The Astron 6 boys may have been breaking new ground with their giallo spoof The Editor (blog here), but back in 1996, the giallo disaster Fatal Frames was made. It may have been unwatchable then, but now, despite needing some serious trimming from its two-hour plus run time, it’s brilliantly entertaining. The whole film is also drenched in giallo blue and red light. Bonus!
First off, we have cutie Rick Gianisi (of 80s classics like Bad Girls Dormitory, Mutant Hunt, and The Occultist) looking like some sort of doubly busted Gerardo (aka: Rico Suave).
He’s a director asked by his buddy (who looks like a doubly busted Michael Bolton) to make a video for a big time Italian pop star. Right off, you should expect endless performance clips of her making her song into a video, complete with hunky shirtless guys.
Meanwhile, Rico…I mean…Rick Gianisi begins witnessing gruesome murders at various gothic, ancient Italian locales (why the hell do they always end up in these obscure places in giallos?). Each time, some chick in white is hacked with a machete by a masked figure in black, Rick can’t get around one fence or another in time to save her, and after he brings the cops, there’s no trace of body or blood.
As this mystery drags out for two hours, we’re treated to occasional, spot-on gory Italian horror kills, smoke machines, dramatic organ music, an asshole record executive bashing Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” video, a witch’s castle inhabited by the witch from Suspiria…
…Angus Scrimm pretty much playing the Tall Man during a brief cameo in a cemetery, and Linnea Quigley as a lesbian who might have some knowledge of who’s trying to frame Rick. Sweetening the pot is a sex scene in which the singer rides Rick, keeping her black thong on the entire time. Maybe it was…a crotchless thong?
Still of Donald Pleasence from…well, it could be any horror movie he was in.
But most importantly, there’s Donald Pleasence in his final film role. Donald plays a doctor…with a cane…who knows a thing or two about psycho killers. Seriously, he must have limped over to the set straight from the Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers shoot. In fact, at one point, he’s having a conversation on the phone and John Carpenter’s original Halloween theme begins playing. I’m not kidding. Great final homage to the man on film I guess, but the kick in the face? His dialogue is dubbed by someone trying his best to do a Donald Pleasence impression. Sigh.