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Quando Alice Ruppe lo Specchio

Touch of Death
When Alice Broke the Mirror

Italy 1988
produced by
Antonio Lucidi, Luigi Nannerini for Alpha Cinematografica
directed by Lucio Fulci
starring Brett Halsey, Ria De Simone, Pier Luigi Conti (= Al Cliver), Sacha Darvin, Zura Ulla Kessler (= Zora Kerova), Marco Di Stefano, Maurice Poli
written by Lucio Fulci, music by Carlo Maria Cordio, special effects by Angelo Mattei

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Lester (Brett Halsey) is a modern Bluebeard, he meets (mainly bizarre) women, all wealthy widows, through dating agencies, courts them for a while and when he has gained their trust, he kills them - and more often than not in the most ghastly fashion. Then he gets rid of the bodies and sees to it that he never leaves a trace.

Why does he do it ?

Because he has a gambling habit that grows worse and worse, but not only that, at gambling he also is the born loser, and he constantly owes his bookie (Al Cliver) money, to a point where the bookie threatens to kill him.

The real problem about all of this is though that Lester is highly schizophrenic, he is by far not as clever a criminal as he thinks himself to be, leaves clues for the police all over the place, talks to the tapedeck of his stereo and thinks someone is trying to do him in - and even gets imaginary phonecalls from that guy ...

Then, out of pure coincidence, Lester, who thought of having reached the end of the line, meets another rich widow, Virginia Field (Zora Kerova), a woman with a harelip, and suddenly he feels himself on top again - until he has to realize that she only lured him into a trap and the police is already close by. She even threatens him with a gun, only he believes she will never shoot - until, bang bang, you're dead ...

 

By and large, director Lucio Fulci's films from the late 1980's are vastly inferior to his masterpieces from the early years of the decade, especially his gothic trilogy. Touch of Death however seems to be the exception to the rule, as he gives up his usual, all-out horror stories for black comedy for once, and tells a weird and also violent tale full of bizarre setpieces - the most bizarre probably the scene where Ria De Simone plays his latest girlfriend who constantly sings arias - and almost ironic gorse scenes. And at times the movie is really funny (which should not be too surprisning since Lucio Fulci got his start in comedy back in the 1960's).

That all said however, Touch of Death is less than perfect, somehow Fulci, while directing great isolated sequences, fails to get a proper grip on the actual storyline, and time and again too, the film turns into a routine but not very thought-through thriller, forgetting its macabre overtones.

Still, in all the film is a refreshing piece of gore-cinema, certainly not for everyone's taste of course but if you don't take your gore too seriously, this one is definitely for you.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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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!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD