Borderlands (Zev Berman, 2007): 6.5/10

The Magic Flute (Ingmar Bergman, 1975): 7/10

La Guerre Est Finie (Alain Resnais, 1966): 7/10

Speed Racer (The Wachowski Brothers, 2008): 8/10

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Monday, January 07, 2008

French Sex Murders (Ferdinando Merighi, 1972)

Produced by schlock-master Dick Randall, French Sex Murders has the funniest name of almost any movie I've ever seen -- if there was ever a movie that laid it out on that line as to what the film contains, this is it. It's also one of the worse giallos I've ever seen. I read the special feature "About the movie" on the DVD before watching it, and I'm glad I did. It explains, in no-holds-barred text, how several different B-movie stars were hired, and all had different purposes in the film, thus why there's no sense of cohesion whatsoever. Anita Ekberg (who had appeared in, among other things, La Dolce Vita) was hired because she wasn't getting any work and she had a name for the marquee, Rosalba Neri (whom I was shocked to see after just being impressed with her in 99 Women) was hired to be sexy, and Robert Sacchi was hired because he bears an uncanny resemblance to Humphrey Bogart -- as a matter of fact, an alternate title for the film is The Bogeyman and the French Murders. Perhaps some viewers were fooled as to the film's actual star, and only after they had spent their money would they realize that Bogart would never be in a movie like this.

The plot is virtually nonexistant, but what is there, is this: girls in a brothel are getting murdered. Who's doing it? I have never seen a movie stretch for time this much (even at only 85 minutes) -- there are scenes where Sacchi makes several phone calls, but doesn't say anything until the final, important one. There are outdoor shots that are 15 seconds long when they only need to be 5. Seriously, it's pretty ridiculous.

But I don't want to necessarily discourage anyone from watching this. If you love giallo like I do, there are far worse ways to spend 90 minutes. Be forewarned, though, there's no real gore anywhere in the movie. There are terrible-looking effects that are repeated in five different colors. Trippy and cool-looking, but completely unnecessary. Watchable for only diehard fans of the genre.


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