Sunday, March 16, 2008

Phantom of death

I can't help being a bit surprised that Phantom of Death isn't available on Region 1 DVD.

Yes, I know that the rights issues for European genre films are often a mess, sometimes enough that it's not worth the time, effort, expense and risk to get them sorted out, and perhaps this is an example of those.

And while it falls short of the upper pantheon of gialli, it comes remarkably close at times, especially in terms of keeping its story fresh and exciting.

Directed by Ruggero Deodato and starring Michael York, Edwige Fenech and Donald Pleasance, it does start out in very familiar territory, in fact it's set-up resembles Deep Red more than a little with a concert pianist having disturbing murders take place around him.

It seems it will be a nice familiar giallo, man is sought by police inspector for crimes he didn't commit that continue happening as he seeks out the real killer. He's even shown studying Ninjutsu, which should seem certain a clue set up for the police to use against him...

Yes, I just said this movie stars Michael York as a concert pianist who is studying to be a Ninja. What else could I possibly say to raise your interest? What could be wrong with you?

I will try to avoid spoiling it further than to say, it takes a sharp turn away from the standard set-up when York discovers he has a rare adult onset form of Progeria.

Seeing things like this occasionally remind me why I got excited about gialli in the first place.

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