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GIALLO

ITALIAN THRILLERS

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MOMENTS OF PLEASURE AND AGONY (1983)-IN PORTUGUESE WITH ENGLISH SUBS.Whew boy! The Gialli made in Italy during the seventies obviously made their way to Brazil as this is definitely influenced by those films. It stars native son Anthony Steffen as a rich landowner in love with a teacher. However she has issues with being bi-sexual and giving her favorite students a sponge bath. The girl is found slaughtered on the outskirts of town. One of the teacher's former lesbian lovers shows up (she has a blind husband which is convenient as she and the teacher make love in front of him and he's oblivious to it all. The lover is the next to fall victim and before long the killer is dealt with by being bisected by a log splitter!! Numerous explicit lesbian staright sex sequences interspliced with graphic violence. THIS IS TRUE BRAZILIAN TRASH CINEMA!!

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THE NEXT VICTIM (1983)-IN PORTUGUESE WITH ENGLISH SUBS FOR THE FIRST TIME! Director: João Batista de Andrade, Stars: Antônio Fagundes, Louise Cardoso, Mayara Magri. TV reporter tries to find out who is killing prostitutes in a São Paulo neighborhood. The streets are dirty, they need cleaning. And Davi Duarte starts a race against time to save a young prostitute called Luna, thought to be one of the next on the maniac's list. And to save an innocent from false conviction won't make it less hard for the reporter. Suggesting the use of the episode as a political springboard might not make A Próxima Vítima a rather political film. But for sure it is a film that is well made and built into frantic crescendo as the pursuit of the reporter gets tighter and tighter onto the real killer.

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2 AND ONE HALF CAT O'NINE TAILS IN AMSTERDAM (1972)-IN ITALIAN WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. BELIEVE IT OR NOT FRANCO AND CICCIO SPOOF DARIO ARGENTO GIALLI FILMS!! Director: Osvaldo Civirani (as Richard Kean), Stars: Franco Franchi, Ciccio Ingrassia, Luciano Pigozzi (the Peter Lorre of Italy!), Two half-witted journalists, Vincent Price look-alike and an Italian Jerry Lewis accidently photograph a murder while doing a story on an infamous diamond smuggler called The Guru. They receive a mysterious plane ticket to Amsterdam inviting them to investigate further. They receive a tip to ask around some hippie club where they get hopelessly stoned and end up doing a musical number. They later snap another photo of a murder by the diamond smugglers and end up being chased around Amsterdam. Plot didn't make all that much sense, but it's stupid enough to laugh at and there's some of the most gorgeous women I've seen in this!

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IT'S NOT GOOD FOR A MAN TO BE ALONE (1973)-IN SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED HD PRINT. Director: Pedro Olea, Stars: Carmen Sevilla, José Luis López Vázquez, Máximo Valverde. Owing a huge debt to PSYCHO (1960), this is a Spanish production that is part dark comedy and part suspense thriller. José Luís López Vázquez stars as Martin, a widower who has replaced his dead bride with a lifelike mannequin. Life is fine until Lina (Carmen Sevilla), the prostitute living next store, decides to insert herself into Martin's life. Threatening to unveil his secret, Lina moves in with her daughter in an attempt to provide a stable life. At first things are mutually beneficial as Martin can finally take his "wife" to business dinner and Lina has a roof over her head and is getting her daughter sent to school. Things change when Lina re-invites her slimy pimp back into her life and demands Martin get rid of his dolls (his dead wife's "sister" had just arrive in the mail). Director Pedro Olea manages to balance the comedy and thrills pretty well. The film portrays the somewhat unbalanced Martin in a sympathetic light even though he does some pretty nasty things. Vázquez is excellent as the loner hero and Sevilla is deliciously sleazy as the opportunistic prostitute.

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DEATH PENALTY (1974)-SUPER VIDEO RELEASED THIS IN A CUT VERSION AS VIOLENT BLOODBATH. THIS ONE HAS THE VIOLENCE AND NUDITY THAT THEY CUT OUT!! Director: Jorge Grau, Stars: Fernando Rey, Marisa Mell, Máximo Valverde. A magistrate judge and his young beautiful wife are on holiday at a sea-side resort where mysteriously some of the guests and locals are being brutally murdered in the same fashion as several killers the judge had previously sentenced to death.

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HOMICIDE IN A BLUE LIGHT (1992)-IN ITALIAN WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINTPLEASE NOTE THIS IS NOT THE SHITTY LOOKING VSOM COPY! Director: Alfonso Brescia, Stars: Florence Guérin, David Hess, Brian Peterson. Model Starlet (Florence Guerin), leads a double life; at night, she becomes Sherry, a Times Square prostitute, in order to search for her brother's killer. He was a marine who had been involved in a game of hot potato with a live hand-grenade on a boat returning from Lebanon. The game had ended tragically when the grenade went off, killing three men and injuring six others, castrating one of them. Now someone is stalking New York and stabbing ex-marines to death, leaving fake hand-grenades between their legs after castrating them. Hard-boiled policeman Flanigan (David Hess) thinks Starlet is putting herself in too much danger, so he intentionally exposes her double identity, then poses as her to catch the real killer. The major clue is a musical cigarette lighter which plays "Greensleeves," and there are a number of red herrings and a twist involving a homosexual affair.

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YOU WILL SAY I KILLED IN SELF DEFENSE (1971)-IN ITALIAN WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. And here's my long winded facebook review:-Director: Angelino Fons, Stars: Glenn Lee, Franco Citti, Bruno Corazzani, Emma Penella, Music: Piero Piccioni. A desperate looking thug(Franco Citti) is rummaging through an empty house when quite suddenly, the owners return. He gets very little for his trouble and flees on his motorcycle. He locates his partner in crime (Glenn Lee) and together they plan their next heist. Holing  up inside an abandoned villa, they spy a middle age couple who seem well off. The husband (Bruno Corazzari in one of his most sedate roles ever!), heads off on a business trip to Rome, leaving his “cougar” wife home alone. Citti fantasizes about her and so he and Lee decide on a plan of action. They will then locate the valuables and haul ass to San Pedro (where Lee plans to buy cocaine). Lee will pose as a student gardener and ingratiate himself into her company. This slowly drives Citti into a frenzy as he is convinced Lee will end up screwing her before he does. When Penella discovers Bruno is actually in Rome with his hot young mistress, she slowly succumbs to Lee’s charms. Seeing this, Citti goes apeshit, takes his place and rapes her! Emma takes matters into her own hands and a bloodbath ensues. Bruno arrives home and tries to get her to concoct a story to keep his name out of the upcoming scandal, but Emma has a different story to tell.

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THE ALMOST PERFECT CRIME (1966)LETTERBOXED PRINT-Director: Mario Camerino, Cast: Phillippe Leroy (Paola), Pamela Tiffin (Annie #1), Graziella Granata (Annie #2), Bernard Blier (Colonel Robson), Massimo Serato (Preston), Fernando Sancho (Omar), Luciano Pigozzi (Salah), Giulio Donnini (Foster). Score: Carlo Rustichelli. The film opens with Paolo approaching a flight to Rome, when two nuns ask him to accompany Annie, a young student who has just turned 21 and is on her way to Beirut via Rome to collect a 10 million dollar inheritance. He agrees and is a bit shocked when she smokes and drinks whiskey on the flight over (though it does seem to be her first time as she chokes and coughs as she struggles to do both). Instead of meeting her Uncle (Colonel Robson, an expert coin collector) the housekeeper is there to rush her off to a very spooky secluded villa. Paolo becomes suspicious and follows. The next day Paolo, a reporter by trade, is fired for filing a scandalous unsubstantiated story. He gets drunk and decides to get his revenge on the paper by calling in a story that a murder occurred at the villa where he saw Annie taken. They print the story and the next day the police rush the editor to the supposed scene of the crime where they do indeed discover a dead body. It’s the housekeeper that met Annie at the airport and even though the story was called in three hours earlier, they determine the woman had been killed only 30 minutes earlier. Paolo shows up and rescues Annie who said she killed the woman who had pulled a gun on her first. The two of them figure out that someone wanted Annie dead so they could substitute a fake Annie in her place to get the inheritance. She wants to try and figure out if her Uncle is behind the scheme or is it someone else. Paolo goes to the airport where Annie #2 shows up and is met by Colonel Robson. They head to a ship which will take them to Beirut so she can collect the money. Paolo and Annie #1 decide to follow and discover who all is involved and so Annie #1 can rightfully claim what is due her. Now this is the halfway point of the film, and it’s here that the film turns 180 degrees on itself and for me to say anything else would ruin that shock. The remainder of the film will clear up if Colonel Robson is involved in the plot, what role do Preston (a friend of Annie’s father) and Foster ( a mysterious behind the scenes mastermind) play, and will Annie get her money and Paolo.

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DIABOLICAL WOMEN (1987)-FINALLY A NICE LOOKING COPY OF THIS ITALIAN THRILLER WITH NO JAPANESE HARD SUBS OR NUDITY CENSORING! Director: Luigi Russo, Stars: Lisbeth Hummel, Pierangelo Pozzato, Beatrice Palme. A wheelchair-bound woman is terrorized by her chauffeur and her maid in a plot to gain her inheritance. Lisbeth Hummel, who starred in an early Russo sex picture and is immortalized for her sexy portrayal of the OTHER beautiful woman in Borowczyk's THE BEAST (besides cult star Sirpa Lane), is saddled with the main role as a wheelchair-bound heiress whose servants are trying to kill her for an inheritance.

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THE LAST EMOTION (1989)-IN ITALIAN WITH ENGLISH SUBS. Director: Riccardo Sesani, Stars: Leonard Mann, Valentine Demy, Emy Valentino. A concert pianist gets trapped in a dangerous web after a mysterious woman (Demy in all her naked glory!) involves him in a murder.

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MEMORIES OF A PSYCHO WHO STRANGLES BLONDES (1971)-NO DIALOGUE IN THIS TWISTED PORTUGUESE THRILLER!! A serial killer kills blonde women My favorite Bressane film, taken by a strong sense of angry melancholia. Shot during his exile in London in 1971 (with no dialogue and very few direct mentions to Brazil, it could pass for a British film and so along with Skolimoski's Deep End, a very similar film in many ways, the best non-Archers film made in England). I always compare this one to the album Caetano Veloso recorded in London around the same time, both have a similar mix of plunge and revulsion for Europe, but Caetano's melancholia is sad and Bressane's violent. Today it finally become obvious to me that these Memoirs are an anthropological reread of Casanova's with European civilization getting invaded by the tropical malaise. Guara Rodrigues´strangler is a conqueror taking over all those British blondes who not by accident all look the same. The film is the same action repeated over and over again (Guara strangles 24 blondes in 71 minutes, that's a busy man). Bressane keeps finding new ways to stage the exactly same action. The sight of a blonde showing up at the side of screen becomes funny in a very black and dry way. A bitter horror comedy of violence and repetition.

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SWEET SKIN OF A WOMAN (1971)-ULTRA RARE!! IN ITALIAN WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED FROM A FADED 16 MM PRINT. Cast: Mark Damon, Femi Benussi, Rita Calderoni, Franco Silva. The film opens with a bunch of scenes strung together, making little sense. However by film’s end, it actually foreshadows what will eventually lead to the denouement. Pierre (Mark Damon) is a failed writer, living as a gigolo in a large villa owned by his aging lover (who is currently in America for the summer). He picks up an old acquaintance, Miriam (Femi Benussi in poor fitting blonde wig) who has just left her lover of four years, Robin (Franco Silva). Pierre has formulated a plan to invite Robin to the villa where he has drugged Miriam, stripped her naked and body painted her. Using a ruse claiming Miriam has had a heart attack, Robin arrives with a cardiologist (turns out he is actually an author trying to sell his latest masterpiece, WAR AND PEACE!) and finds Miriam on the floor. He tries to revive her and Pierre takes the opportunity to shoot a bunch of compromising photos of Robin. His goal is to blackmail Robin into buying his novels. About this time, Silvia (Renato Polselli favorite, Rita Calderoni) shows up with a gang of seventies hippies (cue loud music, flashing lights, bad dance moves, horny nekkid chicks). Chaos ensues and by the time things calm down, lots of metaphysical concepts on the bourgeoisie, peace, war, you know, the usual bullshit passing itself off as deep thinking occurs. Pierre decides it’s time to check out out Silvia and follows her to a bedroom where he attempts to make love to her. She wants none of that and starts screaming that he attempted to rape Her. Robin and Miriam come to her rescue and as if right on cue, Miriam and Silvia decide it’s time to go to the beach for a lesbian interlude. Meanwhile, Robin traps Pierre and the fake cardiologist in an enclosed room, turns on the gas and kills them. Miriam and Silvia return and once Miriam discovers what has happened to Pierre, she becomes distraught and flings herself off the veranda and dies next to the body of Pierre. As we reach the film’s conclusion, we wonder if this was only a depiction of one of Pierre’s crappy stories.

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BODY IN THE WOODS (1996)-IN SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Joaquim Jordà (as Joaquim Jorda), Stars: Rossy de Palma, Ricard Borràs, Núria Prims. While chasing boars in the woods, hunters discover the body of a woman. They all know her. She was Montse (Nuria Prims). They call the police. Police Lieutenant Cifuentes (Rossy de Palma) takes charge of the case. Police Lieutenant Cifuentes is a woman and she's working in a conservative small town in Catalonia, Spain (a woman as a police lieutenant!), but she is a tough woman and knows what she's about, so no problem here. Her investigation will unveil (for us, the viewers) the ugly side of the community – racism, cruelty, brutality… and we will also get to know something more about her.

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THE NET (1975)-LETTERBOXED PRINT. AN UNDISCOVERED GEM!! Director: Manfred Purzer, Stars: Mel Ferrer, Klaus Kinski, Elke Sommer, Heinz Bennent. The aging writer Aurelio Morelli is disillusioned: although the critics like his books, they are barely read. He develops hatred on youth and their depraved moral. One night he goes with a callgirl - and kills her. The police doesn't have a clue, only the unscrupulous sensational journalist Bossi suspects him. Instead of naming him to the police, he persuades Morelli to write about the murder for his paper. Morelli uses the occasion to write his memoirs, in which he confesses lots of other crimes before this last one...

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THE PENCIL MURDERS (1982)-IN DUTCH WITH ENGLISH SUBS. Director: Guy Lee Thys, Stars: Leslie de Gruyter, Rosemarie Bergmans, Bert André. A policeman neglects his young, attractive wife because of his professional duties. Soon, he has to face the fact that she deceives him. It seriously complicates the case he is working on: attractive young women are brutally killed by means of a pencil rammed into their noses until the brain is pierced.

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SHIVERS (1941)-IN ITALIAN WITH ENGLISH SUBS, ONE OF THE FIRST ITALIAN GIALLI!! Director: Giacomo Gentilomo, Stars: Umberto Melnati, María Mercader, Carlo Campanini Renowned giallo author Ugo Palffy finds himself in the middle of a creative crisis as he struggles to come up with an idea for his latest novel and, more importantly, get it to his publisher on time. With barely a few hours to go before the deadline and hardly a word written, all hope seems lost until a neighbor is murdered in the apartment above and he is slowly drawn into the ensuing police investigation.

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DEATH RITE (1975)-LETTERBOXED HD PRINT. FINALLY, LETTERBOXED ENGLISH DUBBED AND WITH NO HARD GREEK SUBS!! One of my favorite Claude Chabrol films because it reminds me of an Italian thriller with its lurid storyline and visuals. Stars Franco Nero, Stefania Sandrelli, Gert Frobe and Jean Rochefort at his most malevolent. While traveling to a resort in Tunisia, the magician and clairvoyant Professor Vestar befriends the idle millionaire Edouard Vangard and he offers a ride in his car. Vestar discloses to Edouard that he had had a premonition of a woman being murdered in a desert area. Meanwhile, the Tunisian architect and engineer Sadry Fahres has relationship problems with his spoiled wife Sylvia, who refuses to visit her mother-in-law that is terminal. Sadry meets his former mistress Martine and she travels with him to visit his mother, rekindling their passion. Edouard observers the behavior of the trio of lover and decides to help the vision of Professor Vestar to come true, intriguing each one of them to force the murder. This is a masterpiece!

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WIFE BY NIGHT PROSTITUTE BY DAY (1971)-IN ITALIAN WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. BELLA DI GIORNO MOGLI DI NOTTE (1971)-Director: Nello Rossati. Cast: Eva Czemerys, Nino Castelnuovo, Ennio Biasciucci, Anna Miserocchi. The film opens with a cold blooded murder, three shots to the chest, the killer in full view. The rest of the production uses flashbacks and flash forwards and lays out why this happened. Giorgio and Paola are a happily married couple who like most, are struggling to make ends meet. Paola recently went back to work in an art gallery, trying to interest tourists into buying some hack’s scribbling on a canvas. Giorgio is in the fast paced world of advertising and having a hard time getting established. Anna, the owner of the art gallery tricks Paola into running up a large debt and suggesting she become a prostitute to not only pay off her debt, but also to help finance her husband’s rise to the top. Reluctant at first, she finally relents and slowly but surely learns to play the part. Her customer base includes the usual oddballs, such as the Judge who confiscates dirty magazines so he can reenact them with Paola and photograph for safe keeping, the congressman( played by an unbilled Ernesto Colli) who has a session with Paola before his meeting with the Pope, and finally Maciste (played by Pietro Torrisi, who went by Peter McCoy in the eighties and starred in such films as THRONE OF FIRE, GUNDAR THE BARBARIAN, and SWORD OF THE BARBARIANS) who is ashamed of his small penis and falls hard (sorry) for Paola. Giorgio comes to Paola and explains that he needs 8 million Lira by tomorrow or he may go to jail. It is at this point that the wheels are set into motion that will result in the film’s opening sequence.

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HEAD UP FEET DOWN (1973)-IN ITALIAN WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED PRINT. Director: Ugo Novello. Cast: Corrado Pani. Marina Malfatti, Maria Pia Conte. The plot basically deals with a graphic artist who gets entangled in a wave of killings of university professors: he becomes quite obsessed (copiously collecting newspaper cut-outs related to it) after dreaming about himself as an adult turning up for an exam (in an open-air venue – filmed for maximum disorienting effect with a fish-eye lens – and actually resembling more a job interview!), in which not only the assessors are the murder victims but he personally starts bleeding at the wrist!! Anyway, when the professor is found dead the morning after the meeting with the hero, the latter decides to follow the tracks of a man the victim had himself indicated as a possible suspect; indeed, he begins to see him everywhere he goes – outside the school and, most distressingly, in front of his own house! So paranoid does he become that, when this person finally approaches him in a dark alley, Pani turns on him and strangles the man…who is revealed the next day to be yet another tutor!

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LA PURITANA (1989)-IN ITALIAN WITH ENGLISH SUBS. Margit Evelyn Newton of Bruno Mattei's "Hell of the Living Dead" fame plays sexy lawyer Annabella Allori who wants revenge.Deceased drug addict Gabriele has left Annabella an audio cassette which features his confession.It seems that he and his alcoholic mother were abused mentally and sexually by the mayor,the Count,a drug-dealing pharmacist,the local priest and a wealthy physician.So Annabella wants to avenge death of Gabriele and his mother and she will do this by using sensuality and sex."La Puritana" by Nino Grassia features plenty of sleaze and full-frontal nudity provided by Margit Evelyn Newton including bathroom masturbation scene.The plot is silly and almost all the characters are sex-obsessed.

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HOUR OF FEAR (1986)-IN PORTUGUESE WITH ENGLISH SUBS. Director: Francisco Cavalcanti and Jose Mojica Marins, starring: Marie Edelgunde Plautz · Alberto Karlinski · Ely and Darcey Silva · Francisco Cavalcanti · Clery Cunha. This 1986 Erotic/Gore Thriller is the legendary collaboration of Brazilian directors Francisco Cavalcanti and Jose Mojica Marins, telling the story of Alberto, an insane sadist that brutally slaughters women, and his mother who helps clean up the mess afterwards. This is truly a remarkable film, in the bloody tradition of Herchell Gordon Lewis [indeed, inspired by GRUESOME TWOSOME ] starring Marie Edelgunde as Mom with Alberto Karlinski as her son, also featuring Brazilian starlets Ely & Darcey Silva and director Cavalcanti as the concerned investigator Salvator.

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ABRAKADABRA (2019)-IN ITALIAN WITH ENGLISH SUBS, LETTERBOXED HD PRINT. Directors: Luciano Onetti, Nicolás Onetti, Starring: Clara Kovacic, German Baudino, Eugenia Rigón, Gustavo Dalessanro, Raul Gederlini, Pablo Vilela. The Great Dante, a prestigious magician, accidentally dies during a risky magic trick. Thirty-five years later, his son Lorenzo, also a magician, presents a show at one of the city’s most important theaters. From this point on, a series of murders will begin to occur that someone tries to pin on him. Lorenzo will have to find out who it is and why this person wants to implicate him.

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THE VICTIM (1980)-IN HUNGARIAN WITH ENGLISH SUBS. A serial killer is taking their victims in Budapest. He is killing with the same method, and there are many similarities also between the victims. Zoltán Kristály, one of the young, ambitious detectives of the police tries to request help from one of his retired colleagues who is stigmatized by many and is engaged in the theory of victimology. The detective tries to understand the psychology of the killer and focuses on potential victims. He tries to go after not only the killer but also the potential victim, whom he finally finds and falls in love with. But will she really be the next victim? And if she will be, who will be faster, the killer or the detective?

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