Death At 24 Frames Per Second
The First Annual
Atrocity Film Festival
as reported by Verson Jetorix
DEEP RED - What can you say about classic Argento? It is beautiful and brutal. This was the first viewing on DVD and it delivered, big time.
INFERNO - Another first in the DVD format, another clear winner. But why Leigh McCloskey? He's terrible, of course, but the film around him is one of the all time Atrocity classics.
NUDE FOR SATAN - Following the first two films, this lame entry didn't stand a chance. An enticing title masks a second rate horror film that will certainly disappoint.
ALIEN 2 - No, not ALIENS but a forgettable spelunker. Another lame Italian wannabe best left in a cave.
GRAND SLAM - Enjoyable heist flick but by no means a classic. It would merit another viewing when it finally hit DVD a few years later.
CREATURE - I don't remember much about this (i'm writing a good five years after my first and only viewing). I probably enjoyed the appearance of Klaus Kinski and based on the reviews on the IMDb, this may have been one of the films that contributed to the coining of the phrase "pulling a Kinski" that refers to a top-billed actor who only shows up in the movie for a few minutes.
CLOCKWORK TERROR - I have a few vague memories of this film (there's a dune buggy, right?). I believe I was less than impressed overall.
CRAZY BABY - This was a fun German movie about a would-be rock star, circa mid-sixties. The reason it ended up on our list was probably that it features the great Joachim Fuchsberger as the main chick's dad.
HOUSE OF THE DAMNED - We saw this? I guess it didn't leave that much of an impression!
DJANGO - A great film, of course. But I recall that this was the first DVD release and the only choice was to watch the English dub that didn't even have Franco Nero's real voice. A real shame that was rectified years later with another DVD release.
ULZANA'S RAID - Good, violent Burt Lancaster western in the Peckinpah tradition that has a downbeat ending. A good bet for western fans, especially for those who like that special time in the early 70's when all westerns tried to outdo each other in the violence department.
THE DEVIL'S WEDDING NIGHT - Rosalba Neri is worthy of a shrine
in Atrocityville. Her blood-covered nude body is a priceless addition to the
language of cinema. She will live forever. And the movie was fun too. I think
Mark Damon got the award for most mascara.
THE BLOOD SPATTERED BRIDE - This film gets better every time I see it. This was an early viewing and it has been repeated in the festival since. A Spanish classic of twisted cinema. Well worth your time.
TRACK OF THE VAMPIRE and PORTRAIT IN TERROR - We paired these because they are different edits of the same film, so it was fun to compare the two. PORTRAIT is a much better film that TRACK, in case you wanted to know. This was one of the films Roger Corman bought in Europe and gave to his underlings to add scenes and basically make a movie that Americans of the time would watch. One is successful and one is not.
MEDUSA - Oh my god, this was funny. Well, maybe not the whole
film but there's a scene of a drunken George Hamilton crashing his sister's
wedding and you'd swear he was doing Elvis. Hilarious. The film also features
Cam "The Man" Mitchell and the ever-enticing Luciana Paluzzi and I believe it's
kind of a twisty mystery but I don't remember much.
THE STRANGE VICE OF MRS. WARDH - A classic Italian giallo with the famous pair of Edwige Fenech and George Hilton. Well worth seeking out, this viewing was probably not on DVD but it is now available in that format. Ivan Rassimov is in this too and it features shall we say, adult relationships and a twisty plot.
FEAR CITY - Okay Abel Ferrara gritty crime thriller. What I
remember most are the topless scenes by Melanie Griffith and Rae Dawn Chong. It
was worth it for that but the rest was forgettable.
MS. 45 - Earlier and better Ferrara. Sadistic and brutal, unbelievably so. A classic of New york independent cinema that I don't need to watch again.
DEATH SMILES ON A MURDERER - Incomprehensible Joe D'Amato mess with the lovely Ewa Aulin. Won the award for most confusing film, I think. I may watch it again some day.
VIOLENT ROME – This is the shit: a classic Maurizio Merli cop
thriller with plenty of violence, car chases and groovy tunes. A must see.
OPERATION HURRICANE: FRIDAY NOON – The first Jerry Cotton film in the series of eight. A skinny-tie slice of Eurojazz pie.
HAIL MAFIA – Terrific little b&w crime/road movie with Eddie Constantine, Henry Silva, Jack Klugman, and a great score. Another must see.
THE OUTSIDE MAN – oddball (but likeable) French crime film that takes place in LA. Features the great Jean-Louis Trintignant, Ann-Margaret, and some atrocious 70’s décor.
ACT OF AGGRESSION – Not quite so likeable French revenge movie with Trintignant and Catherine Deneuve’s nipple.
NAKED MASSACRE – Pointless slaughter award winner. Socially redeeming value nil.
SIN IN THE SUBURBS – Not too naughty but compelling mise-en-scene in this classic Joe Sarno drama about suburban sexual politics.
DEADLOCK – Serious squalor in this Mario Adorf heist/western shot in the middle of a desert hellhole.
ISLAND OF LOST GIRLS – Oh those boyz Tony Kendall and Brad Harris. The next-to-last Kommissar X film in the series is pretty sleazy and gets better with every drink.
HO! THE CRIMINAL FACE – Jean-Paul Belmondo crime flick that didn’t do much for me.
SLAUGHTER HOTEL – A sleaze landmark with the incomparable (and quite naked) Margaret Lee and Rosalba Neri. This was a version on tape but a DVD has since come out which merited another Atrocity viewing and another affirmation of its classic status.
IT TAKES A THIEF – British Jayne Manfield movie I don’t remember much about.
QUATERMASS 2 – Classic British Brian Donlevy sci-fi. This baby moves fast and is rather dark for the time.
GARGOYLES – A Cornel Wilde double feature! This TV movie is still good fun and has some cool creature effects.
THE BIG COMBO – One of the best film noir's; sad, sexy, and sadistic. Photographed by the great John Alton. A real pleasure every time.
LADY FRANKENSTEIN – Rosalba Neri makes another AFF appearance. Rosy looks terrific as she makes a monster to satisfy her female urges.
HANDS OF THE RIPPER – Okay Hammer stuff. Worth seeing once I guess.
PRIMAL IMPULSE – A haunting film that rears its head every few
years and captivates the viewer. Florinda Bolkan is great as the amnesiac who
visits a very cool island to regain her memory.
CHILDHOOD FRIEND – A Pupi Avati movie I don’t remember offhand.
DEATH IN HAITI – Curious giallo with Anthony Steffen and Anita Strindberg sweating it out in Haiti. This is one I’ve been meaning to revisit.
VIOLENT PROTECTION – Another classic, never-be-beat Maurizio
Merli cop thriller.
SCOTLAND YARD VS. DR. MABUSE – One of the weaker entries in the German Mabuse series that ran for six films. That being said it’s still better than most of the crap out there.
DEAD EYES OF LONDON – One of the best German Edgar Wallace entries in the looong running series that ran from the late fifties through to the early seventies. Featuring Atrocity fave Joachim Fuchsberger.
MOVING TARGET – Impressive spy/crime hybrid from Sergio Corbucci with a violent style that foreshadows the cop thrillers of the 70’s. Recommended.
DETOUR – Edgar Ulmer’s amazing film noir that is filed down to the absolute minimum of cinematic resources but retains a maximum of bad fucking luck.
ARMAGEDDON – French nonsense that refuses to arouse interest despite the presence of Alain Delon.
CONFESSIONS OF A POLICE CAPTAIN – Very good Franco Nero/Martin
Balsam crime thriller that is hampered by not using Franco’s real voice for the
BIG GUNS – Awesome Alain Delon revenge flick. Grade A French crime.
THE CYNIC, THE RAT, AND THE FIST – Maurizio Merli trifecta! Another superb crime thriller from the golden age of the Italian cop movie.
THE REBEL – Sadly, this, and the film that follows, were the
sagging end of the Italian cop thriller with fewer and fewer moments of
FROM CORLEONE TO BROOKLYN – see above.
CURSE OF THE FLY – This film, not bad on its own, is famous in Atrocityland for the absolutely drunken performance of Brian Donlevy. It inspired an award for most intoxicated actor in a film.
DRACULA, PRINCE OF DARKNESS – The last good vampire film from Hammer.
DIARY OF AN EROTIC MURDERESS – A film starring Marisa Mell that I should revisit someday because it seems like it’s been too easy to dismiss as a timewaster.
DEMON WITCH CHILD – Ridiculous Spanish Exorcist rip-off from the creator of the Blind Dead films, Amando de Ossorio. We laughed hard.
THE KILLER RESERVED NINE SEATS – Grade B giallo that’s okay enough to watch once but it ain’t a keeper.
MANHUNT – Very good Italian revenge flick with Mario Adorf who can bust a windshield with his head.
FRIGHTMARE – Overrated cannibal film from Peter Walker. Whatever, Pete.
SHOCK – Mario Bava’s last theatrical release shows the maestro’s best work lay behind him. Long live Bava!
THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN – Fun snow beast stuff from Hammer. Nice b&w cinematography but too few chills to make it a classic.
CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD – Full on Fulci nonsense has some good set pieces at least.
GHOSTWATCH – The notorious film that wound up the first festival. It’s a piece of shit really.
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