Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Eusebio Poncela, Jorge Sanz, Maribel Verd, Fele Martnez, Silke
Genres: Indie & Art House, Horror, Special Interests, Educational
A psychopathic killer selects his victims from the internet and begins preying on students at a university in Salamanca, Spain. The victims are selected based upon their grade point average-- eliminating failing students. ... more »
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In Spain, everyone can hear you SCREAM
Jimmy Wagers | CA USA | 11/14/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"DARK MINSTREL would probably be a better title for this 2001 Spanish flick (aka TUNO NEGRO) that does a pretty good job of mimicking American teen slasher movies and Italian giallos. Alex (played by Spanish sex symbol Silke Klein) is a new student at a University where pupils soon find themselves being brutally stabbed to death. The killer, who wears a minstrel outfit and labels himself the "Dark Minstrel," communicates with Alex through the Internet, leaving her clues as to who the next victims will be. Soon Alex and her pals discover that the killer has been moving from one university to the next, eliminating only the worst (ie. failing) students.
The murders are graphic and bloody, but far from believable or logical (at one point the killer offs a professor, which seems to contradict the killer's motives), so anyone expecting an intelligent and realistic thriller should pretty much throw those expectations out the window. Instead, BLACK SERENADE tries to be both serious AND tongue-and-cheek -- a jumbled mix of banal and wildly over-the-top elements that doesn't really mesh, but does provide for some stylish sequences. One of the murders (a burning) makes for a bravura visual setpiece and one scene in which a drugged-out character gets killed is shown in a gruesome but visually inventive manner.
Still, if this were an American movie it would be instantly forgettable. The plot is full of holes and obvious red herrings, the tone is all over the place, and the cast looks too old to be students. The film is redeemed somewhat by its attractive Spanish locations and the interesting plot device involving minstrels and their historical significance. Silke, who was excellent in Julio Medem's TIERRA, makes for an intriguing (if somewhat detached) heroine and shows off her knockout body in a rather erotic, nude sex scene that is almost worth the price of a rental.
The DVD from Studio Latino looks fine, but the so-called "Deleted Scenes" special feature merely shows a bunch of scenes that are already in the movie!"