Film #177: THE KILLER RESERVED NINE SEATS
The Killer Reserved Nine Seats
2.5 / 5 stars
Directed by Giusseppe Bennati (RED LIPS), this deservedly obscure Italian pseudo-giallo begins like HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL and winds up being akin to Agatha Christie’s TEN LITTLE INDIANS (with a little of Michele Soavi’s STAGE FRIGHT thrown in for good measure). A group of people gather at theater own by their party’s host. Then, one by one, they begin dying (with lots of groping and sexual shenanigans thrown in for good measure). Music and fashion are all VERY groovy with shirt lapels you cold hang-glide on, men unironically wearing fur and plaid jackets, velvet Nehru jackets, and some of the most ham-fisted lesbianism ever recorded on film. Lots of intrigue ensues with personal conflicts and dalliances abounding. Loyalties are questioned, alliances are tested, and all of it is wrapped in a veneer of ‘70s Italian cheese. The cast – who seem to have nothing better to do than wander empty hallways alone and afraid – is about what you’d expect for these sorts of things. Annoyingly, most wander around alone and defenseless – easy pickings for tour masked killer. Blood is of the Tempura Paint variety and none of the kills are that interesting. All in all, THE KILLER RESERVED NINE SEATS is a perfectly serviceable murder thriller, but it falls far short of even the most middle of the road giallos. Dated… but not terrible, this is certainly not the best the genre has to offer, but… it also isn’t a waste of time.