Archive for franco nero

Goregirl’s Dungeon on YouTube: Django – Luis Bacalov & Rocky Roberts (English Version)

Posted in Italy, movies with tags , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2013 by goregirl

Django – Rocky Roberts & Luis Bacalov with a Franco Nero slideshow…because Nero will always be my Django! This song puts a big old stupid grin on my face. I love you 60s/70s Franco Nero! “Django, have you always been alone?”

HITCH-HIKE (1977) – The Dungeon Review!

Posted in horror, Italy, movies with tags , , , , , , , on December 16, 2010 by goregirl

If you happened to noticed I added a “What’s In The Queue” section in my sidebar than you might have caught the next film in my queue was supposed to be Horrors Of Malformed Men. I actually watched it on the weekend, but when I started to hash out a review I noticed IMDB had it listed as 1969. Oops. Because it doesn’t qualify as 70’s I’m going to wait until January to post that one. I mentioned in my previous review that I had intended to review a lot more Italian films from the 1970’s and what shows up in my mailbox but TWO Italian flicks! SWEEEEEEET! Hitch-Hike is not a horror film, but a violent road trip flick with three of the most wonderfully obnoxious and fascinating leads I’ve seen in a long while. But how could Pasquale Festa Campanile have gone wrong with this ironclad casting?! Franco Nero, Corinne Clery and David Hess are a most admirable trio that plays off each other very well. In fact, there is plenty to admire about this slow-boiling, intense and sleazy flick.

Vacationing couple Walter and Eve Mancini have grown tired of each other and do nothing but nag, irritate and argue. Picking up stranded motorist Adam Konitz gives them a much-needed break from one another. Initially the trio make friendly until Adam makes a sexual comment to Eve. Adam and Walter have a fistfight on the side of the road, which Adam ends by pulling out a gun. With a quest to make it to Mexico with a suitcase full of money, Adam takes the Mancini’s on a nightmarish trip across California.

It is, in fact, a nightmarish trip somewhere in Italy. The director does a nice job choosing outdoor scenery that resembles California’s landscape. Most of the film takes place on the road and the relatively quiet desert land they drive through is the perfect compliment to the characters interaction. Once the Mancini’s pick up Adam the film almost exclusively centers on the trio (a couple other characters relevant to the plot do show up towards the end of the film but mentioning who they are would be a spoiler). Hitch-Hike has a slower pace and only a handful of action scenes. The director chooses to focus on the dynamic between the three characters and it’s probably a little more talky than some might care for. Personally, I dig character development and putting a psycho, an asshole and a princess in the same car together sure did make for some great tension and suspense.

Fans of horror will be familiar with the work of David Hess in House On The Edge Of The Park and Last House On The Left and the man is definitely on his game here as Adam Konitz. No one plays a psycho quite like Hess! Hess gets a fair amount of dialog in this one and is even somewhat charismatic. When it comes to manly men of the 70’s no one tops Frano Nero. Nero plays Walter Mancini, one half of a very unhappily married couple. Walter is a middle-aged writer for a newspaper that happens to be owned by his wife’s father. Writing hasn’t been coming easy lately and he’s taken to hitting the bottle on a regular basis. Nero’s classic 70’s ‘stache can be seen wrapped around a liquor bottle often. He is rude, chauvinistic, and for an alcoholic, he doesn’t hold his liquor very well. The stunning Corinne Clery plays his wife and carries with her an air of privilege. Clery’s character is the least offensive of the trio and is forced to take more abuse than she deserved. There is anger and resentment between the couple but there is a fair amount of codependence thrown in for good measure. The two seem to feed off each other’s negativity and every now and again a little bit of caring accidently seeps in. All three characters are generally unlikable and you aren’t really motivated to root for any of them. It’s a brave move putting three such unlikeable characters in a film, particularly when two of those characters are supposed to be victims. As unlikable as they are I must admit there were brief moments I had a wee bit of empathy for each one of them. Each of the trio divulges something about themselves through words and actions and while it is often self-serving, despicable, and downright psychotic it does occasionally illicit a bit of empathy.

Hitch-Hike wasn’t as exploitative or violent as I expected it to be. It does however have its moments. There is a fistfight, nudity, rape, shooting and at the end of it all there is a small but significant body count. None of this however is particularly graphic but it certainly is effective. There are some cool twists in the plot and the ending is absolutely superb! The cherry on top is the awesome score from none other than the brilliant Ennio Morricone. Hitch-Hike is considerably more intelligent than your average exploitation flick. Top-notch performances, smart dialog, suspense, intensity and just the right amount of sleaze make it all work beautifully. Highly Recommended!

Dungeon Rating: 4/5

Directed By: Pasquale Festa Campanile

Starring: Franco Nero, Corinne Clery, David Hess, Joshua Sinclair, Carlo Puri, Ignazio Spalla, Leonardo Scavino

THE FIFTH CORD (1971) – The Dungeon Review!

Posted in horror, Italy, movies with tags , , , , , , , on March 29, 2010 by goregirl

In my search to add names to my Women and Men of Italian horror photo gallery I happened upon a few films I had never seen. I found ‘The Fifth Cord’ after adding Franco Nero. Since I had never seen a film directed by Luigi Bazzoni or one featuring the acting talents of Mr. Nero I figured it was a must see. ‘The Fifth Cord’ brings together all the things I love about 70’s Giallo and then puts a cherry on top.

On his way home from a party, John Lubbock is attacked by a man wielding a pipe. A couple making out nearby hear the commotion and come running and the attacker takes off leaving Lubbock alive. Andrea Bild is assigned by his publisher to investigate the story. As Bild digs deeper, the violence begins to escalate. Soon others who attended the same party as Lubbock start turning up dead, and Bild himself becomes a suspect. With each murder, a black glove with a finger missing is found near the body. Bild attempts playing detective while battling alcoholism and balancing a relationship with a new lover and another one from his past.

Sounds like a pretty typical Giallo setup, and admittedly this one does start out pretty much by the book. The panning of the camera over the party guest suggests we will see these folks again as both victims and important players in the story. The story itself offers up a convoluted plot with multiple suspects and a hardy helping of murder, sex, and a little bit of sleaze. But the presentation puts ‘The Fifth Cord’ into a category all its own. The film is stylishly shot, capturing weird angles that compliment the setting perfectly, fascinating views from the killers perspective or more subtle shots like a characters image reflected in sunglasses. These are all complimented by effective use of shadows and light and colouring that is bright and gaudy. The murder scenes in ‘The Fifth Cord’ really embrace the chase. These scenes build tension to the max drawing the scene out to the point of explosion and then ending it with a quick, clean kill. One particularly lengthy and intense scene sees the crippled Sophia Bini (played by Rossella Falk) desperately dragging herself around her home. This scene is shot from her perspective and we see her wincing and struggling as she attempts to pull her dead legs behind her. Although the victim’s deaths are mostly bloodless, they manage to be quite magnificent! A little bit of nudity and a touch of sleaze in the form of live sex shows and child pornography help spice things up. But what really spices things up is the ultra-macho Franco Nero who plays Andrea Bild.

The tough as nails Andrea Bild is a slaphappy boozer with a bad temper and an eye for the ladies. He sports a bushy 70’s moustache, loves his J&B and drives a Volkswagen Beetle. Bild needs no muscle car to prove he’s a man! The guy practically sweats bullets! He slaps one guy around so severely during questioning it leaves him red-faced and blubbering like a child. He isn’t afraid to slap his women around either! Nights of hard drinking and hard loving leave him looking intensely dishevelled. At times he looks like he might fall on his face and then he suddenly looks as though he could go completely psychotic. Franco Nero plays the character with strength and conviction but with enough eccentricity to really sell it. Andrea Bild may be one of my favourite macho Giallo characters of all time!

The films final balls to the wall climax is fantastic! Although I did find it a little disappointing the killers motivation is explained with a brief voiceover. ‘The Fifth Cord’ is a bit formulaic but Bazzoni brings so much more to the table. Impeccable pacing, beautiful and inventive cinematography, great performances (particularly from Nero), intensely suspenseful murder sequences, a great trashy soundtrack from Ennio Morricone and a wee bit of sex and sleaze make ‘The Fifth Cord’ an extremely satisfying and entertaining film. The Blue Underground version I rented had an interview with cinematographer Vittorio Storaro and actor Franco Nero and a trippy trailer for the film. Highly recommended!

Dungeon Rating: 4/5

Directed By: Luigi Bazzoni

Starring: Franco Nero, Silvia Monti, Wolfgang Preiss, Ira von Fürstenberg, Edmund Purdom, Rossella Falk, Renato Romano, Guido Alberti, Pamela Tiffin, Maurizio Bonuglia