Camille Keaton

solange

By Nick Durham

Italian horror and giallos…these are two of my favorite things ever. So why the fuck did it take me this long to discover and watch this? What Have You Done to Solange? is a 1972 giallo that features all the hallmarks of the genre, yet somehow manages to have a bit of class about it (well, a small bit) that a majority of these films certainly do not. Sleaze and giallos go hand in hand, yet this film is something else entirely, and now thanks to Arrow Films, a whole new generation of viewers can discover it.

What Have You Done to Solange? revolves around an Italian teacher named Enrico (Fabio Testi) whom is trying to get in the pants of one of his students. After a nasty murder occurs literally a few yards away from them, things begin to unravel for everyone involved. Enrico becomes a suspect, his affair gets exposed to his wife (Karin Baal), and the bodies just keep piling up with no end in sight. What’s their connection? And just who the hell is Solange (Camille Keaton from the original I Spit on Your Grave in her debut role) and what does she have to do with everything?

Like I said earlier, What Have You Done to Solange? features a lot of the hallmarks of the giallo genre: eroticism, rampant nudity, vile murders, a confused detective, and a black-gloved killer. One thing that is notable about the film though is its craftsmanship. The camerawork and cinematography are wonderful to say the least. This shouldn’t be surprising, considering it is directed by Massimo Dallamano, who served as the cinematographer for some classic Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns. Speaking of spaghetti westerns, legendary composer Ennio Morricone provides the lush score here as well. Nearly everything about this film is wonderful. If there’s any flaws, it’s that its conclusion is a little too anticlimactic.

This Blu-ray release from Arrow Films is a wonderful sight to behold. We get a new 2K restoration of the film, as well as a commentary track from critics Alan Jones and Kim Newman. There’s interviews with Testi and Baal, as well as a visual essay that explores the themes of the film as well the sort of official, sort of unofficial sequels that would follow in its wake.

All in all, What Have You Done to Solange? is a masterwork of the giallo genre to say it lightly. This film is one of the landmarks of the genre, at least to me, and it deserves your time and attention. If you’ve never seen it and you dig giallos in the least, do yourself a favor and pick up this Blu-ray from Arrow Films. You’ll be damn glad that you did.

Rating: 4.5/5

BLU-RAY REVIEW: What Have You Done to Solange? (1972)

BLU-RAY REVIEW: What Have You Done to Solange? (1972)

solange

By Nick Durham

Italian horror and giallos...these are two of my favorite things ever. So why the fuck did it take me this long to discover and watch this? What Have You Done to Solange? is a 1972 giallo that features all the hallmarks of the genre, yet somehow manages to have a bit of class about it (well, a small bit) that a majority of these films certainly do not. Sleaze and giallos go hand in hand, yet this film is something else entirely, and now thanks to Arrow Films, a whole new generation of viewers can discover it.

What Have You Done to Solange? revolves around an Italian teacher named Enrico (Fabio Testi) whom is trying to get in the pants of one of his students. After a nasty murder occurs literally a few yards away from them, things begin to unravel for everyone involved. Enrico becomes a suspect, his affair gets exposed to his wife (Karin Baal), and the bodies just keep piling up with no end in sight. What's their connection? And just who the hell is Solange (Camille Keaton from the original I Spit on Your Grave in her debut role) and what does she have to do with everything?

Like I said earlier, What Have You Done to Solange? features a lot of the hallmarks of the giallo genre: eroticism, rampant nudity, vile murders, a confused detective, and a black-gloved killer. One thing that is notable about the film though is its craftsmanship. The camerawork and cinematography are wonderful to say the least. This shouldn't be surprising, considering it is directed by Massimo Dallamano, who served as the cinematographer for some classic Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns. Speaking of spaghetti westerns, legendary composer Ennio Morricone provides the lush score here as well. Nearly everything about this film is wonderful. If there's any flaws, it's that its conclusion is a little too anticlimactic.

This Blu-ray release from Arrow Films is a wonderful sight to behold. We get a new 2K restoration of the film, as well as a commentary track from critics Alan Jones and Kim Newman. There's interviews with Testi and Baal, as well as a visual essay that explores the themes of the film as well the sort of official, sort of unofficial sequels that would follow in its wake.

All in all, What Have You Done to Solange? is a masterwork of the giallo genre to say it lightly. This film is one of the landmarks of the genre, at least to me, and it deserves your time and attention. If you've never seen it and you dig giallos in the least, do yourself a favor and pick up this Blu-ray from Arrow Films. You'll be damn glad that you did.

Rating: 4.5/5

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
COMING SOON: I Spit on Your Grave 3 (2015)

COMING SOON: I Spit on Your Grave 3 (2015)

I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE 3:
VENGEANCE IS MINE

By Amy Lynes

Just in time for Halloween, I Spit On Your Grave 3: Vengeance is Mine will hit limited theaters on October 9th, with a Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD release to follow on October 20, 2015!

< I-spit-on-your-grave-3

Many people were surprised when, back in 2010, a remake of the 1978 cult classic I Spit On Your Grave was released. Almost instantly, people were bitching and moaning about it, with some flatly refusing to watch it.

Now, I am not usually one for remakes but after seeing it, I think all the negativity it got was extremely misguided. I'll probably get some hate for this, but I think I actually prefer the remake. Don't get me wrong, Camille Keaton is amazing in the film, but it is a slow burn, a bit too slow for my tastes. The 2010 version moves at a much faster pace, and the revenge scenes were much more gratifying to me, not to mention Sarah Butler did a fantastic job as Jennifer Hills. I had initially thought there was no way she would pull it off and make it believable, but she did just that. She was truly spectacular in the role.

In 2013, the remake spawned a sequel I Spit On Your Grave 2, which focused on an entirely new character in a whole new setting. Sadly, it was nowhere near as good as the 2010 remake. The revenge scenes were slightly lackluster and left me wanting something a little more. It did have its moments, though - I found the sequel much harder to watch during the rape scene than the 1978 and 2010 versions combined. It was extremely unsettling.

Now we hear that a third installment to the franchise has been completed, and the story will once again focus on Jennifer Hills. What little info on the synopsis I was able to find goes something like this: Jennifer now works for a crisis hotline (or possibly a support group), and it just so happens a vigilante type serial killer is using the hotline (support group) to target and victimize rapists. Jennifer's tragic past, of course, makes her a prime suspect to the detectives on the case.

Having enjoyed the 2010 version as much as I did, I was very happy to learn that Sarah Butler will reprise her role as Jennifer Hills in I Spit On Your Grave 3: Vengeance is Mine. The film also stars Gabriel Hogan (Television series Heartland), Doug McKeon (On Golden Pond and Mischief), Karen Strassman (The Ruins), and Jennifer Landon (Cinemax's series Banshee) and is directed by R.D. Braunstein (100 Degrees Below Zero).

I don't know about anyone else, but I enjoy these films and I am really looking forward to the latest addition to the franchise. October can't get here fast enough!

Posted by Alan Smithee in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
COMING SOON: I Spit on Your Grave 3 (2015)

COMING SOON: I Spit on Your Grave 3 (2015)

I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE 3:
VENGEANCE IS MINE

By Amy Lynes

Just in time for Halloween, I Spit On Your Grave 3: Vengeance is Mine will hit limited theaters on October 9th, with a Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD release to follow on October 20, 2015!
I-spit-on-your-grave-3

Many people were surprised when, back in 2010, a remake of the 1978 cult classic was released. Almost instantly, people were bitching and moaning about it, with some flatly refusing to watch it.

Now, I am not usually one for remakes but after seeing it, I think all the negativity it got was extremely misguided. I'll probably get some hate for this, but I think I actually prefer the remake. Don't get me wrong, Camille Keaton is amazing in the film, but it is a slow burn, a bit too slow for my tastes. The 2010 version moves at a much faster pace, and the revenge scenes were much more gratifying to me, not to mention Sarah Butler did a fantastic job as Jennifer Hills. I had initially thought there was no way she would pull it off and make it believable, but she did just that. She was truly spectacular in the role.

In 2013, the remake spawned a sequel I Spit On Your Grave 2, which focused on an entirely new character in a whole new setting. Sadly, it was nowhere near as good as the 2010 remake. The revenge scenes were slightly lackluster and left me wanting something a little more. It did have its moments, though - I found the sequel much harder to watch during the rape scene than the 1978 and 2010 versions combined. It was extremely unsettling.

Now we hear that a third installment to the franchise has been completed, and the story will once again focus on Jennifer Hills. What little info on the synopsis I was able to find goes something like this: Jennifer now works for a crisis hotline (or possibly a support group), and it just so happens a vigilante type serial killer is using the hotline (support group) to target and victimize rapists. Jennifer's tragic past, of course, makes her a prime suspect to the detectives on the case.

Having enjoyed the 2010 version as much as I did, I was very happy to learn that Sarah Butler will reprise her role as Jennifer Hills in I Spit On Your Grave 3: Vengeance is Mine. The film also stars Gabriel Hogan (Television series Heartland), Doug McKeon (On Golden Pond and Mischief), Karen Strassman (The Ruins), and Jennifer Landon (Cinemax's series Banshee) and is directed by R.D. Braunstein (100 Degrees Below Zero).

I don't know about anyone else, but I enjoy these films and I am really looking forward to the latest addition to the franchise. October can't get here fast enough!

Posted by Alan Smithee in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments