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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Giallo Scrapbook #3

Midnight Media is a British publisher of the highly popular independent film magazine "Is It Uncut?" and special publications dedicated to the world of wild cinema bis with titles including: "Slash Hits", "Blazing Magnums", "Hispanic Horrors" and the phantastic "Giallo Scrapbook"-series. This fall Midnight Media is going to publish part 3 of this series with Marisa Mell on the cover from the movie "Sette Orchidee Macchiate di Rosso" directed by Umberto Lenzi. Like the previous two publications the Giallo Scrapbook #3 will be another collectable tribute dedicated to the flashy and trashy world of Italian Giallo Cinema with more than 40 movies reviewed in style - including: BLOOD LINK, CALLING ALL POLICE CARS, A CAT IN THE BRAIN, CRAZY DESIRES OF A MURDERER, DEADLY INHERITANCE, THE DEADLY SWEET, DEATH FALLS LIGHTLY, DEATH OCCURRED LAST NIGHT, THE DESIGNATED VICTIM, THE DEVIL HAS 7 FACES, DON'T LOOK NOW, THE DOUBLE, EYE OF THE LABYRINTH, THE FLOWER WITH PETALS OF STEEL, THE FOURTH VICTIM, GIALLO, GIALLO A VENEZIA, THE GIRL IN ROOM 2A, THE HOUSE WITH LAUGHING WINDOWS, IN THE FOLDS OF THE FLESH, THE KILLER IS ON THE PHONE, KILLER NUN, THE KILLER RESERVED NINE SEATS, MADHOUSE, THE MURDER CLINIC, MURDER OBSESSION, NOTHING UNDERNEATH, OASIS OF FEAR, ONE ON TOP OF THE OTHER, AN OPEN TOMB... AN EMPTY COFFIN, PENSIONE PAURA, RED RIDING HOOD, SMILE BEFORE DEATH, SO SWEET SO PERVERSE, SPIRITS OF DEATH, THE STUDENT CONNECTION, THE SWEET BODY OF DEBORAH, TWO FACES OF FEAR, THE WEAPON THE HOUR THE MOTIVE, THE WEEKEND MURDERS. Whaw! The publication is written by Nigel J. Burrell and designed and edited by Paul J. Brown. It has been designed to look like one of the deranged killers has put it together, with blood splats, smeary fingerprints and torn out text and will be full colour throughout and lavishly illustrated with many rare images from these amazing movies. Highly recommended - Format is A5. Publication date will be announced shortly. Here is a look at the covers of the other publications. I have them all and they are joy to read and mostly a great way to discover new movies that you have never heard off.

More information at

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cannes Film Festival-May 8th 1969

On May 8th 1969, almost every star and starlet from the end of the sixties had a rendez-vous on the Côte d' Azur in Cannes for the 22nd Cannes Film Festival. The clip is from the opening night when the guests of honor like Sylva Koscina, Omar Shariff, Romy Schneider, Vanessa Redgrave and... Marisa Mell arrived at the opening diner. Marisa Mell's career was gaining momentum with movies like "Danger: Diabolik" and "Una Sull'Altra" so she was in the centre of attention together with fellow eurocult star Sylva Koscina. In this clip Marisa Mell arrives at the diner and is being photographed by paparazzi. In another part of the clip she is sitting at her diner table with husband of that time Pier Luigi Torri. Marisa Mell probably got her invitation to the festival via her friend Helmut Berger whose lover Luchino Visconti was President of the Jury for the film competition.
The clip has no sound, bad lightning and picture quality.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"Danger: Diabolik!" - Rare cinema screening - Rio Cinema - London (UK) - September 11th 2010

On September 11th 2010, Cigarette Burns Cinema presents a special screening of the cult classic psychedelic movie "Danger: Diabolik!" directed by Mario Bava with John Phillip Law as Diabolik and Marisa Mell as Lady Eva Kant at the Rio Cinema in London (UK) at 11.15 P.M. Entrance: 7 British Pounds. There will be an intro and dj set after the screening. The cinema is situated at 107 Kingsland High Street London E8 (Corner John Campell Road). More information:

Thursday, August 12, 2010

La Chute d'un Géant!

On August 7th 2010, France lost one of its biggest and most loved stars from film, television and theatre in the form of Bruno Cremer. Bruno Cremer, best known for playing Georges Simenon‘s Inspector Jules Maigret in the long-running French television series Maigret from 1991 untill 2005, died in a Paris hospital. Cremer, a heavy chain smoker during his life, had been fighting cancer of the tongue for a number of years. He was 80. Cremer’s acting career spanned half a century. He began appearing in bit parts in films in the ’50s; following a slow ascent, he landed several major roles in French productions of the ’70s. Most notable among those was Claude Sautet‘s Academy Award-nominated drama "A Simple Story" from 1979, co-starring Romy Schneider. Cremer kept himself busy in the ’80s, but from the early ’90s on his film/tv work was almost exclusively restricted to playing the pipe-smoking Maigret. To fans of Marisa Mell, Bruno Cremer will always be fondly remembered as the strong headed military officer Jean Reichau, who tried to steel 500 millions French Francs with the help of a model Yo, played by Marisa Mell in the movie "Objectif: 500.000 millions" from 1966 directed by Pierre Schoendoerffer. After hearing the news of the death of his friend Pierre Schoendoerffer told the press that "Les grands comédians ne meurent jamais".

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Don't cry for me Argentina!

Marisa Mell with some fans wanting an autograph of her. Notice that Marisa Mell is holding a cigarette in her left hand and the girl's strange look on her face at the right hand side.
In March of 1964, at the dawn of her blosssoming movie career, Austrian born actress Marisa Mell, together with fellow German movie star Erik Schumann, went all the way down to Argentina to be a guest of honor at that year's "Festival Internacional de Cine de Mar del Plata". The festival was founded in 1954 as a showcase for new movies and not as a competition. The original name of the festival at it's conception was "Festival Cinematográfico Internacional". Some of their guests in the early days of the 50's were Gina Lollobrigida or Eroll Flynn. In 1959 the festival was taken over by the "Asociación de Cronistas Cinematograficos" and became a member of "FIAPF" or "Fedération International des Associations de Producteurs de Films". This federation supervises and owns almost all international film festivals in the world like Cannes, Berlin and Venice to name the most recognizable ones. The year that Marisa Mell went to Argentina the festival was relocated to Buenos Aires and got again a name change into "Festival Cinematográfico Internacional de la República Argentina". Two years later, Argentina had a bloody revolution. In 1968 and 1970 the festival fell into the hands of "Instituto de Cine". There was no festival in 1967 and 1969 because of another festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. During the 60's the festival was quite popular with actors and actress from Hollywood and Europe although traveling from those places to Buenos Aires at that time by plane was not as easy as it is now. The lists of guest of honor is quite impressive: Paul Newman, Alberto Sordi, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Vittorio Gassman, Toshiro Mifune, François Truffaut, Karel Reisz, Catherine Deneuve, Juan Antonio Bardem, Anthony Perkins, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Maria Callas, Cantinflas, Andrzej Wajda, Jacques Tati, Lee Strasberg, George Hamilton and Marisa Mell. In the 70's the festival fizzled out and died. Since 1996 the festival is again alive and kicking and since 2001 it has become an A-status festival like all the other prestigeous festivals. The statue given to the winners in their respective categories is called "Astor" referring to the famous Argentinian tanguero "Astor Piazzolla" who was born in Mar del Plata and has died in Buenos Aires. The original name of the statue before Astor was "Ombú".

Marisa Mell and Erik Schumann entering a social event during the festival.


BTW the girl on the top photo on the left hand side is in complete awe of Marisa Mell, not only the way she looks at her but her body language says so much more especially the way she has folded her hands and arms like in a prayer to the Virgin Mary!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Driller Killer!

"Revenge in the House of Usher" is a 1982 gothic movie directed by Spanish cult directeur Jess Franco as a very loose adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The House of Usher." As it opens, Dr. Alan Harker (Antonio Mayans) receives a distressed letter from his former university professor-cum-mentor, Dr. Eric Usher (Howard Vernon), that prompts him to travel to Usher's castle. Once there, Dr. Harker discovers, to his utter horror, that Usher is trapped in the jaws of madness, obsessively attempting to resurrect his comatose daughter Melissa with the blood of abducted young girls. So far, so good but is this a movie with Marisa Mell? No, nope, nada! So why is this movie then subject for an entry on her blog then? Well, glad you asked. It isn't so much the movie that is interesting but the cover of this movie on the video box as pictured above. More specifically the women on the ground being menaced by a black gloved hand holding a drilling machine. (A scene that to my knowledge is not part of the movie.) That iconic image has been lifted right out a very famous Marisa Mell movie! The movie in question is a giallo called "Sette orchidee macchiate di rosse" from 1972 directed by also cult director Umberto Lenzi, famous for his cannibal movies "Mangati Vivi" and "Cannibal Ferox" or his other excellent giallo "Spasmo". You can see clearly that the artist responsable for making the cover of the video box for video distribution company "Wizard Video" in 1985 has lifted this scene from the Lenzi movie to spice up his cover and make the movie probably more interesting than it really is. In other words, as so often happened in the straight to video market of yesteryear, connecting a movie to another movie that was a success around that time. Strangely enough the movie that he is referring to is not "Sette orchidee macchiate di rosso" as one might suspect but another famous video nasty of the era. The slasher movie "Driller Killer" from 1979 directed by and starring in the lead role of Reno Miller gore maestro Abel Ferrara. And this movie was also part of the Wizard Video portfolio.
Reno Miller is an artist slowly losing his mind as he and his two female friends scrape to pay the bills. The punk band downstairs increasingly agitates him, his art dealer is demanding that he complete his big canvas painting as promised, and he gets into fights with his girlfriends. When the dealer laughs at his canvas he snaps, and begins taking it out on the people responsible for his pain and starts his revenge by killing while drilling.

Wizard Video was a motion picture distribution company created by B movie veteran Charles Band, who would later go on to found the famous "Full Moon" movie company. The company was best known for the VHS-releases of "Zombie 2", "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", and the ultimate video nasty "I Spit on Your Grave" (A remake (sigh!!!) of this movie will hit the cinema's this fall). The company was also well known for its very detailed, and often lurid, box art, especially after the switch to the "big box" format. Here are some other famous video box covers! And like everything from years gone by the Wizard Video movie boxes are at the moment very high in demand and collectors all over the world are quickely snatching them up to complete their collections often at very steep prices around 75 USD or more on Ebay per title. The demand is so high that even Charles Band is re-issueing them again never letting a deal go sour!