Director: Alessandro Perrella
Writers: Roberto Natale, Alessandro Perrella, Stefano Pomilia
Stars: Ivana Miño, Olga Shuvalova, Giannina Salvetti
Back in the early 1970s, Alessando Perrella was one of those actors who popped up in just about every other cheapjack spaghetti western that was made, usually in unnamed parts, often with little or no dialogue and generally only on screen for a couple of moments before being unceremoniously dispatched. Although his acting career faded in the late 1970s, he has since reinvented himself as a director, working with some success in the adult sphere under the alias Alex Perry. In the last decade, though, he has also toyed with the horror genre, with the 2006 film Hell’s Fever and then, in 2009, Night of the Sinner. To give it its due, Night of the Sinner isn’t at all bad; it actually stands as one of the better recent examples of Italian gothic.
Ivana Miño stars as a young academic who is called in to value the book collection of an elusive Prince (Robert Englund). She finds herself shut up in his gloomy mansion along with his even gloomier housekeeper (Giannina Salvetti) and mute son (Emanuel Colella), where she discovers that a previous young woman employed in the very same job died under mysterious circumstances.
While far from perfect, this works up a decent sense of atmosphere and has a few distinctive touches (the hair iconography, spooky dummies in a downstairs ‘museum’). It has an unfortunate tendency to descend into torture porn, features the standard occassionally stilted acting and lack of characterisation as most contemporary Italian horror films. But Perrella does a decent job, and this is certainly better than most of the horror films that his mentor Joe D’Amato churned out during the course of his long career.