Friday, July 10, 2009

From The Director of Dellamorte Dellamore

Michel Soavi's Dellamorte Dellamore ('94), with Rupert Everett and Anna Falchi (who could forget Anna?) is one of my favorite Italian horror films of all time. It is a superbly crafted exercise in surrealism and graphic horror.

Twelve years have elapsed between Soavi's horror masterpiece and Arrivederci Amore Ciao ('06), the first feature film he has made since then.

The film has not been widely distributed outside Europe. It is actually quite difficult to find.

Mine (above) is a Thai copy. The subtitles are poor, but the picture quality is very acceptable.

Not so the incredibly misleading artwork. To me, it looks like some Jean Claude Van Damme action pic set in a high tech installation.

Nothing could be further from the truth. While watching it, and enjoying every minute of its unpredictable twists and turns, Soavi's shooting style and choice of locations reminded of Ringo Lam's extraordinary Full Contact ('93). There is also more than a passing resemblance to Jean Francois Richet's Public Enemy Number One ('08), which I vented about here:

http://phantomofpulp.blogspot.com/2009/05/public-enemy-is-number-one.html

Any way you look at it, this is a great piece of crime pulp with a dangerous erotic edge and energy to spare.

Michel Placido, who was so good recently in The Unknown Woman ('06), plays the dirtiest kind of cop who manipulates the destiny of Alessio Boni, a damaged young man whose efforts to keep his fingers out of the many dykes of crime around him are thwarted at every turn.

Placido blows Boni off the screen in more ways than one.

Although Boni is terribly self-conscious (as usual), his lack of spine works in favor of his character in this case.

The result is a tense, nihilistic thriller that pulls no punches...

...and makes no concessions to traditional expectations.

It was surprising and and refreshing to see the main character become a cold prick with, ultimately, no redeeming qualities.

Soavi attacks the violence with gusto and provides several stunning set pieces.

As I have not read the novel it is based on, I'm unable to make any comparisons between the two.

Andrea Guerra, who delivers a fantastic score (there is also a good cover of Deep Purple's Smoke On The Water), went on to score the Will Smith starrer The Pursuit of Happyness; rest assured this is a thousand miles from anything Will has done.

Between Dellamorte Dellamore and The Goodbye Kiss, Soavi made several TV crime dramas.


3 comments:

  1. If it is indeed comparable to Full Contact that is some kind of recommendation. I'm a big fan of Soavi's The Church and The Sect.

    I have to agree that cover art could easily be a Don the Dragon Wilson film or something.

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  2. I recently caught Soavi's UNO BIANCA, one of those TV movies that you referred to and loved it. If Soavi has transitioned from horror to crime films that is okay with me. This one looks incredible, I'll have to track it down.

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  3. d -- I would definitely recommend this.

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    Rev -- I like Uno Bianca, too, and I am also happy with his transition.

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