Wednesday, January 27, 2010


(Gianni Martucci, 1988)

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Fans of Italian Horror beware: just because Fulci's name is attached to a project DOESN'T mean it's a horror classic. Take The Murder Secret or Massacre - absolute crap! Though admittedly they ARE entertaining in a "someone please club me to death with a pillowcase full of rancid Spam, I can't believe I'm watching this" kind of way.
Lara Wendel moves into her husband's ancestral home, and has unknowingly been selected as a sacrifice to the Red Monks, a ghostly order that live in the crypts and wear red velvety robes. Ok, so they ARE a little creepy...but only in the screenshots. Martucci's direction is fairly uneven, as some scenes are shot to great effect, while others (the scenes with the monks) are so cheesy and passe that they make the Batman camera angles from Hell's Gate look positively modern.
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Great composition and lighting here, though they are wasted on a dull story. The special effects, what few there are, are laughable. A couple heads fly (not bad), and Lara is terrorized by a Fulci spider...yes, for REAL! And I'm STILL not sure what was up with that "spooky" violinist in Beetlejuice drag that seemed to be present only for the purpose of...I'm not sure. If you're like me (completely immune to the mind-numbing effects of slow, cheap Italian horror) then check it out; otherwise, STEER CLEAR!

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