3.5 out of 5 stars
A fascinating documentary on a squad of soldiers during their tour in one of the most dangerous area of Afghanistan. Few punches are pulled as two embedded journalists roll video footage on the trials and tribulations they face on a day-to-day basis. Not only does the heat of battle get documented, but also the frustration inherent to trying to won the hearts and minds of people who a) have no common language with you and b) are threatened on a daily basis by the enemy. The film is an amazing document and one no American should miss.
I Love You, Man
2 out of 5 stars
A ‘don’t ask’ rewatch. OI... a thoroughly unfunny "bromance" which once again mistakes uncomfortable situations for humor. Also, why is it that any male bonding has to have these awkward & ham-fisted gay overtones? Jason Segel is completely unfunny & Paul Rudd deserves better. And don't get me started on the whole Rush angle. All you need to know about this film is that it is directed by the same guy who directed ALONG CAME POLLY and wrote the MEET THE PARENTS / Fockers films. Nuff said...
The Eyes of My Mother
3 out of 5 stars
First time director Nicolas Pesce (who’s next film is the upcoming THE GRUDGE remake) brings us this twisted tale of Love, Family and murder. Shot in BEAUTIFUL, high contrast Black & White, THE EYES OF MY MOTHER is a flawed, but entrancing work. Reminiscent of such body horror films such as EXCISION, AMERICAN MARY, Lucky McGee’s MAY, Oz Perkins’ I AM THE PRETTY THING THAT LIVES IN THE HOUSE, and Simon Rumley’s THE LIVING AND THE DEAD, MOTHER challenges to viewer with both its slow pace and its sudden visceral scenes of viciousness. The violence is heart-wrenching, abrupt, and surprising in its savagery. The pace is indeed slow and a lot of narrative information is given visually and silently, like the best Japanese cinema, so… if you’re not patient, you’re gonna find the film frustrating. But the pace works here whereas it didn’t, for example, in the recent THE VVITCH. But make no mistake… this is a *dark* film. It’s also stunningly beautiful in the framing of its visuals. Acting is solid, especially the female lead, Kika Magalhaes. There are flaws (slight spoilers ahead) to be sure: keeping people in your barn for years is far-fetched and ridiculous, victims arrive at the farm with a convenience that is just this side of contrived, the farm’s isolation may work to isolate the narrative, but it’s just not believable (especially given that they had electricity and *someone* would have to check the meters), and Dad would have been a mess just a few days after his demise. There’s more, but… you get the idea. But again, the film is beautifully shot and has an inherent creepiness that is oppressive and disturbing. Worth seeing and economical (it runs 76 minutes), THE EYES OF MY MOTHER is a first film by a director sure to go onto bigger things.
Hidden aka Skjult
3 out of 5 stars
Some have compared HIDDEN director, Pål Øie, to Guillermo del Toro or Juan Antonio Bayona and I wouldn't necessarily disagree. While lacking a lot of the visual sense of those two directors, Pål Øie can indeed craft a spooky set-piece. In HIDDEN, we get a convoluted plot involving a man returning to his childhood home where a lot of abuse (physical & mental) is implied. For the rest of the run-time, there are hints of psychosis, doppelgangers, and murder. The ending is more than a bit ambiguous, but there is enough here to warrant a rental. Performances are strong, but this one's worth seeing for its visual flair & creepy imagery alone. Again, not a perfect film by any stretch, but... considering that this is another in the After Dark series, it's one of the better ones.
Encarnação do Demônio aka Embodiment of Evil
3 out of 5 stars
I'll be honest... I’m not a fan of the whole Coffin Joe thing. I’ll admit that right away. However, this one is so completely over the top and silly that it’s one of the better Coffin Joe flicks. For maybe the first time, the filmmakers have a sense of humor about themselves and aren’t taking anything TOO seriously. Yes, the sets are drab and the acting stinks, there’s a sort of fun to this one that was lacking in earlier outings. Silly and pretty bloody, if you feel compelled to see a Coffin Joe movie, EMBODIMENT OF EVIL is the one you could rent first.
Obra Maestra aka Masterpiece
2 out of 5 stars
This dramedy from Spanish filmmaker David Trueba (who was the writer on Alex de la Iglesia’sPERDITO DURANGO) stars Pablo Carbonell, Ariadna Gil (PAN’S LABYRINTH) , and the great Santiago Segura (ACCION MUTANTE, EL DIA DE LE BESTIA, DYING OF LAUGHTER, BLADE II, and HELLBOY 1&2) who is a longtime contributor to the films of both de le Iglesia and Guillermo del Toro and is considered one of the great comic actors in Spain. In this film, which bears a remarkable similarity to John Waters’ CECIL B DEMENTED, two aspiring filmmakers kidnap a star and force her to make their film. While the concepts of these two films are similar, MASTERPIECE shows a little more heart than the Waters film did and there are moments of sublime beauty here - especially the imagined musical numbers by Carbonell - but, in the end, the characters are so unlikable that it kills any sympathy the audience might have developed. What could have been a love letter to cinema and a terrific tale of redemption for the characters falls flat.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
3 out of 5 stars
Let me say at the outset, I’m in the bag for these films. I loved the 1968 Franklin J Schaffner / Charlton Heston film and I remember all of the sequels fondly. When the reboot came along, I was skeptical, but ended up enjoying it greatly. I thought they handled the premise with respect and honored all that had gone before. So, going into the DAWN, I was ready to enjoy the goings-on. As it turns out, I got a lot of what I wanted, but I also got a lot that I didn’t. Directed by Matt Reeves (LET ME IN, FELICITY), this follow-up to the successful RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES arrives furthering the story in some ways, but also devolving into a very ‘paint by numbers’ ending. Starring Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Andy Serkis, and Jason Clarke, the acting is all suitably earnest and fine. Oldman shouts his way through his role as human leader while Russell and Clarke stand around looked wide-eyed. The real star of this film (and the others) is Serkis, who is, in a word, amazing. The roll-out of the film is handled well. It informs the audience and brings them up to speed quickly and efficiently. Film score by Michael Giacchino (INCREDIBLES 2, JURASSIC WORLD, LOST) is also fine. The film is a solid dystopian tale and everything is handled well. Exposition is given efficiently and the ape’s use of sign language is novel and inventive. Yes, there are many plot inconsistencies (what did the human’s eat and where did they get it? They say that, with electrical power, they could contact others, but they have diesel generators and don’t think to try to radio out?), but the film’s momentum carries the tale forward. Here’s where we hit the skid. The second act drags miserably, becoming exceedingly ‘fill in the blanks’ (Turn-coat friend? Check! Bond between human leads and apes solidified? Check! Hero incapacitated at a crucial time? Check!). You can almost set your watch by it. So, by the start of the third act (with its chimp-friendly machine guns and unending magazines), you kind of just don’t care anymore. Watching the film, I had a weird realization… and follow me on this one. In a weird way, one of the film’s central themes (Caesar’s journey) reminded me a lot of what happened to Don Corleone in THE GODFATHER: the betrayal, the attempted murder, the recovery. Watch the film and tell me I’m wrong. In the end though, DAWN is a well-constructed, but misguided effort. With the film’s nicely-handled introduction, we’re primed for a sweeping tale. Instead, the film sputters into political intrigue, and then, it takes a hard turn for the ‘action ending’ rather than one that might resonate more. Well worth seeing, but go in knowing it runs lean on gas towards the end.
Taxi To The Dark Side
4 out of 5 stars
A stomach-turning documentary of prisoner abuse in the days after 9/11 (and beyond). The story is told as dispassionately as possible, but, the crimes (and make no mistake - these are crimes we’re talking about) are so egregious as to inspired contempt in even the most hardened viewer. Even if viewers think they understand things like Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, there is more to the story and filmmaker Alex Gibney does a terrific job of telling it concisely and in a way that is completely understandable (despite an admittedly convoluted sequence of events). This is a must see, kids.
3 out of 5 stars
Considered by many to be the Father of Heavy Metal, Lemmy Kilmister (RIP) is something of an icon. From his manner of dress, the moles on his face, the seemingly dirty affect, and the thrumming of his bass, Lemmy is one of a kind. The documentary (which follows him around for some time - or so it would appear) does a good job at presenting the man behind the legend. Lemmy, a man well into his 60s at the time of this filming, has seen a lot of miles and it shows. His stories are legendary, his manner a lot more subdued than it has been in the past, and his affection for works like “cunt” make for a fun ride. Sadly though, as the viewer gets used to Lemmy the man… we notice some odd things: his mixture of vitamins, blood pressure medicine, and speed, the every so slight shaking of his hands due to age, the fact that this rock legend lives in a small apartment in order to be close to his beloved Rainbow Grill. While we learn something of Lemmy’s past (very little actually), what the viewer soon realizes that what is playing out onscreen is the canonization and living eulogy for a rock god. Many luminaries line up to sing Lemmy’s praises here and the love for the Motorhead front man is obvious. Still… the documentary runs a little long at 2 hours and is kind of skimpy on the details of Lenny’s early life. In the end, I enjoyed getting to know the man behind the legend, but I was also saddened that this spotlight was shown on him so late in his life. Truth is… I left the viewing experience feeling kind of sad and thinking that rockers like Lemmy are going away and rock will forever be diminished by their passing. Fun stuff… even for non-metal fans.
1.5 out of 5 stars
I’ll be honest… after PROMETHEUS, I was convinced we’d seen the last of the Xenomorphs. They’d seemingly run their course and no one seemed happy with where the series was going. It all just needed a few years to chill down before their eventual rebooting. Instead, director Ridley Scott decided there were still unanswered questions after the credits rolled on PROMETHEUS and the world needed to know more. With that in mind, I’ll say two things… firstly, the film looks great. Scott creates real atmosphere and everything looks terrific. Secondly, the cast are all top-flight and do what they can given the material at hand. Ok, cool… don’t let it be said I didn’t have at least a few nice things to say about this shit pile. Now for the bad news… COVENANT is, simply put, stupid. The film rolls out very much like ALIEN, but it’s all forward momentum with little to no justification and ZERO character development. We’re told that the crew is on a ‘terraforming mission’ to… somewhere. They quickly get sidetracked by a nearly indecipherable message from space (sound familiar?). Scott quickly gets rid of the ship’s captain (a hugely wasted James Franco) and leaves things in the hands of a Billy Crudup (WATCHMEN), a ‘man of faith’ who clearly has zero command experience and even less of a clue. From there, it’s a contest to see which character can make the dumber decision. The plot soon becomes terribly contrived, manufacturing trouble rather than letting it all roll out organically. After that, I can’t count how many times I threw my hands in the air at the narrative’s stupidity. Things happen for no reason, supposed professionals abandon safety protocols, they seemingly have zero battle experience, and things happen purely to add to the overall screen time. It’s infuriating. In the end, this is one film I wouldn’t suggest to ANYONE; especially fans of the series. If you hated ALIEN 3, this is going to make you want to small your head in a door. For newcomers, you’ll just walk away confused.
La Morte Risale a Ieri Sera aka The Death Occurred Last Night
2 out of 5 stars
Promoted as a giallo film (and associated with the genre), director Duccio Tessari (THE BLOODSTAINED BUTTERFLY, A PISTOL FOR RINGO) directs this mystery from 1970 about a man whose ‘special needs’ daughter (who also happens to be a nymphomaniac) is kidnapped and put into prostitution. While the film is a “where is she?” mystery… it is by no means a giallo. More Poloziotteschi (crime / cop drama) than “black-gloved killer” flick, the plot of THE DEATH OCCURRED LAST NIGHT is all over the place: it’s a mystery, a goofy cop comedy, a romantic comedy, and gritty crime drama featuring cops who are more than willing to frame suspects, plant evidence, are racist (“They all look the same”), and beat their suitably slimy criminal suspects. Cops go to whorehouses… to ‘find clues’… which is an easy excuse for some very groovy music… and some very 70s bush and boobs. In fact, throughout the film, the score is a highlight; VERY cool and groovy and worth looking for. Acting - featuring Frank Wolff (ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST, THE GREAT SILENCE) and Raf Vallone (THE ITALIAN JOB, EL CID, THE LION OF THE DESERT) - is universally wooden and tone deaf. One odd note… the introduction to the ‘special needs’ daughter is cringe-worthy as she puts toothpaste on her hand instead of her toothbrush and has to be ‘helped’ into her bra by her leering father. Creepy. The film rumbles along innocuously enough as it moves inexorably toward its unthrilling, and quite frankly, ludicrous, c0nclusion. Mostly for completists and hardcore fans of Italo-cinema, this film is by no means crucial viewing. See it if you like this sort of thing. If not… you won’t miss much by skippin it.
Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy
3 out of 5 stars
At 240 minutes, this is an excessively long and yet utterly comprehensive documentary on the making of the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET films. No stone is left unturned here and it’s not always a good thing. In many cases, time has not always been kind to the people involved (some have aged poorly). There is just so much covered that it can, at times, be overwhelming. At times, things get a little self-congratulatory, but it’s obvious everyone’s heart is in the right place. Fans of the films (which, other than the first one, I am not) will savor every story and bit of insider gossip. Others will just wonder what all the fuss is about.
Blade Runner 2049
4 out of 5 stars
Long thought an impossible film to make, director Denis Villeneuve (THE ARRIVAL) has created a worthwhile sequel to the classic sci-fi film, BLADE RUNNER. Visually, the new film is spot-on: rich, lushly inhabited, and imaginatively staged. It’s nice to see the world of BLADE RUNNER opened up to show that there’s a whole world out there (and not just scenes shot in Deckard’s apartment and the Tyrell / Baxter Building). In this film, we get vast landscapes as well as unique environments which hint at a culture and a societal construct. Acting is solid – particularly Gosling, Ana de Armas, and Sylvia Hoeks. Oddly, the weak links are the folks who returned: Ford grumbles his way through his role, the stunt-casting of Edward James Olmos and Sean Young seem tacked on and unnecessary, and Leto is utterly beside the point and a bit too convenient. The film suffers most from the filmmakers pandering to audience expectations as opposed to using the characters to move the narrative forward. We expect to see Gaff and Rachel, and so, they are included in needlessly pasted on scenes which fail to live up to their potential. Small quibbles, but… important ones. That all said, BLADE RUNNER 2049 is a beautifully constructed masterwork of sci-fi cinema. If I had any doubts of Villeneuve’s ability to bring a titanic story like DUNE to the screen (reportedly, his next film), they’re gone now. With BR2049 & THE ARRIVAL, Villeneuve proves himself a deft and subtle filmmaker. Lush, densely populated, and beautifully crafted, BR 2049 hits its mark with spooky accuracy. If you loved the original, rest easy. BR 2049 does not disappoint.
1.5 out of 5 stars
Let me get this out on Front Street… I absolutely hated this film. HATED it. Ok, now that said… THE BEAVER took a lot of flack when it came out and a lot of people pinned its box office failure on Mel Gibson and his lack of self-control when it came to his inebriated home life. Well, I’m happy to say that that is the LEAST of this film’s problems. Jodie Foster directs well, the acting is all of a journeyman quality, and the look of the film is perfectly competent. So why does it suck so bad? Well, it’s the script… full stop. This fiasco ham-fistedly uses mental illness and clinical depression as a cute plot device. Y’know… because that’s so hilarious. The film thinks that by throwing some AMELIE-esque accordion music over scenes of someone with a real problem, it will make it ironic or humorous. It depicts a family in real crisis as “off kilter” and “kooky.” And then, when the going gets dark, the film’s characters take moral and emotional 180s for no other reason than to move the plot along. I found this film insulting, badly plotted, and so infuriating that I wanted to give it as few stars as possible. However, it cannot be denied that the film is well-made (and it gets a star just for that) and Foster does her level best to present an appealing film. Why a talent filmmaker like her would choose such a shit-box of a project is anyone’s guess. As weird as it sounds, I think it’s just not fair to blame Mel and his troubles for making this flick as big of a mess as it is. But let’s be clear… avoid this shit like the plague.
4 out of 5 stars
A self-indulgent re-watch! Starkly told and yet beautifully shot, this is a film that, while not for everyone, is absolutely amazing. The pace of the narrative is slow and one really has to pay attention to each and every word spoke (because there aren’t many of them), but damn… just a terrific cinematic experience. VERY violent at times and yet lyrical and introspective, there is just one stunningly crafted scene shown after another. Without ever saying a word, Mads Mikkelson smolders in the lead role and conveys more emotion than many actors could ever accomplish. This is easily one of the best films I’ve seen in recent memory. Comparisons to Dante’s INFERNO are in-bounds. Absolutely amazing and, for the patient viewer, highly recommended.
2 out of 5 stars
After many reviewers said so many nice things about this film, I sat down to watch it expecting great things. Sadly, GRAND PIANO fails on just about every level it attempts. From the overwhelmingly expositional dialog in the first act through the ridiculously contrived execution of, what should have been, a fragile, but still interesting premise, the film flounders by a) spending too much time on ancillary character who exist only to be killed, b) trying to turn what should have been a cerebral chess game into a physical “cat-n-mouse game,” and c) the use of character who are obviously involved (the second you see BILL & TED’s, Alex Winter, you KNOW he’s up to something. And then there’s the acting… I swear that it must’ve been a mandate from the studio or from the director, but EVERY SINGLE actor in this fiasco overacts… and does so to the point of the audience collectively putting its face into its hands. Heck, even John Cusack is chewing more scenery than his diet normally allows. In the end, GRAND PIANO is another example of how a solid – albeit rickety - premise can be ruined and undone by a director who simply chooses the wrong aspect of the story to focus on. Pity, too… this could’ve – and should’ve – been better.
The Mad Executioners (aka Der Henker von London) / Fellowship Of The Frog
3 out of 5 stars
Two classic Krimi (German murder mysteries / thrillers) films written by the great Edgar Wallace. The first film, THE MAD EXECUTIONERS, is directed by Edwon Zbonek (1964‘s MONSTER OF LONDON CITY aka DAS ENGEHEUER VON LONDON CITY) and tells a schizophrenic tale of, first off, a group of hooded vigilantes who set about hanging people who have slipped the noose of justice - ala THE STAR CHAMBER. Secondly, there’s a “sex murderer” who is beheading people as part of an experiment in which he is trying to graft the severed heads onto robots… or something. Either one of these stories would have made for a tight little Krimi film. However, someone decided to do a little stitching together of their own and the results are two halves of two decent pictures. Decent acting, solid direction, and with a great B&W look, THE MAD EXECUTIONERS suffers only from its fractured narrative and a bit of a rushed ending.
The second film in this Krimi double-feature is 1959’s FELLOWSHIP OF THE FROG (aka DER FROSCH MIT DER MASKE) directed by Harald Reinl (the documentary CHARIOTS OF THE GODS, THE RETURN OF DR MABUSE, INVISIBLE DR MABUSE) the film is about a criminal mastermind named The Frog who, with the help of his minions, are systematically robbing the safes of London. There’s a lot of skulking about and a detective who stumbles his way through the narrative. The film has its own charm, but it careens about with lots of intrigue and some of the worst fisticuffs you’ll ever see. All in all, this double-feature is a worthwhile example of 60s German mystery cinema… not the greatest the genre has to offer, but certainly not the worst.
Kong: Skull Island
2 out of 5 stars
I imagine it seemed like a good idea at the time; reboot a beloved albeit flawed franchise, set up an inevitable “universe” of films (via spin-offs, etc), and make a trillion dollars. Thing is… it’s never that easy. After two attempts at making Kong work for modern audiences, we arrived on Skull Island for a corporatized and misguided roadshow that borrows liberally from a host of other films (APOCALYPSE NOW and PREDATOR come immediately to mind). It’s almost like the filmmakers looked at Peter Jackson’s KING KONG and, seeing that the main thing people responded to was the monster fights, decided, “Yeah, more of that!” From its initial predictable roll-out (again, VERY much influenced by Weird War films like PREDATOR), the film quickly divides its cast into smaller (more killable) groups and slowly builds to the establishment of Kong as, not a force of capricious Nature, but rather as benevolent guardian of Man. Whatever. What the film is… is an avalanche of clichés that determinedly drive the narrative toward the next monster fight. It’s like WWE… with Kaiju. And boy, are those Kaiju ever rough. The design of the creatures looks unfinished, like this was the next to last iteration of the computer rendering. The battle between Kong and The MUTAs is literally a redo on the Kong vs. T-Rexs from Jackson’s film. And Kong… Kong is reduced to a pop-up Jack-in-the-Box that appears solely to give Samuel L Jackson’s character something to shout at and to haul the other human’s meat out of the grease. The cast are wasted, particularly Steve Zahn and John C Reilly (who I swear is doing a Bobcat Goldthwaite impression). And Loki (as our lantern-jawed hero) is miscast and laughable. Everyone else exists only to up the film’s body count. Another bone of contention was the puddle deep soundtrack references. Every single song is forehead-slappingly obvious; like whoever pulled it together only knew of the music of the day via textbooks. There is literally nothing here that is a surprise. In the end, KONG: SKULL ISLAND is more corporate smoke and mirrors offering up clichés and outright thievery as original narrative. Sure… see it if you’re a Kaiju fan (I guarantee you’ve seen worse) or if you just like watching Samuel Jackson scream at things, but… if it’s a competently-made extension of a the Kong mythos, just go rent Merian C Cooper’s 1933 film instead. At least THAT one does it justice.
2.5 out of 5 stars
A common occurrence with horror films these days is that they wear their influences proudly on their sleeve. Cribbing the best bits of the past, they cobble together a narrative that is reminiscent of the past, but also its own thing. Take the crowd-funded THE VOID, for example. Competently made by Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski (both men have worked behind the scenes on films for several years), the film seems novel with its white-robed bad guys all circling a closing hospital late at night. But then, we start to see the fertile ground from where that idea sprang. Closing hospital… remember Anthony DiBlasi’s LAST SHIFT from a few years ago? Remember when they guy cut his own face off in NIGHTBREED? Remember the pressure cooker atmosphere of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD? Remember PRINCE OF DARKNESS and THE THING? And hey, remember the ending of Fulci’s THE BEYOND? Well, they’re all here set amidst a backdrop of petty squabbling and poor decision-making. The script (the parts that aren’t ‘borrowed’) is annoyingly vague and inconsistent. Characters are clichés and wholly one-dimensional – most existing solely to be killed off later. The acting… is about what you’d expect for this sort of thing. Heck, even Pat Hingle (THE BROOD, INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS) shows up for a quick cameo. Two cool things… 1) Lustmord does a lot of the audio texturing and it’s pretty dam spooky-sounding and 2) there are some sweet practical fx gags in this mofo. Fans new to the genre will be amused, but… older fans will have seen this, done that a few times before. Not terrible… just not terribly original
Film 274: SETTE SCIALLI DI SETA GIALLA aka THE CRIMES OF THE BLACK CAT aka SEVEN SHAWLS OF YELLOW SILK
Sette Scialli di Seta Gialla aka The Crimes of the Black Cat aka Seven Shawls of Yellow Silk
2.5 out of 5 stars
Sergio Pastore (CHRYSANTHEMUMS FOR A BUNCH OF SWINE) directs this pretty obvious plagiarism of the Mario Bava classic BLOOD AND BLACK LACE from 1972. The story has to do with a blind pianist who begins to investigate a number of murders of some fashion models; all killed by a cat with the poison Curare on its claws. Starring Anthony Steffen (THE NIGHT EVELYN CAME OUT OF THE GRAVE), Giacomo Rossi (KILL BABY KILL and he played Ben Cortman in Vincent Price’s LAST MAN ON EARTH), and Sylvia Koscina (Bava’s LISA AND THE DEVIL) doing what is essentially an extended cameo), the film is a wildly uneven exercise with characters being routinely introduced solely so that they can be killed off a few scenes down the road. Acting is universally stiff and, well… Italian (dubbed into English), but there’s lots of ‘big bush’ nudity, so I guess there’s *that*. The film score is all very groovy and exceedingly early ‘70s, but is fun. While CRIMES OF THE BLACK CAT is an obvious clone of BLOOD AND BLACK LACE (as well as a handful of others such as Argento’s CAT O’ NINE TAILS and FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET, Paolo Cavera’s BLACK BELLY OF THE TARANTULA, Lucio Fulci’s LIZARD IN A WOMAN’S SKIN to name but a few), it lacks any of the Bava film’s stunning visual style. BLACK CAT’s conclusion is HEAVILY indebted to Henry Hathaway’s 23 PACES TO BAKER STREET from 1956 and is far bloodier that what is in the rest of the movie (particularly the ‘straight razor in the shower’ scene). In the end, CRIMES OF THE BLACK CAT is a fine enough ‘70s Italian murder mystery / giallo, but it’s mostly notable not for what it is, but rather what it borrows / steals from. Fun… just not terrible original.