BARE BONES: THE LAST MATINEE (2020)

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THE LAST MATINEE (2020)

South American horror finds young student Ana (Luciana Grasso) working the night shift at a rundown movie theater, where she and her father are the projectionists. While a sub-par horror flick plays to a small, disinterested audience, Ana studies in the projection booth, unaware a killer (Ricardo Islas) is stalking the theater and has started to kill it’s patrons. Will Ana, or any of them, make it to the end credits?

As directed by Maximiliano Contenti, from his script with Manuel Facal, this is a stylish and colorful tribute to the Italian Giallo flicks, especially those by Dario Argento. With its leather-gloved killer and colorful cinematography, The Last Matinee hits the mark paying tribute to those films, while also giving a few nods to the classic slasher films of the 80s, with it’s very slasher-like plot. Our rain-coated killer, is known in the credits only as Asesino Comeojos, which translates to “Eye-eating Killer.” He is very effective and let’s just say he’s appropriately named. This mysterious stalker dispatches his victims in very gory ways and the FX portraying those deaths would make Lucio Fulci proud. There are some fun chases, once Ana realizes what’s going on and is pursued, along with the few survivors, throughout the theater. The film is very moderately paced, like the movies it pays homage to, but balances that out by not overstaying it’s welcome at only 88 minutes long. There is a nostalgic and atmospheric electronic score by Hernán González and some very Giallo-esque neon cinematography by Benjamín Silva. A loving tribute that does a good job capturing the tone, visual style and feel of the films it pays homage to. Maximiliano Contenti definitely shows promise. Now available to stream on Amazon Prime.

-MonsterZero NJ

3 star rating

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BARE BONES: THE EDITOR

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THE EDITOR (2014)

Flick from writer/directors Matthew Kennedy and Adam Brooks is a tribute to the italian horror/Giallo films of Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci that succeeds in certain areas, but fails in others. The film tells the story of legendary film editor, Rey Cisco (also Adam Brooks) who is currently working on a bloody murder mystery film, when he becomes embroiled in one in real life. The case is being investigated by hot shot detective Peter Porfiry, (also Matthew Kennedy) who thinks Rey is the prime suspect.

The film, co-written with co-star Conor Sweeney, creates the look and feel of the Italian chillers of the 70s and early 80s excellently, with some dead-on camera angles, shots and lighting, along with a perfectly fitting electronic score. There is also a bevy of lovely ladies with very generous amounts of nudity and excessive gore. Where the film goes wrong is that not only is it tedious and dull, with it’s gimmick wearing out it’s welcome early, but it also is played for laughs where a straightforward recreation probably would have been far more entertaining. The homages to Argento, Bava and Fulci are certainly well intended…thought there are also nods to Cronenberg’s Videodrome and Nakata’s Ringu that seem a bit out of place…but as a movie in itself it’s gets boring after the first half hour with the story awkwardly changing focus from Rey to Detective Porfiry and losing it’s grip. Too bad, the flicks heart is definitely in the right place.

Overall, while the tribute is certainly heartfelt and Kennedy and Brooks know their subjects well, the film they have created from that admiration fails to entertain like it’s influences. Also stars Nurse 3D‘s Paz de la Huerta, American Mary‘s Tristan Risk and the legendary Udo Kier.

-MonsterZero NJ

2 and 1-2 star rating

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