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June 28, 2013

Movie Review: Ubaldo Terzani's Horror Show (2010, Blu-ray)

Horror films centered on filmmakers or authors seem to be much more common nowadays. A couple recent examples that really aren’t too shabby have to be Wes Craven’s New Nightmare and Lucio Fulci’s Cat in the Brain. Raro Video has made their mark with releasing numerous Italian crime films, horror and even arthouse obscurities. We haven’t seen too many recent productions getting releases (Before 2000) until now. Ubaldo Terzani’s Horror Show takes the template similar to the titles mentioned above like Cat in the Brain ( which is actually shown on a TV in one character’s living room). Also, unlike Craven’s and Fulci’s films, our filmmaker protagonist is fictional.

Alessio (Giuseppe Soleri) is a young horror director who’s in love with filling his films with blood and guts. That shouldn’t be a bad thing, right? His portly producer thinks otherwise and would like Alessio to have his next horror project better writing and a bit more style.  Alessio goes to a book store where he loads up on the works of popular terror scribe, Ubaldo Terzani.  After reading a few of his books and experiencing some very vivid nightmares, Alessio sparks the interest of his girlfriend, Sara (Laura Gigante) who becomes as enamored by Terzani’s style as Alessio.

After enough research and even more gory nightmares, Alessio meets the man himself at his mansion where he begins some script work with Terzani’s help.  Things start to spiral out of control as these books of Terzani’s seem more and more real.

The film overall looks very good. It’s shot well and very colorful much like the films of Bava, Argento and others. The nightmares are especially cool as we get to see some gruesome dismemberment and even a dismemberment that reminded me much of one of the gnarly Savini FX in Day of the Dead. All of this is courtesy of the great Sergio Stivaletti.

Raro Video’s Blu-ray looks especially lovely. It’s a newer film (2010) but with that said it looks quite sharp on hi-def. Extras include a commentary with director Gabriele Albenisi, some screen-tests and some interesting liners by Fangoria’s Chris Alexander.

I had a quite a bit of fun with this one. You can tell there’s a lot of love here for the Italian horror predecessors by the creators and the story conveys just enough creativity to be its own unique film. Recommended.

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