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| | |-+  Michael York Giallo: Phantom of Death (1988)
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Author Topic: Michael York Giallo: Phantom of Death (1988)  (Read 34 times)
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« on: November 05, 2017, 04:53:42 PM »


Seen on DVD. 7

** This review may contain spoilers ***

After deciding that I would soon watch Ruggero Deodato's 1976 Italian Crime epic Live Like a Cop,Die Like a Man for the first time soon,I started checking for Horror flicks to view in the run-up to Halloween. Looking at the films from DVD company Shameless I had left to view,I spotted a Giallo by Deodato,which led to me playing the music of the Phantom.

The plot:

Whilst one of the most successful classical composers around, Robert Dominici has to keep secret from his fans,co-workers and girlfriend Helene Martell that he has an illness which makes him rapidly age. On the same day his doctor says they have given up finding a cure,Dominici is told by Martell that she is pregnant. Horrified about there being no cure,and fearing that his child will have the same illness as him,Dominici begins writing a murderous composition.

View on the film:

For what was then the second film they had put out,Shameless give the title a passable transfer,with the soundtrack being clear,but the picture having a noticeable amount of grain. Largely staying away from the genre until the third,and final wave of Giallo (with this,the Slasher hybrid Body Count,and the classy Gialli The Washing Machine) director Ruggero Deodato (with family member Giovanna designing the costumes) and cinematographer Giorgio Di Battista slant the Giallo to the Erotic Thriller side,with blue low-lighting covering Dominci's face,and slick camera moves gliding on his high- life. Backed by a smooth synch score from Pino Donaggio and surprisingly good practical effects, Deodato makes the murder set-pieces short and sharp,with the stylised splashing of Gialli red heightening the madness of Dominci.

Revealing the killer to be Dominci early on,the screenplay by Gianfranco Clerici/Vincenzo Mannino & Gigliola Battaglini focuses on the rapidly ageing romance between Dominci and Martell in rather mature characterisation, which whilst giving the movie a dramatic weight,does drain any feeling of urgency from the murder case being solved. Whilst Deodato says she was only included because the producer wanted her, Edwige Fenech (whose voice for the first time is not dubbed) gives an alluring performance as Martell,who is pulled by Fenech to her wits end at the change of her lover,and Michael York gives Dominci a strong dose of gravitas,in the writing of his final composition.

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