It was time to enjoy some more Fulci on day four with a screening of his 1977 giallo, Sette note in nero (7 Notes in Black, AKA. The Psychic). The film is mainly notable for its breathtakingly haunting score which Quentin Tarantino paid homage to in his 2003 blockbuster Kill Bill.
Sette note in nero is a dark thriller about a woman with psychic abilities who discovers a skeleton hidden behind the walls in her husband’s home. With that frightening revelation, she teams up with a psychiatrist to investigate the crime which leads to an even darker fate beyond imagination. Sette note in nero is a beautifully shot and cleverly crafted giallo that’s layered in mystery until the jaw dropping end. Hands down, it features one of Fabio Frizzi’s best compositions which guarantees goosebumps. The film showcases Fucli’s versatility as a director, his films go from a mix of campy Italian splatter to genuinely unnerving, nasty pieces to compelling thrillers. Over the years and thanks to Abertoir I have grown a stronger appreciation for his work.
Next up was something you wouldn’t get at any other festival. Last year’s winning film was Deadman Inferno (2015) a Japanese, zombie horror comedy about a group of unlikely allies including members of the yakuza who band together when faced with the impending apocalypse. Director Hiroshi Shinagawa has since produced a 4-part prequel introducing the origins of the characters before the crazy events of the 2015 feature. Abertoir proudly presented the international premiere of the first part, Deadman Inferno: Tokyo Yakuza Apocalypse. This series was only available for viewing in Japan and other than its home country there is literally nowhere else in the world that this can be watched which is absolutely incredible. The festival even produced their own English subtitles in order to screen the episode, which shows the dedication Abertoir has to discovering different and obscure finds and making their events a unique experience for the attendees. As expected Deadman Inferno was a crowd pleaser and hugely entertaining.
In 2014, Abertoir welcomed Luigi Cozzi (AKA. Lewis Coates), a well-known Italian genre director who has created a number of films from Horror to Sci-Fi to Fantasy. Unknowingly, Cozzi became caught up in the Video Nasties panic when his low-budget version of Alien, Contamination (1980) found itself banned! Noted for working with Dario Argento then going on to produce his own movies, Cozzi returned to the festival this year which screened documentary Fantasticozzi focusing on his movie making career. Following that was the UK Premiere of his first feature film in 27 years, Blood on Melies’ Moon, which featured appearances from Dario Argento and Lamberto Bava.
Finishing off day four for me was re-watching what has to be my favourite genre film of the year. When talking about The Void and The Autopsy of Jane Doe in my previous articles the subject of over-hyped festival films was discussed in detail and subsequently them not meeting with high expectations. Raw however is probably the biggest victim of 2016’s horror hysteria. By now, genre fans will be completely aware of this film causing cinema goers to faint and ambulances to be called during the Toronto International Film Festival and all that jazz!
It is one hundred per cent advisable to ignore all that spiel surrounding it an appreciate this film for what it is; a phenomenal piece of cinema. Raw is a twisted coming of age story about two sisters, that is often compared to Ginger Snaps but without the werewolves! Set in a veterinary school, strict vegetarian Justine (played by the superb Garance Marillier) is lured into a world of rebellion and cannibalism when she gets a taste of raw meat for the first time. It’s an expertly written script, includes extraordinary twists and turns and while there are uncomfortable moments the gore is tastefully shot and is effective enough without being overly gratuitous.
There is also an incredibly brilliant dirty rap song that adds to the idea of Justine rebelling against her parents’ views and being led astray by her street-wise older sister Alexia (the equally excellent Ella Rumpf). Raw gets under the skin in a brilliant sort of way, I can’t wait for its 2017 release so I can taste fresh meat all over again! (FYI-I’m vegetarian by the way!). Check out my full review of Raw here: https://mshayleyr1989.wordpress.com/2016/11/02/celluloid-screams-2016-raw-review/
Up Next: Part Five where events went Beyond!