Sunday, April 7, 2013

Schock or Shock or Beyond The Door II

I think "Schock" (or "Shock" or "Beyond The Door Part II", anybody else need to catch their breath?) needs a few watches before entirely understanding everything that's going on. Sometimes films in the Italian horror, or more so "Giallos" (Italian for "yellow", or really yellow jacketed crime novels) are tad incoherent. "Schock" is surprisingly straight forward, which is I think is unusual for this type of movie. I was going into watching this movie with Lucio Fulci's "House By The Cemetary" on my mind, ready to throw a pillow over my face at the scary parts. Upon creating a "parody" picture for the TOG Facebook page using "Schock"'s poster, Crankenstein assigned me review it. Oh no, Italian horror scares the crap out of me!  Thankfully this isn't nearly as scary to me as "House", but it's pretty similar in it's portrayal of a three member family living in a strange house with a secret in the basement. There's also the parents having a young son (David Colin Jr., incidentally in the unrelated first "Beyond The Door" also), and the husband (John Steiner) always going away because of his job leaving mom, Dora(Daria Nicolodi, a.k.a Dario Argento's lady friend and Asia's mom). I always wish the mom in these movies would just leave the house and get away from the craziness, but then there'd be no movie. *wah wah* Poor Daria certainly screams a lot in this.
Don't go in the basement, kid!

There seems to be a presence in the house, that's also possessing the son, Marco. He claws at the brick wall in the basement, but you don't know why. He even starts to float after awhile instead of walking. There's a couple of disturbing incidents where he dry humps his mom and then steals her underwear out of drawer, ripping it to shreds. His personality is night and day throughout the whole movie. There's a huge twist a little past halfway through the movie, that makes you rethink everything prior to that. There's mostly one weapon in this movie, shown in the cover art even, of a box cutter. They may have chosen that based on the family moving multiple times, opening and closing cardboard boxes. We also find consistent imagery of deformed pianos (similar to "Hausu"), large white hands (real and sculpture), brick walls and furniture moving on its own. 
Frightening puppet show in the park

Blue Underground has released this DVD (I rented it from Netflix for this review, although it was once available on Instant for awhile before it expired) and included a fascinating 8 minute interview with Mario Bava's son, Lamberto who was the main writer on this film. It's too bad he didn't do a full length commentary. It seemed in the interview he was more than happy to point his many contributions to the movie besides writing it. Be on the lookout for some crazy scenes, such as about an hour and 15 minutes in when Daria's hair floats around, which Lamberto mentions. "Schock" was once found on a (now impossible to find) combo DVD pack with the rare, Andrzej Zulawski's "Possession" of all movies.  Next in the *ahem* series is "Beyond The Door 3" AKA "Amok Train", which has zero to do with this movie. I watched not too long ago and thought I did a review, but I don't see one on my old Netflix Retrieving Screen blog. You can watch that movie here until May 1st when it expires. I must also mention that the soundtracks for Beyond The Door 1&2 are incredible and must hear scores by Libra (Goblin in disguise) and Franco Micalizzi (The Chi Sei album)! (ed.)

Watch "Schock" here

Watch "Possession" here before it gets taken down for the 50th time

It would've been nice to get to know the Dad (Nicola Salerno, not to be confused with the lyricist of the same name) a little more in this as more than a suicidal junkie. He also served as the Assistant Director.

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