Friday, October 3, 2014

Paganini Horror

Paganini Horror (The Killing Violin) Directed By Luigi Cozzi, Starring Jasmine Maimone (1989).

The first time I watched this on Youtube, the subs started going haywire and began transcribing gibberish. Luckily Skunkape crossed the River Styx and slayed a few demons who threatened to munch through a few layers of muscle and bloody tissue, so we could all find out how dopey this film is. I'm sorry to report that it wasn't worth all the trouble and hopefully my rare VHS dealer will speak to me again, after I put him through hell to procure a copy.

   All I know about Paganini is that Klaus Kinski played him in a rare film that he starred in and also directed. There's also the Derek tape, which mentions a spooky tale about the famous Italian violinist who sold his soul to the Devil, they don't get to the metal talk till 12mins in (they talk a lot about the Cthulhu mythos too).

   This evening's Argento related Italian opus is directed by one of the worst film makers this side of Lamberto Bava, Mr. Luigi Cozzi. Don't get me wrong I like Cozzi, but he kind of blows it here and if there was more nudity and less slow walking in dark hallways, Paganini Horror might have been a cheesy good time, but it's pretty lame.

I learned this trick from Harry Sledge in Supervixens

    A young violin prodigy takes an ominous boat ride during the credits and creeps up the stairs to a blood red bathtub, she electrocutes her mother by tossing in a hairdryer. Then immediately after, an all female Bon Jovi sounding band shows up and plays during the credits as a bitchy recording engineer looks on. 

   Donald Pleasance shows up in an alley with a briefcase containing sheet music called Paganini Horror! Pleasance's voice sounds extremely low and gravelly, maybe he had a cold and is most likely ecstatic to be acting in something, anything just to get that plane ticket to Italy. 

Oh Look, they're filming the Owner of A Lonely Heart video by Yes

   Paganini is a Faustian figure who sold his soul to Satan for fame and fortune, one of the band members mentions that Michael Jackson got famous by doing the same thing!
    A trench coat sporting skull faced violinist shows up to teach each band member a cruel lesson (he looks like Blade from Puppet Master or Joan Rivers (R.I.P). Kate the lead singer is getting chewed out by her manager to find the next hit, not just the same re-hashed bullshit and then they mention something about how it needs more violin, not cowbell? 

Vince Tempera is Italian for Bon Jovi

   When their drummer plays it for his band mates (who are all awkwardly attractive Italian women) on the piano, it's almost as good as Nigel Tufnel's "Lick my Love Pump".
Kate is a super-emoter and uses every facial muscle in her arsenal to say whatever comes out of her mouth, she looks like she's talking so hard that she's about to burst a blood vessel. The band gets an idea to put together a "Thriller-like" music video and all become millionaires, but the fiddle playing ghost of Paganini is in their midst.

I'm just so god damn over-emotional!

   Daria Nicolodi, who I never want to hear undubbed ever again, shows up on the video music shoot. She has one of the raspiest, Sucrets needing voices this side of Rod Stewart. She plays Silvia, the caretaker of the creepy old house they are shooting in.

         Donald Pleasance climbs to the top of a cathedral and stars dumping money overboard for some reason. Next we're violently thrown into the music video shoot again. The guitar player who looks like a foxier Kari Wuher, wears a Devil costume that reminds me of those V for Vendetta Anonymous masks.  

Transgendered Devils unite and fight fascism!

   Paganini  uses a knife that pops out of his violin and kills Rita the bass player. Mark, the music video director looks like a cross between George Michael and Jeffery Dahmer. He comes up with a Robert Palmer-esque idea to use a bunch of identical women in the background.

Each member of the band begins to disappear or be stabbed. It should all be more entertaining than this and the cheese level begins to drop and it turns into a dull mystery with 80's MTV elements of goofiness. It's not terrible, but the pacing is too slow and it drags toward the middle. There's a lot of good looking women and none of them get naked, that's another frustrating thing about this film. I don't think they had an entire script and figured the cult stars and music video sequences would distract you enough, so that you wouldn't notice how hollow the subtext is. They even try to tack on a quick "Hey we're all in Hells waiting room, here's your copy of the Handbook for the Recently Deceased". Pleasance even puts on a Bowler hat, which reminds me of Uncle Parker from Ritual of Death.

This was Jasmine Maimone's last known film to date, she was also in 2 Demons sequels and hopefully she's relaxing in the sanitarium now. Cozzi made a couple of Argento documentaries after this and even has a museum that VICE magazine of all places poked fun at.

(Pretty packaging with gooey unappealing cheese inside).

Eddie from Iron Maiden and C3P-O mated

Oh No, I don't want to go back to Beastmaster 2 or Remote Control!

The Devil Went Down To Georgia . . .


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