On LET THE CORPSES TAN

Stylish, sun-soaked Italian-inspired thriller is an anti-genre film

Let the Corpses Tan, the most recent – as of this writing – style overload immersion into Eurotrash fetish excess from husband and wife filmmaker team Bruno Forzani and Helene Cattet is, aesthetically, more of the same sort of stuff they’ve been supplying fans for almost a decade. If you’ve seen their breakthrough film Amer and its follow-up The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears, you know what we mean. Taking the motifs and moments and rhythms and iconography from European genre films of the 1970s and literally remixing them with new narratives and subtext, Cattet and Forzani are at this point untouchable. It’s not fair to lump them in with other filmmakers who mine and mimic the same period – people like Quentin Tarantino or Rob Zombie – because this duo are artists doing something different, something far more abstract, more elemental and organic and avant garde. Their films are admirably dedicated to being so focused on valuing style over story that they often become a challenge to stick with, especially for the average viewer simply seeking a bit of escapism. But like their first films, if you do stick with Let the Corpses Tan, you probably won’t ever forget it.

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On ALICE SWEET ALICE

Discussing Alfred Sole’s 1976 American giallo masterpiece

I’ve been writing about and discussing co-writer/director Alfred Sole’s dark, effectively upsetting 1976 psychodrama Alice Sweet Alice for some time now. I first learned of the film when sifting through an early ’80’s edition of FANGORIA magazine, wherein there was a small, black and white still from the film of what looked like a charred human head.

It looked real. At least to me.

And I needed to know what this film was.

Leonard Maltin’s video book, a once indispensable pre-internet reference tool for young, burgeoning cinephiles, gave it a shrug review and two pithy stars. But then again, the book did the same for Taxi Driver, so that did not deter me.

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On TANGO OF PERVERSION

A look at what might be the crown jewel of “Greeksploitation”

For serious cinephiles, there is nothing more joyous than the act of discovery, to stumble upon something secret, or to be exposed to a previously unknown strain of filmmaking that life has long denied you.

And with the swell of high-quality home video over the past 20 years, it’s been a virtual renaissance for people like us. To unearth pictures we’d only read about and, in many cases had no idea even existed. And then to see them is such lovely shape…

For this writer, so in love with the bizarre, stylish and exotic, discovering the existence of “Greeksploitation” was a virtual revelation. I have long been a huge fan of the less-loved British-Greek horror film starring Peter Cushing and Donald Pleasence called Land of the Minotaur (aka The Devil’s Men). That film (an ambient doom-horror movie with a pulsing Brian Eno score) was directed by Kostas Karagiannis under the name Costa Carayiannis and, though a glance at his credits reveal dozens of pictures, almost all of them were made exclusively for the Greek market. The thought of taking time to track down some of these pictures never even crossed my skull. Life is brief, after all…

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