Buio Omega (aka Beyond the Darkness)


Also known as Blue Holocaust and Buried Alive (which is the name I first saw it under, when I was a wee teenager), this mean little slice of Eurosleaze comes to us courtesy of Joe D’Amato, one of the more talented masters of Eurosleaze.

The story is about a young taxidermist named Frank who is madly in love with his ailing wife (played by the waifish Cinzia Monreale, who went on to be in The Beyond, The Stendhal Syndrome, and is still making movies to this day) , who is a victim of a Voodoo doll attack carried out by their jealous housekeeper Iris (Franca Stoppi, who went on to be in several nunsploitation movies).  Iris wants to be the woman of the (rather large, expensive) house which Frank inherited from his parents.  Unfortunately for her, the quite unbalanced Frank is not the type to let things go, including his deceased wife, who he digs up and taxidermies, so he can be with her forever.
Frank and Iris have quite an unhealthy relationship to say the least, however she is happy to clean up after him such as when a hitchhiker sees him embalming his wife (and eating her heart), insuring he has to kill her (after ripping all of her fingernails off).  Iris helps give her an acid bath (after dismembering her), and later helps Frank with another girl who he invites over to have sex with while fondling his dead wife in the bed beside them.  Eventually Iris grows tired of Frank’s obsession, and that’s when things go downhill for their relationship, culmination in a bloody, eye gouging climax before the cheap, illogical ending.
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This movie is the very definition of sleazy Eurotrash gore flick.  There are several full frontal nude scenes, tons of blood and guts (I heard that D’Amato actually got ahold of a real corpse to chop up), bad dubbing (and dialogue- in one part, when Frank is running through the hospital to see his dying wife, he runs into an elderly man who shouts at him “Hey!  Who taught you how to drive?!”), and nonsensical scenes.  It also contains some pretty well done atmospheric cinematography, including some nice shadow work and camera angles (proving that D’Amato is not quite the hack a lot of people accuse him of being, at least not when it came to cinematography), lots of realistic looking gory effects, and an awesome soundtrack by the one and only GOBLIN (which the English Language version calls ‘The Goblins’ in the opening credits).  The pace is a little slow at first, but before long it picks up and you don’t go too long without some flesh or gore.
However, at heart this movie is a love story, about a man who loves his wife so much he’ll do anything to be with her forever, and the woman who’ll do anything to marry him.  How romantic- it should be a Valentine’s Day movie tradition.

European Trash Cinema Vol. 2 #1

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European Trash Cinema was a pretty long running ‘zine put out by my neighbor Craig Ledbetter which focused on sleazy trashy action, horror, and erotica films (as well as other independent, low budget type films- westerns and even dramas and romances) from Europe (NO American films allowed).
It started off as a few photocopied pages, but by the time this issue came out, it was digest sized and professionally printed (it would later come out as comic book sized and in color).
It differed from other underground ‘zines in that it featured a lot of different reviewers and writers (instead of one or two people doing it all- this issue even included a review by Steve Bissette), and was mostly just reviews at this point (plus they’d feature an underground European director’s discography each issue- remember that at this time, there was no internet or internet movie database- we counted on resources like this to inform us on hard to find foreign directors and movies (lots of which were released under different names and pseudonyms) ), but they started doing bigger features and interviews later.

This issue was very Joe D’Amato (who editor Ledbetter calls a “hack”) centric (including several Emanuelle reviews and a filmography).

I planned on putting this up last week for a remembrance of Jess Franco’s death (yes I know Jess wasn’t featured in this issue, but he was covered in several issues of ETC, and is the exact example of the type of filmmaker they focused on), but for varuous reasons didn’t, so here it is now:

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