Sunday, October 18, 2009

Film Review: SPASMO (1974, Umberto Lenzi)

Stars: 3.75 of 5.
Running Time: 94 minutes.
Notable Cast or Crew: Music by Ennio Morricone. Starring Suzy Kendall (TO SIR WITH LOVE, BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE), Ivan Rassimov (PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES, YOUR VICE IS A LOCKED ROOM).
Tag-line: "Beyond "Psycho" SPASMO!"
Best one-liner: "It's all so absurd, meaningless. And what's absurd is dangerous."

Alright, Umberto, let's get down to brass tacks here. I saw your latest film, SPASMO, and I have some notes. Now you can take 'em or leave 'em, cause I'm sure you know best, but just a few, brief things:

#1. I like the way the film starts off. Within the first minute, we got both breast-groping and two red herring corpses.

Lets people know they're watching an Italian movie if the parade of names in the credits like Pino, Luigi, and Adolfo doesn't tip them off. Also key is the naked mannequin fondling itself during said credits sequence.

#2. I like the way the title makes no sense in the context of the film. That's the way it should be. And I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, 'Welll- it could kiiind of apply to that one thing late in the movie...?' And the answer to that is, plainly, 'no.'

This mannequin sneers at your inability to reconcile the title with the subject matter.

#3. It's good to give people definite, recognizable character traits. Like the one guy who plays with metal balls throughout the movie. Instead of being 'just another greasy-haired dude,' he's 'the guy who plays with his balls.'

Not just another greasy dude. At least he wouldn't be if you could see his hands right now.

#4. I like the way you built in a drinking game. Every time a character (or, I suppose, anyone in the audience) says "absurd," ya take a swig of Campari, or whatever passes for honest libation outside of Italy.

This is most definitely absurd.

#5. 'Heinous' does not rhyme with 'penis,' at least not in the English language. Similarly, "homicide" does not start out the same way as "homosexual."

#6. I really love exchanges like: WOMAN: [fingers MAN's chest hair] "There's no moon in my hotel room." MAN: "I was right. You're a sweet, sweet whore. Okay. Let's go." WOMAN: "But you have to shave your beard first." MAN: "I could have you here, now. And you'd like it. Even with the beard."

And I must further love that this was all penned and acted with complete sincerity.

Apparently without the beard is better.

#7. "It's all so absurd, meaningless. And what's absurd is dangerous." I guess, then, that this movie is pretty dangerous, Umberto. So I must give you four absurdly dangerous stars.


-Sean Gill

2009 Halloween Countdown

31. PROM NIGHT (1980, Paul Lynch)
30. PHENOMENA (1985, Dario Argento)
29. HOUSE OF WAX (1953, André de Toth)
28. SILENT RAGE (1982, Michael Miller)
27. BASKET CASE (1982, Frank Henenlotter)
26. THE DEADLY SPAWN (1983, Douglas McKeown)
25. PELTS (2006, Dario Argento)
24. ANGEL HEART (1987, Alan Parker)
23. KILLER WORKOUT (1986, David A. Prior)
22. FREDDY'S DEAD: THE FINAL NIGHTMARE (1991, Rachel Talalay)
21. THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES (1971, Robert Fuest)
20. FRANKENHOOKER (1990, Frank Henenlotter)
19. HELLRAISER (1987, Clive Barker)
18. GEEK MAGGOT BINGO (1983, Nick Zedd)
17. ALLIGATOR (1980, Lewis Teague)
16. LIZARD IN A WOMAN'S SKIN (1971, Lucio Fulci)
15. THE CARD PLAYER (2004, Dario Argento)
14. SPASMO (1974, Umberto Lenzi)

No comments: