07 February, 2008


Read my upcoming review to find out why director Riccardo Freda was not a happy camper on the set of TRAGICA CEREMONIA EN VILLA ALEXANDER, his unfortunate but not uninteresting 1972 Italian-Spanish coproduction now out on R1 DVD under the title TRAGIC CEREMONY. I've just seen the DARK SKY FILMS disc and it's a good DVD presentation of the great director's worst horror film. It's the rare Italian version, which is very welcome, but that doesn't mean the film itself is any better (hey, it was written by the notorious hack Mario Bianchi!).

I'll try to have an in-depth look at this up within a few days.


Nzoog Wahrlfhehen said...

I suppose the "evil twin" refers to Freda's notoriously nasty character. I personally like TRAGIC CEREMONY (more so than IGUANA, which I didn't like at all) even if the photography (at least as rendered in the Spanish Filmax DVD) is mediocre, the young leads are poor and Camille Keaton (not the best of actresses to begin with) is poorly dubbed into Spanish.

Rumour has it that some of the film was actually directed by Gianna Maria Canale.

Robert Monell said...

It has an interesting supporting cast including Jose Calvo from FISTFUL OF DOLLARS as Satan! I had heard that about Gianna Maria Canale directing part of it from another person also. Interesting. It seems to me that Freda had only limited interest in that some scenes have his stylistic touch and others look just bland and that anyone could have directed them. And it's poorly scripted by hack Mario Bianchi.

Nzoog Wahrlfhehen said...

Pepe Calvo is the only one of the fine supporting actors given any chance to shine. And given his average appearance and his proclivity to play good-natured characters, it was paradoxically a good stroke to choose him for that role.
As for the others, it looks as if, for example, Paul Muller happened to be around and they simply shoved him into the cast.
As for the script, I found it well enough structured.

Robert Monell said...

When you have a minor character having to explain the second half of the film you have a major structural problem, espeically if it's all telegraphed into the last scene. I guess it's an interesting mess, something to watch at a party and laugh at. It certainly has a lot of auteur touches and elements.