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Portrait in Terror

USA / Yugoslavia 1965
produced by
Jay Roades, Roger Corman (uncredited) for AIP, Avala Film
directed by Rados Novakovic (as Michael Road)
starring William Campbell, Anna Pavane (= Irena Posen), Patrick Magee, Kerry Anderson, Dante Gerino, Mike Astin, Ben Astar, Ray Baduzzi, Don Brodie, Jack Hoyt, Ella Karlan, Stacy Karnes, Jerry Mallory, Pia Maive, Norman Pagett, and uncredited: Rade Markiovic, Miha Baloh, Vjekoslav Afric
written by Vlastimir Radovanovic (as Vic Webber), music by Ronald Stein

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

To buy, click on link(s) below and help keep this site afloat

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Dubrovnik: A presumably lost painting by Titian is stolen from an eccentric art collector - but since it's more than probable that that painting was just a copy, and not a very good one, that wouldn't be such a big deal if the art collector wasn't also murdered for it. Detective Miha (Rade Markovic) picks up investigations, sided by his future brother-in-law, reporter Danny (Miha Baloh), and they soon figure the killer to be Dr. Maurizio (Patrick Magee), even though they're slow to collect evidence and Maurizio is quicker than quick to evade them and even kill his blackmailing girlfriend along the way.

In the meantime, Danny's wife-to-be Vera (Anna Pavane) feels more than a bit neglected with her fiancé being on a wild goose chase rather than preparing their wedding with her, so - probably to make him jealous - she gets in touch with a former boyfriend of hers, Tony (William Campbell) - not knowing of course that he's deeply involved with the case, and putting herself at risk unvoluntarily ...

 

Portrait in Terror is the second chapter in a tale only Roger Corman can deliver, it's a reworking of his earlier US-Yugoslavian co-production Operation Titian, a film that would eventually wind up building the backbone of a movie called Blood Bath by Corman regulars Jack Hills and Stephanie Rothman, who shot footage around what they had to work with rather wildly (but remember, the cult shocker Targets by Peter Bogdanovich came about pretty much the same way).

Basically, the story is that Corman wasn't overly pleased with Operation Titian, which he invested some money in, so had it re-cut, inserted some scenes, added new music, and americanized all the cast - not always in the film's favour: While the music sure suits the music, some of the added scenes feel out of place, especially when it's too obvious that doubles were used, and while some efforts to edit the film to a brisker pace really work, sometimes narrative threads are simply lost - especially obvious when the character of Vera's concerned whose character thread has pretty much been cut out of the proceedings making the threat she's in in the third act rather hard to properly appreciate. On the other hand though, a few underwater scenes thrown in for good measure are not only well conceived but also properly creepy.

In all, certainly not a classic in its own right (and neither was Operation Titian) - but a fun piece in a bigger puzzle!

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 


We're more than happy to announce that our film
There's No Such Thing as Zombies
will premiere at the IndieScream (online) Film Festival on October 28th 6:30 Pacific Time - click here - and frankly, we'd all be happy to see you there.

There's No Such Thing as Zombies is directed by Eddie Bammeke, written by Michael Haberfelner, and stars Eirian Cohen, Rudy Barrow and Rami Hilmi, with special appearances by horror icons Lynn Lowry and Debra Lamb.

See you all there I hope, and if you can't make it, you can rent the movie for the fest's entire run until November 3rd 2021!