has to be gold! No wonder people talk about it all the time!"
In with the spoilers.
Yeah...I can see why they talk about it all the time. It's bonkers, that's why. Our lead Alan (Anthony Steffen) straight up kills women. He's messed up about his beloved Evelyn, so he kills women. Several women. His friend George tries to get him to settle down and get remarried. Alan eventually finds Gladys and gets married...after knowing her for 24 hours or so. And, like that, he's all better. For the most part. He doesn't kill Gladys. All is well.
Little does Alan know that there's a plot against him. Gladys and George and...evil redhead...are out to get Alan committed or killed. Gladys dresses up like Evelyn, Alan goes bonkers, and all is well! HURRAY! The bad guy is out of the picture and people screwed him over...the MURDERER...and took his money!
BUT...that's not all. George is also and asshole. He poisons Gladys. Gladys and Evil Red go toe to toe as Gladys is dying and Gladys stabs Evil Red and kills her before dying herself. George tries to make his escape, but is stopped by Alan's shrink and...Alan himself! Alan and George fight, Alan wins, and the cops take George away. What a twist!
BUT FUCKING WAIT! ALAN still KILLED several fucking people and he walks away without a scratch! heheheheh . I was screaming at the screen while watching the conclusion.
"So...dude killed all those women, but gets away with it and is a hero now?!" I couldn't believe it! heheheheh
The film is a pacing nightmare. It's like watching two films - one about a crazy, Marquis de Sade like fiend, and another about an odd murder plot. It's super slow and tedious at times. The odd 70s world of Italian sleaze is hard to fathom. Another club where women strip and men and woman watch like it's some sort of floor show. I've seen this in several films of the era.
The script is also a mess, jumping around like a drunk monkey.
The direction seems like an afterthought. Definitely not like Miaglia's work on THE RED QUEEN KILLS SEVEN TIMES, but maybe he was working up to that piece seeing that it was his last Director outing.
But, all of that aside, the film is a fun watch and the big ending is a ton of fun. If you can make it through all the madness...like the maids all being dressed alike with blonde afros...then I think you'll have as much fun with this one as I did!
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
I saw this film a while back and sat with it for a long while...pondering. Then, I had to send my computer away (long story) and thought about it some more while waiting for a new computer to arrive. Lots and lots of thinking. I enjoyed this film and truly think others will like it as well, but I'm not sure many people will give it a fair shake.
There are artistic horror films like THE PASSION OF PAUL ROSS and THE MOOSE HEAD OVER THE MANTEL that I really enjoyed, but that might not play well with a wide audience due to the vision being presented. This is a total shame. THE HORROR AT GALLERY KAY is one of those films for sure and I believe the only fix is to get it into the right people's hands. Maybe this somewhat long winded review will help to do so.
I'm a huge fan of The Night Gallery. Like...massive. I also love Lovecraft and Richard Matheson. Horror at Gallery Kay feels like Lovecraft and Matheson getting together and writing a Night Gallery feature film. Like some of Night Gallery's offerings, the film makers choose to let much of the visuals play in the viewers imagination instead of trying to work up a visual with a small budget that would completely take away from the film. Let me envision something - when it's done properly, it's WAY better than showing me some silly, low rent visual effects that will just come off as silly and sad.
We have several stages of story here that leads the viewer along a fun, odd little tale. Petra and Olive are having relationship issues. Things are rocky and rough and it seems like only one of them cares to try to make it work - the other opting for more of a "oh well, we gave it a go" attitude. Dr. Bozill is kind enough to work with their schedules and fits them into an evening counseling session to see if he might be the bridge to saving their relationship. This is phase one of the tale.
Phase two has us breaking away from Bozill's office and venturing out into the world to see just what is going on at Gallery Kay.
And Phase Three...is off the rails in wild, Lovecraft-like glory.
I had seen the trailer for the film, but didn't read up on it or research before seeing it. I didn't want things to be spoiled. As the film unfolded, I let myself get caught up in the character arcs and storylines. The play between the couple and therapist was wonderful and I found myself getting very caught up in things. I even had a few giggles at well placed humor bits here and there. I let things go, thinking that I might have misunderstood what I was going to be seeing, but I was ok with it because I was having such a good time viewing it.
When the "second phase" kicked in, I smiled a wide smile and thought, "Oh...here we go. I see what you did there. Nice!" The storytelling and writing really made this for me. Like a great play, I was swept up into the story in a wondrous way. Things go from 30 mph to around 240mph and I enjoyed every moment of the ride.
I think many people will be put off by the "first phase". It really is a relationship story and sets up our characters is great detail with some fantastic performances and camera moves. However, it's not horror or horrifying. The more ADD of viewers will be bouncing in their seats and growling at the screen. However, I found it fascinating. The three actors in the scene are playing their roles to perfection and the kinetic and interesting camera moves help to tell the tale as well. I loved this - letting my idea of horror slip around a bit as I waited for things to play out.
That's what all of these more artistic ventures into horror tend to do for me. They take the genre and weave it in a little different way. You can even see it in classic genre films like The Iron Rose by Jean Rollin. There are no chainsaw waving, masked madmen. No monsters. No ghosts. But, the ideas and worlds created send shivers up the spine and get the mind working. While I love my maniacs, creatures, and ghosties, I also love a film that gets me thinking and involved in what's going on. Gallery Kay did just that.
The team up of Abe Goldfarb and Mac Rogers was fantastic. I hope that they continue to
work together and get higher and higher budgets to play with. I'd love to se this film play out with a real heavy hitter amount of cash behind it. I loved it at this level and seeing more bells and whistles added into the mix would be a ton of fun.
This is a "thinking person's" horror film. It's meant to be thought about and if you are not wanting to do that, don't bother with The Horror At Gallery Kay - you won't enjoy it. However, if you like really diving into a film with both feet and your brain on, I believe you'll have a blast with this film.
WELL worth a viddy!
Abe Goldfarb - Director
Mac Rogers - Writer
Bryan Enk - Producer
Maine Anders - “Petra”
Rosebud - “Olive”
Brian Silliman - “Bozill”
Kristen Vaughan - “The Receptionist ”
The Horror at Gallery Kay (2018) - Official Teaser from Third Lows Productions on Vimeo.