Beatrice Cenci (The Conspiracy of Torture,1969)

US Midnight Choir DVD edition



Direction: Lucio Fulci 1969 and it's said that it was his own favourite film among the many films he directed.

It's a Historical Drama but also so intensely disturbing and dark that it could be considered a Horror Crime Drama about the beautiful Beatrice
Cenci and maybe this really is the best film i've ever seen of Master Lucio Fulci.


Fulci brings us to the late 16th century Italy (i think, and Rome ?) and everything seems to vibrate or pulse from Evil, the people look scruffy
and dirty and ugly, and they seem to like being .... Evil. Surely Ken Russell watched this historical horror drama before making The Devils ?
The film starts with a scaffold (schavott på svenska) being built for the much awaited festivity, the execution of Beatrice Cenci (Adrienne La
Russa), her brother Jacomo and her stepmother Lucrezia, convicted of the murder of Beatrice's father Francesco (George Wilson, the drunken
bum in "A Clockwork Orange"). A man widely known for his cruelty and lustful ways, he had a man being ripped apart by dogs and he lusted
after the body of his daughter.

The film is told in flashbacks and there a lot cruelty on display as torture. Tomas Milian plays the farmhand Olimpio has a relation with Beatrice
and he's helping her in planning the murder. This film is prime Feel Bad and very recommended if you like being told dark tales.
The film in anamorphic widescreen and with english mono audio and with a German original trailer as extra.

Fulci made a lot of truly great films, and in assortment of cinematic genres, and even in the most brutal of his films as "The New York Ripper"
or "The House by the Cemetary" he still manages to infuse a lot of atmosphere and a fascinating Pulse to them.
Fulci was a Master and I have many personal favourites among his films, as this film "Beatrice Cenci", "Don't Torture a Duckling", "A Lizard
in a Woman's Skin", "The Beyond" or that odd spaghetti western film of his


La Frusta e il Corpo / The Whip and the Body (Incubo / What / Night is the Phantom / The Body and the Whip, 1963)

US Midnight Choir DVD edition

 

Directed by Mario Bava using the alias of John M. Old and surely on of the best Mario Bava films.

An atmospherical Sado-Masochistic gothic horror giallo (if that is possible) with the hypnotizing Israeli actress and singer Daliah Lavi -
R.I.P. Daliah Lavi, she died 74 years old May 3rd 2017 and she didn't only look beautiful and could sing well, she was also an (maybe due
to her beauty) underrated actress. Lavi was absolutely fantastic and haunting in the today forgotten horror drama the 1963 masterpiece
Il Demonio directed by Brunello Rondi (and more about this film on my Cult & Classics film page 1).

This great Bava classic was first released on DVD in the too dark VCI edition (but it had an audio commentary from the Mario Bava (and
Jess Franco expert Tim Lucas) and now in this better edition. Yes, when writing this this film probably can be bought in Bluray editions.

The Black Sheep of the family, Kurt Meliff (a surprisingly good Christopher Lee in one of his absolutely best performances, too wooden
for my taste often otherwise) is returning home to his father (Dean Ardow AKA Gustavo de Nardo), his brother (Tony Kendall AKA Luciano
Stella) and his beautiful wife Nevanka (Daliah Lavi), his cousin Katja, and also the servants Georgia (Harriet White) and that guy with the
Peter Lorre look, what's his name ? Nevanka is married to the Tony Kendall guy but is also the lover to both the old father and to Kurt,
who likes to whip her with a horsewhip (in probably pretty strong scenes for being made in 1963) ?

Then the killings starts and a sexual relation from the other side of the Grave starts, a recurring theme for Bava ("Black Sunday" and "Lisa
and the Devil". Daliah Lavi is great and almost as good as her performance in the 1963 "Il Demonio" (where she did the legendary crabwalk
long before William Friedkin used it for Linda Blair in "The Exorcist" in a scene that was cut, i think, for the regular release.
The film presented in anamorphic widescreen with mono english audio

 

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