Killing in Style - an extremely thoughtful and sharp site meditating on the appeal and context of the Giallo, one of our favorite genres. Here's a taste:
Institutions falling apart - an underlying topic of Italian genre cinema, especially in Giallo and Poliziesco.
In Giallo, the police is either non-existent, like in Martino/Gastaldi's movies (The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh, Case of the Scorpion Tail, Your vice is a locked room...), or ridiculously incompetent, like in the caricatural Strip Nude for Your Killer (A. Bianchi - 1975), or even evil and corrupted, like in Aldo Lado's Short Night of the Glass Dolls (1971).
In the best case scenario, it is so inefficient that it needs an outsider's help to do most of the job (like in Dario Argento's animal trilogy).
The figure of the stranger who happens to take the biggest part in the plot's resolution - the "hero by accident", which is already present in the very first giallo La Ragazza che sapeva troppo by Mario Bava - is so recurring that it's like an acknowledgement of a society which has completely lost faith in itself:
Good things can only come from outside of a deeply corrupted community.
Poptique - Our friend and ally Matt Richardson has a palpable love and respect for some of the most gloriously ridiculous of world pop culture. And he writes about it with wit and style.
Caught the end of a documentary concerning my favourite Indian actor Shammi Kapoor on TV last night - inspiring me to briefly wax lyrical about the guy unofficially known as the Bollywood Elvis.
Shammi is part of Indian Cinema's Royal Family - the son of Prithviraj Kapoor, and brother of Raj and Shashi Kapoor. At the height of the swinging 60s he took on the mantle of Bollywood's premiere rebel movie star - a combination of James Dean and Elvis Presley mixed in with some Cary Grant schmooze. Most of his leading man career was spent romancing such Bollywood Beauties as Padmini, Helen, and Asha Parekh, although I'm not 100% certain who the girl marvelling at Shammi's Mop Top is in this clip. You heard Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammad Rafi on playback duty.
The Janwar (or Beast) of the title is played by Shammi's real-life father, who no doubt disapproves of his son's wayward lifestyle and flouting of Apple Corps. copyright.
Janwar is a new one on me, so I'm indebted to Raymondo for the introducion. It only seems to be available on VCD from UltraIndia - worth mentioning they've a nasty habit of sticking nasty great copyright warnings all over the musical numbers. I can appreciate why they're doing it, but it's a complete arse for law abiding citizens like you and me.
I'm in a Jess Franco State of Mind - A recent fave. Robert Monell and his cohorts map the endless and oft confusing terrain surrounding this most visionary and yet disreputable of Euro-cult autuers. From a fascinating entry on some Frano films that aren't actually Franco films, take heed:
THE HOUSE OF THE LOST DOLLS (1974): Pierre Chevalier actually "directed" this Eurocine composite under the name Peter Knight. This used to be listed by VSOM as a "Jess Franco" film in their old 1990s era catalogues. I fell for it and purchased one to discover footage from a 1967 Italian spy film featuring Jack Taylor AGENTE SIGMA 3: MISSIONE GOLDWATHER mixed in with footage from a French film about white slavers operating in Paris and Marsielles, presumably a Chevalier directed effort, title as yet unknown. BOTH of these feature Sylvia Solar as a femme fatale! So, it all gets very confusing. Sandra Julien also appears as an undercover agent. There also appears to be footage from a third unknown film in here of agents raiding a cargo ship. It all adds up to a supersleazefest with music by Daniel J. White and uncredited cues from Bruno Nicolai's great score for EUGENIE DE SADE (1970). Footage from this composite was later mixed with scenes from an actual JF film, OPALO DE FUEGEO (1978) and was rereleased with newly shot footage by "John O'Hara" as OASE DER GEFANGENEN FRAUEN, at least that's the title of the German language version which was released on DVD a few years ago by KULT DVD. The French version is L'OASIS DES FILLES PERDUES. The new footage features Francoise Blanchard, probably best know as the title character in Rollin's LA MORTE VIVANTE (1982).
I'm sure they're are more out there, this is just a taste. Did you enjoy these? Then why not start your own?