Italian Horror films of 2008: Part 1

Here’s the first part of a quick look back at the Italian horror films of 2008. It’s a pretty motley bunch, to be honest, with none of them gaining anything much in the way of international (or even domestic) distribution. But it does no harm keeping up with what’s going on in the way of contemporary genre cinema in Italy.

Anyway, let’s kick off with the best known of the lot of them, Colour from the Dark. This is another film by Ivan Zuccon, the prolific low budget filmmaker who seems to be on some kind of one-man-mission to bring H.P. Lovecraft adaptations to the screen.  The synopsis runs as follows:

Pietro and Lucia live on an isolated farm with Alice, Lucia’s younger sister. Poor farmers, they live tilling the soil. Pietro is a good worker and a strong man who, unlike his three brothers, is not at war because of a deformed knee. Lucia is a beautiful and reserved woman dedicated to her family. Their life is peaceful and good, in spite of the hard work. One day, while drawing water from the well, Pietro and Alice accidentally free something from Earth’s womb. A strange and alien color flashes underwater, at the well’s bottom, then disappears. From that moment on, inexplicable events start happening all around the farm, and by night the surrounding vegetation glitters with a sinister glow. The color soon takes hold of the whole farm, and dwelling inside Pietro and his family’s minds, it brings them into its sick world of pain, blood and death.

Of course, eagle eyed viewers will realize that this is exactly the same story as has already been filmed as The Curse back in 1987 and Die Monster Die in 1965.  Reviews have been variable.  Zuccon has quite a bit of respect among the blognoscenti, but his films are low, low budget (this was filmed for something like €100) and something of an acquired taste.  I’ve only ever seen his 2003 flick The Shunned House, which actually sent me to sleep.

Release information: This played in several festivals around the world, and has recently been released on US DVD in America (it’s available on Amazon.com).

Here’s the trailer:

Il metodo Orfeo is a film by novice director Filippo Sozzi, which was actually shot in 2007.  There’s a synopsis on IMDB:

A writer and his girlfriend, a painter, go to a Mediterranean island to stay in a country house where, two years ago, seven people were murdered. This is not the first time that these artists have stayed somewhere where terrible crimes were committed, in order to write their books. They call it The Orfeo Method, because it recalls the story of the ancient greek musician, who descends into hell to bring back to life his beloved Euridice. What adventures will they face this time, staying in those chilling places and reliving those events?

Unfortunately, there don’t really seem to be any review of this anywhere, apart from the Horror Movie Database which is extremely positive.  It was apparently made for €10,000, and the cast and crew is almost entirely made up of newcomers.

If you are interested in seeing it… well, it doesn’t seem to have had any kind of distribution anywhere, so for the moment you won’t be able to!

Trailer:

Finally, for the moment, an even more obscure one.   La morte di pietra is a low budget affair that got a (very) limited release in May 2008.  Director Roberto Lippolis had previous worked as a writer on the 2005 horror flick DeKronos – il demone di tempo, and went on to make Fly Light, a slightly bigger production, in 2009.  The cast has a few familiar names in it as well: Flavio Bucci, of course, appeared in films like Suspiria and Property is No Longer Theft, while Costantino Vitagliano is a model who’s extremely well known in Italy.

As for the plot, though… your guess is as good as mine.  This one doesn’t seem to have been covered anywhere.

Here’s some footage:

That’s all for now… expect part 2 of this article any day now…

About Matt Blake 889 Articles
The WildEye is a blog dedicated to the wild world of Italian cinema (and, ok, sometimes I digress into discussing films from other countries as well). Peplums, comedies, dramas, spaghetti westerns... they're all covered here.

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