Wednesday, December 21, 2011

12 REVIEWS OF XMAS: Are You Crazy? This is More than a Steak.

Believe it or not it's Day 9 of the 12 REVIEWS OF XMAS here at the ER blog. Curses! Foiled by Christmas cards, TOP CHEF and FLYERS/RANGERS 24/7! I had this review all ready to go last night and by the time I extracted my tongue from the envelopes and my eyes from the tube it was past midnight. Ah well, eight straight days is actually a pretty good run for me and it won't deter me from trying to get on another streak. Today's guest contributor – David Zuzelo of TOMB IT MAY CONCERN – is not only a good friend in the trash trenches but he's like my own personal Santa. The big guy in the red suit has nothing on David Z when it comes to boundless generosity. My bookshelves, closets and DVD tubs are swelling thanks to the frequent shipments of trashy movies, Batman comics and men's adventure novels that mysteriously turn up on my doorstep. And nobody wields a pen or pounds a keyboard with the cinematic enthusiasm of "Damn You, Davey Z"!   

Have you ever wanted to see Marisa Mell angrily bang against a pinball machine?  Have you ever wished that Marisa Mell would walk down YOUR stairs dressed in a short robe that somehow crosses sexy breasts and Hong Kong Phooey?  Then DEATH WILL HAVE YOUR EYES will keep your eyes open and your toes tappin’ to the groovy score by Stelvio Cipriani if you are a master of Eurotrash minutia.  But if you think this is a Giallo film that may feature fast paced mystery and suspenseful murders, or even suspense, you will be quite disappointed.

I’m part of the first category and found lots of interest...

Marisa Mell looks like she is in some form of trouble as the film starts, and then-using a time distorted storytelling mode that will either make you very confused or keep you watching very closely-we find out that she started small in this big city that has become her tomb.  Young Luisa shows up full of big dreams, but ends up selling her backside to make ends meet after she comes across Yvonne (Helga Line).  Sure, she is waiting for Mr. Rich Dick to show up-and when he does she is right on it. Hard.

But the man of her wallet's dreams is a real jerk off (thank you Farley Granger, you are always so good at this) and recites bad poetry.  The US title is one of his goofy lines, no eyes are harmed in the film. 


So, time is still jumping and something happens and someone gets found out and everyone is going to be dead or dying soon enough!  You can imagine what happens when a certain poet/doctor/dingleberry has his car off the road, but a certain down on her lucker doesn’t get away clean as ANOTHER down on HIS lucker sees a chance to hustle her out of her money. And her pants!  

Hey, it is Marisa Mell after all... and she plays along in even more narrative non-sequitor fashion.

It doesn’t end well.  But would we want it to end well?  Nah!

The cover art is way off here, but the trailer (which is in English on the disc, while the film is not) does the same thing.  This is definitely a sleazy drama that is equal parts getting the ladies undressed and some conniving behavior amongst the rich.  There is no mystery, unless confusion and taking time to follow along is what counts as one.  As a film it is a bit of a failure, but I enjoyed it by and large.  This is one of those productions that is much more a vibe than a voyage.

There are party scenes with weird music, groovy hair, bad poetry and tits.  There are a few instances of surprisingly violent turns by Marisa Mell.  Two girls argue that a big steak isn’t enough to loan out their bodies.  If I knew then that I could get a night with Marisa Mell for a steak I’d of been working harder than the dude in Bell From Hell to make steak.  Of course, I was 6 years old when this came out and I doubt I’d have had more use from a Eurostarlet than I would a Mego doll.   

If you can’t resist the obscure, love the sounds of TRASH CINEMA and the sights of NUDE SEX SIRENS in SLEAZY SITUATIONS, this may be for you.  But if you are hoping to fill that missing piece in your Giallo collection you can move along easily. Claudio Fragasso is listed on IMDB as an assistant director on this, and I can see how he would have made this material MUCH more entertaining years later!

The DVD from MYA COMMUNICATIONS is about what I expected. The print is fairly bad with tons of scratches and damage. The sound distorts at the bass level a lot (which is killer on that awesome score).  It looks like a bootleg, and not one from the modern fandub/sub era.  There is a copyright for METHEUS FILM  on the back of the packaging, so that counts for something.  I can’t imagine they are selling tons of these, but when you can count on crummy quality many times it does run off a certain percentage of your market.  I would be interested to see if Mya really has a relationship with Metheus because there are some EXCELLENT films in their catalog, including the awesome Mario Siciliano films ROLF, SKIN ‘EM ALIVE and SEVEN RED BERETS.  All of those would be fine releases...

Overall, the market for this DVD knows exactly who it is – just keep expectations in check and you won’t be let down.  It ain’t a giallo, it ain’t really good – but it is groovy and that counts for something.

Set your price tag at what you value European Trash Funk Cinema before purchasing.

DEATH WILL HAVE YOUR EYES is available at Amazon.

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