Giallo in Venice is available now! Links to order are below!
Blu-ray includes a Limited Edition Slipcover and 9×11 Mini Poster with artwork by Devon Whitehead while supplies last.
(All screen-caps were taken directly from the Scorpion Releasing Blu-ray, no alterations were made to the images displayed)
TOP IMAGE IS THE NEW SCORPION RELEASING BLURAY AND BOTTOM THE GERMAN “X-RATED Euro Cult Collection Media book”
Mario Landi’s focus here clearly seems to be on cringe-worthy sadism. The various murder scenes are done with a nasty edge that’s hard to shake, and the mostly convincing make-up effects were clearly prominent in the films budget. Seedy, grimy production values and almost perverse pleasure the filmmakers seem to derive staging these mean-spirited vignettes give the picture a definite charge, yet it is still difficult to warm entirely to the finished product for a variety of reasons.
I’d say the film may be the Giallo equivalent to William Lustig’s 42nd Street Slasher “Maniac” (1980) which was subject to protests upon its limited release from Women’s advocacy groups across the nation. Even becoming National news for a short time. Mario Landi has always been known (from what I’ve read) as an “if it’s in focus, lets move on” type of director. There is very little elegance to his staging , apart from the odd shot of the victims writhing reflected in the dark glasses worn by the killer. The film does drag and with it’s extremity and mean spirited attitude, it can be a hard watch.
Franco Villa’s cinematography is the stuff of legend and yet in this feature, his use of framing is just above functional. You would expect more from a DP his senior. Berto Pisano’s flamboyant scoreis mostly recycled from other scores namely, “Interrabang” and “Burial Ground”. The cast is above par of the rest of the production, though Jeff Blynn (Weapons of Death 1977 and Alfonso Brecia’s Napoli) playing Inspector De Paul with his moptop hair and porno mustache has all the charisma of a wet dishrag. Blynn is a very unlikely and nearly unengaging Giallo protagonist as you could imagine. Giallo A Venezia would be his only Giallo acting credit. He stopped making films in the 90’s and is rumored to have left the business altogether to run his restaurant in Rome.
Leonora Fani is Flavia, while Gianni Dei plays her sexual deviant husband Fabio. Dei is similarly functional, but not impressive and fails to make more of an impression. His most prominent role being a bedridden psychopath in Patrick Lives Again (1980) which was also directed by Mario Landi. The best performer in the movie, though she doesn’t get much of a chance to prove it, is Mariangela Giordano. Giordano known for her roles in Spaghetti Westerns including Antonio Margherettis Vengeance (1968). She was later featured in horror films such as Michele Soavi’s “The Sect” (1991) and Jess Franco’s “Killer Barbys” (1996). She is undoubtedly will be remembered for her role in Andrea Bianchi’s “Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror” in which she has a vaguely incestous relationship with her young son, played by the incomprabable Peter Bark.
All this being said, the focus of this film is less on the mystery and more on the misery. So if being shocked by a film is your thing, this one maybe right up your alley. It’s hands down the most cold and brutal Giallo I’ve ever seen and that means a lot coming from a die-hard fan of the sub-genre.
While Giallo a Venezia may lack the social commentary of Lucio Fulci or the swooping camera-work and visual styling of Dario Argento, it is still a giallo that can comfortably stand on merits of its own brutality.
VIDEO: New 2018 scan with extensive color correction- If there ever was a film that needed a new scan of it is GOV. I waited several years for this one to surface from Code Red and eventually I gave in and bought the X-Rated German Mediabook, about a year ago. At the time, I was just happy to see a film that is as notoriously brutal as it is sleazy in the Giallo space. That being said, the new Scorpion Blu-ray is a HUGE upgrade. Gone is the yellow tint that encapsulates the entire German version of the film. The color timing of the film is incredibly natural looking. Skin tones are a fleshy pink and the canals of Venice are rendered a gorgeous aquamarine. Colors are vibrant and saturated and blacks are deep and inky. Grain structure is solid and makes for a very filmic presentation. There’s some minor print damage throughout the film, but did not detract from my viewing experience overall. Walt Olsen and Scorpion Releasing have had an excellent year and have released SEVERAL definitive versions of classic Cult Films (The Church, The Sect, House on Sorority Row).This release is no different, easily the best “Giallo in Venice” has ever looked.
AUDIO: Italian DTS-HD 2.0Audio with Newly Translated English Subtitles. This audio track sounds nearly identical to the X-Rated Mediabook, But I did notice the hiss that appeared several times in the German edition is gone. I did however notice a strange echo on the Scorpion Edition that lasted a few seconds that was not present in the German version. The echo only lasts a few seconds and most will not notice it. Dialogue clarity is good, the flamboyant 70’s soundtrack sounds great and levels are between the two are good. No signs of audio dropouts, pops or hisses other than previously noted. A sold audio track overall.
EXTRAS: Audio Commentary with film historian Troy Howart. Damn, Mr. Howarth is getting a lot of well deserved work, lately. I’ve reviewed several films so far this year that contain a commentary track with Troy. Troy Howarth is the author of two books (So Deadly, So Perverse) containing academic-level studies of films in the Giallo sub-genre. Mr. Howarth knows his stuff and drops many interesting factoids about the film throughout this commentary. Howarth is truly a film scholar and speaks with a passion about the genre in a way that only he can. If Audio Commentaries are your thing, this one should n