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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Slasher > Documentary > Italy > Exploitation > Supernatural > Mystery > Thriller > iDanish > All The Colors Of The Dark (1972) + All The Colors Of Giallo (2019*)/Color Me Blood Red (1965) + Something Weird (1967/MVD/Arrow Blu-ray)/Ecco (1963) + The Forbidden (1966)/Mondo Bizarro + Mondo Freud

All The Colors Of The Dark (1972) + All The Colors Of Giallo (2019*)/Color Me Blood Red (1965) + Something Weird (1967/MVD/Arrow Blu-ray)/Ecco (1963) + The Forbidden (1966)/Mondo Bizarro + Mondo Freudo (both 1966/*all Severin Blu-rays)/Room 304 (2011/Film Movement DVD)

Picture: B/B/B/B-/B/B/B/B/B- Sound: B (DVD: B-) Extras: B (DVD: C-) Films: A-/B+/C+/C+/C+/C+/B/B/C

Here's an onslaught of horror and exploitation titles for you to know about...

Severin and Arrow have went to great lengths as of late in putting a spotlight on Italian giallos by remastering and releasing some of the genre's best films on Blu-ray. From the infamous director of Eyeball and Case of the Scorpion Tail, Sergio Martino's All The Colors of the Dark (1972) is one of my personal favorites and is lovingly presented on Blu-ray here thanks to Severin. Being released as a companion piece is All the Colors of Giallo (2019), which is an extensive look at the history of the genre and features two feature length documentaries and over four hours of trailers highlighting some of the best flicks out there.

Similar story-wise to Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby in some ways, All The Colors of the Dark stars the gorgeous Edwige Fenech, George Hilton, Susan Scott, Ivan Rassimov, Julian Ugarte, and Maria Cumani Quasimodo to name a few.

The film centers around Jane (Fenech), whose a housewife haunted by nightmares of her own murder at the hands of a blue-eyed black gloved killer, but when her husband is off to work, her new neighbor Mary (Scott) introduces her to a dangerous satanic cult, where her life takes many unsuspecting turns as her nightmares start to become a reality. Surrealistic, dark, and at times unnerving, the film remains an uncompromising and nightmarish work.

Presented in 1080p high definition and paired with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.39:1 and DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless audio tracks in both Italian (w English subtitles) and a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless English-dubbed track. The film has been restored here in 4K from the original film elements that bring it life much more than the previous release of the film on Blu-ray from Shameless, which isn't as impressive as this. The look and feel of the film is very psychedelic and this is now the definitive way to see the film.

Special Features include...

Bonus CD with the complete motion picture soundtrack (Limited to 2500)

They're Coming To Get You - Alternate US Cut

Color My Nightmare - Interview with Director Sergio Martino

Last of the Mohicans - Interview with Screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi

Giallo is the Color - Interviews with Actor George Hilton & Italian Horror Expert Antonio Tentori

Audio Commentary with Kat Ellinger, Author of All The Colors of Sergio Martino

and Trailers

All The Colors of Giallo

The definitive history lesson on Italian Giallo, this three disc set is prepared to teach you a thing of two about the genre. Featuring four hours of Giallo trailers, two feature length documentaries, and a great new CD of Giallo music, there aren't many stones left unturned in this definitive three disc set.

In the doc, we get to see exciting new interviews with Dario Argento, who directed The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (1970, reviewed elsewhere on this site), which was a starting point for the genre as way as many other iconic filmmakers and writers from the era. After Bird's success, there were many imitators and the movement became as popular in Italy as the superhero genre is here in America today. Grisly brutal murders, black gloved killers, unsuspecting plot twists and turns... these are some of the key characteristics in the making of a Giallo film.

The doc features archival interviews with the late Lucio Fulci as well as Director Sergio Martino, Edwige Fenech, and more. The second disc goes into Krimi films, which were the German cousin to the genre, and which first inspired Argento to make his feature.

The film is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with a 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Italian losssless language track with English subtitles. Since it's a documentary there are various formats used in its creation, however, it's a crisp clean HD transfer throughout with no noticeable issues.

Special Features include...

Over Four Hours of Giallo Trailers

All the Colors of Giallo - Newly produced feature length documentary by Federico Caddeo

The Giallo Frames - Interview with John Martin, editor of 'The Giallo Pages

Audio Commentary on every trailer with Kat Ellinger, author of All The Colors of Sergio Martino

Kriminal! - 90 Minute Krimi Trailer Compilation

The Case of the Krimi - Interview with film historian Marcus Stiglegger

and The Strange Sounds of The Bloodstained Films - Bonus CD of Giallo themes compiled by Alfonso Carrillo of Rendezvous. From the archives of BEAT Records Company. Remastered by Claudio Fuiano.

I would definitely recommend these two films to any fan of the horror genre.

Arrow continues to remaster more films from the zany library of Herschell Gordon Lewis, this time with the double feature of exploitation classics Color Me Blood Red (1965) and Something Weird (1967).

Color Me Red is the third film in Lewis' Blood Trilogy, which also includes Blood Feast and Two Thousand Maniacs (reviewed elsewhere on this site). The story of a struggling painter named Adam Sorge (Gordon Oas-Heim), whose art is failing to impress many the way it used to. When his girlfriend accidentally gets some blood on a piece of canvas, he becomes obsessed with the color. When he starts adding blood by cutting himself, he realizes that he will soon need fresh victims in order to help him achieve his creative vision.

The film stars Elyn Warner, Candi Conder, Jerome Eden, and Scott H. Hall.

One thing that's ironic about this storyline is that there is in fact an artist working today that uses human blood in his paintings! (He doesn't kill people though of course) We recently covered the documentary Bloodlines: The Art and Work of Vincent Castiglia, which is out on DVD.

Something Weird is a film I've always wanted to see and was beyond thrilled when I saw its inclusion here. Centered around a scarred psychic, he is promised his beautiful face back to an ugly witch if he agrees to sleep with her. When she gives him a taste of what his life would be like as a normal person, he soon must do whatever it takes to keep up this appearance.

The film stars Jeffrey Allen, Elizabeth Lee, Tony McCabe, William Brooker, Lawrence Aberwood, and Mudite Arums.

Both films have been remastered and restored in 1080p high definition with widescreen aspect ratios of 1.85:1 (Color Me Red) and 1.66:1 (Something Weird), both of which are paired with new English LPCM mono tracks that are very clear. Both films were shot pretty low budget with Colors being the best looking of the two. In Something Weird, there appears to have been some wear and tear to the print over the years so some film noise is apparent. (Probably why it was included here as a bonus film) In my opinion, it helps add to the experience of watching these exploitation films. Color Me Red looks pretty fantastic though as Arrow keeps their quality consistent with every release they do.

Special Features include...

Introductions to the films by H.G. Lewis

Audio commentary on Color Me Blood Red with H.G. Lewis and David Friedman

Audio commentary on Something Weird with H.G. Lewis and David Friedman

The Art of Madness - a video essay on the recurring motif of mad artists as killers in horror films

Weirdsville - film scholar Jeffrey Sconce on Something Weird

H.G. Lewis on Jimmy, The Boy Wonder

A Hot Night at the Go Go Lounge! - 1966 dance short

Color Me Blood Red Outtakes

Color Me Blood Red Trailer

Something Weird Trailer

Jimmy, The Boy Wonder Trailer

and a Reversible Sleeve featuring original and newly-commissioned artwork by The Twins of Evil.

If you're into bizarre exploitation from the '60s and '70s then Severin has two double feature 'shock-umentary' sets that are sure to entertain you! The classic films include Ecco (1963) and The Forbidden (1966) alongside Mondo Bizarro (1966) and Mondo Freudo (1966). From the library of Something Weird video, these exploitation classics are 'strictly for adults only' and give an interesting perspective on the wild happenings and 'forbidden fantasies' of the time that the public wasn't meant to see.

Get ready to go back in time and experience everything from topless Watusi clubs, hidden cameras, Hollywood strippers, human trafficking, and other things that your mother doesn't want you to see. Get a personal glimpse at the bizarre world of sex and macabre through these four features that show you the dark side of humanity. The films each jump around from one taboo subject to the next, and have no shortage of graphic nudity, and unnerving violence that is sure to make your senses tingle.

Ecco (1963) - Directed by Gianni Proia, George Sanders narrates clips of reindeer being castrated, native tribes doing grotesque things... and of course karate and roller-derby footage. Most famously, Ecco features footage from the last performance at France's notorious Theatre du Grand Guignol.

The Forbidden (1966) - From directors Benjamin Andrews and Lee Frost, The Forbidden is a more sexual feature. Highlights include a very racy martial arts school film where two women are almost raped, an underground lesbian club in Geneva, a portable topless bar, and various strip acts from different parts of the globe.

Mondo Bizarro (1966) - Directed by Lee Frost, Mondo Bizarro starts in a women's dressing room in a secret backroom of a lingerie shop. From there, we travel to a Kyoto massage parlor, the mailroom at Frederick's of Hollywood, an Australian who sticks nails through his skin and eats glass. From here, we see the art and peace scene in Los Angeles at the time, an Easter week with vacationing college students on Balboa Island, a German audience enjoying a Nazi sadism play, and, with the help of powerful military lenses, we get to spy on a Lebanese white-slavery auction.

Mondo Freudo (1966) - released the same year and again directed by Lee Frost, Freudo explores bizarre sexual practices from the world over. Some highlights include Tijuana strippers, Asian sex shows, British prostitutes, New York Devil Worshippers, and a Mexican slave market.

These films have been restored in 1080p high definition with their original 1.66:1 full frame aspect ratios and 2.0 English Mono mixes, and definitely look better than they ever have before. While the source material has shown some wear and tear over the years, you feel as if you are stepping into a time machine watching these films, all of which have been scanned in 4K from the original Something Weird 35mm vault negatives.

Special Features For Ecco and Forbidden:

The Bandit - Producer David Goldstein remembers Bob Cresse

I Want More - Short Film

and an Ecco Trailer

Special Features for Mondo Bizarro/Mondo Freudo:

Audio Commentary with Johnny Legend and Eric Caidin

The Cadaver is Infinity - Bob Cresse, Lee Frost and the Birth of American Mondo - Interview with Chris Poggiali

and a Trailer

Finally, Room 304 (2011) is a foreign sexual thriller that centers around a Copenhagen hotel where different stories intersect. Revenge. Sex. Murder. Meeting at these different hotel rooms, secrets are exposed and the cruel and dramatic nature makes for a depressing tale overall.

The film stars Mikael Birkkjaer, Stine Stengade, David Dencik, Luan Jaha, Ariadna Gil, and Lourdes Faberes to name a few. The film is directed by Birgitte Staermose and written by Kim Fupz Aakeson.

Presented in standard definition on DVD with an anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and a lossy Dolby Digital German 2.0 Stereo mix, the film looks and sounds fine for the format. Subtitles are in English, German, and Danish depending on your territory. Compression issues aside (especially when comparing directly to HD), the film is nicely shot and cut and doesn't look terrible on the aging format. It has a kind of voyeuristic feel that almost makes you feel like you're a fly on the wall watching the story take place that I liked.

No extras with the exception of a trailer reel of other titles from Film Movement.

Room 304 is an interesting film with some good performances and interesting characters. While a bit too dramatic at times for my personal taste, it has plenty of twists and turns to keep it engaging.

- James Lockhart



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