Sergio Martino Is A Genius!
Daniel Kepley | Viola, DE USA | 06/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK is one of the finest giallo efforts ever made. When watching this, one seriously has to wonder why Sergio Martino is not any better regarded than he is. He's right up there with Mario Bava and Dario Argento in terms of serving up effective gialli! This film is an effective hybrid of BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE and ROSEMARY'S BABY!
Jane (the uber-gorgeous Edwidge French) is haunted by recurring nightmares supposedly stemming from a miscarriage and a car accident two years ago. But unbeknownst to her boyfriend Richard (George Hilton), her psychosis stems from the memory of her mother's murder, and she keeps seeing the killer (Ivan Rassimov) with weird blue eyes everywhere she turns. So on the advice of a new neighbor (Marina Malfatti of SEVEN BLOOD-STAINED ORCHIDS), she attends a Black Sabbath ceremony in hopes of curing herself of these delusions.
To examine the movie further would be totally unfair, since this movie requires as very little foreknowledge as possible. However I will add that there is a great twist toward the end, one that could only be conceived in the giallo world. Of course, the hypnotic beauty of French should be sufficient enough to consider a viewing! And don't forget Bruno Nicolai's gorgeous and haunting music score; it prefigures Goblin's finest music scores!
Once again, Shriek Show continues to outdo themselves in presenting obscurities to the digital medium. The anamorphic widescreen transfer on this film is truly a sight to behold (enhancing French's beauty even)! They include U.S. title sequence, trailer, and radio spots (as THEY'RE COMING TO GET YOU), interviews with Martino and Hilton, and a great photo gallery (WARNING! Watch after the movie, for it is kind of spoilerish). Giallo buffs, consider this a priority purchase!"
Edwige! Edwige! Edwige!
Jeffrey Leach | Omaha, NE USA | 08/31/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Ahhh, Sergio Martino! Just the sound of his name makes this low budget schlock fan's heart sing with joy. "2019: After the Fall of New York," "Torso," "The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh," "Your Vice is a Locked Door and Only I Have the Key," "Case of the Scorpion's Tail," "Slave of the Cannibal God," "Mannaja, A Man Called Blade," and "Gambling City"--these films and many others come to us from the mind of one of the most prolific Italian low budget directors of the 1970s and 1980s. Martino ought to rank right up there with Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci, and Umberto Lenzi as a man who knew how to entertain audiences. He knew no limits in terms of genre. For example, "Mannaja" is a spaghetti western. "2019: After the Fall of New York" is a massively entertaining example of the Italian post-apocalyptic flicks made to cash in on Carpenter's "Escape From New York" and "The Road Warrior." Martino is likely best known for his gialli contributions, those atmospheric thrillers involving an anonymous but often clad in black murderer, red herrings heaped on red herrings, and beautiful Eurobabes. "All the Colors of the Dark" definitely falls in the giallo genre, with a few significant deviations. Let's get started!
Jane Harrison (Edwige Fenech) is a housewife living in London whose problems are starting to overwhelm her tenuous hold on reality. She's having these odd and unsettling dreams, you see, that are beginning to mirror reality in more ways than one. Her significant other, Richard Steele (George Hilton), chalks up her disturbing nighttime visions as a mere symptom of an operation she underwent some time before to repair damage sustained in a car crash. Jane isn't so sure. For one thing, some creepy looking dude with piercing blue eyes in the dreams follows her around town during her waking hours. This man's presence reeks of danger, although initially he doesn't do much more than stare at her from a distance (considering the incredible beauty of Edwige Fenech, this must happen all the time). It's enough to freak her out, though. In fact, she's so distraught that Jane finally takes her sister Barbara's (Nieves Navarro) advice to go visit a shrink. Dr. Burton (Georges Rigaud) insists Jane has nothing to worry about, that the visions she experiences are leftover traumas caused by the car accident. We know that's not true, for if it was there would be no movie. Something far more sinister than Dr. Burton can imagine is going on, and Jane is right in the center of it all.
Our heroine begins to understand the mysterious web around her when an enigmatic neighbor by the name of Mary Weil (Marina Malfatti) offers a cure for Jane's troubles. Mary takes her new friend to a brooding castle out in the countryside where a group of people, a cult if you will, with decidedly unsavory beliefs and practices fulfill their outrageous rituals. It's difficult to see how these activities could help Harrison overcome her dreams, let alone explain the origins of her visions, and it soon becomes apparent that curing psychological problems isn't the focus of this particular sect. After an initial encounter with this group, Jane's dreams continue unabated. And the chap with the piercing blue eyes, who we soon learn is called Mark Cogan (Ivan Rassimov), not only keeps showing up but also makes actual contact with our lovely protagonist. Does this guy have something to do with the disappearance of Mary Weil? Is he using that knife he treats with tender loving care? Whatever the case, his fascination with Jane coupled with increasingly bizarre encounters with the cult at the castle soon reduces her to a frazzled wreck. Harrison doesn't even know if she can trust Richard, her sister Barbara, or Dr. Dugan anymore. Living in a giallo presents myriad difficulties, that's for sure.
And "All the Colors of the Dark" is a giallo even though many of the key elements are missing. No black-gloved killer inhabits the film, and the numerous red herrings we've come to expect of the genre don't really exist here either--at least not in the way "Deep Red," Tenebre," or "Don't Torture a Duckling" defines them. Martino's film does proffer the dreamy atmosphere, the clever camera techniques, and the beautiful women one comes to expect from this type of thriller. And of course it's got Edwige Fenech playing the weeping and fractured protagonist. If you're not familiar with this marvelous European actress, you need to see "All the Colors of the Dark" or one of her other films right away. She's a gorgeous, raven-haired beauty with an ethereal visage one cannot look at without thinking of an angel. Fenech went on to make a bunch of giallo flicks, usually opposite Hilton, and she's the definite draw in this movie. I'm happy to see Fenech as the star because several of the other elements of the movie are weak. There's little gore aside from the occasional splotch of blood, and the plot isn't easy to follow for most of the film's runtime. Martino does wrap up most of the threads during the conclusion, but questions remain. "All the Colors of the Dark" is still a lot of fun, though.
Extras on this Shriek Show disc include three trailers for the film (one of them under the alternate title "They're Coming to Get You"), a lengthy photo and poster gallery, interviews with Martino and Hilton, a couple of radio spots, and alternate opening and closing credit sequences. The usual four pack of Shriek Show trailers--in this case "Slaughter Hotel," "Nightmares Come at Night," "2019: After the Fall of New York," and "Syndicate Sadists"--completes the supplements. I heartily recommend this Martino film to viewers, but I'm personally more excited about seeing his other giallo films on disc in the near future. Those movies have Edwige in them too!
B. M. Kunz | Los Angeles, CA USA | 11/09/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a visually sumptuous Italian thriller that has little in the way of gore, but enough style and cinematic virtuosity that comparisons to the great works of Dario Argento and even Mario Bava could easily be drawn. As with films of this ilk, the plot, dialogue and characterizations are the weak spots, however, the film has enough imagination and grandiose imagery to make up for any shortcomings. That being said, one last minor quibble I had was with the music used during a satanic mass scene - it seemed inappropriate, and for me, it ultimately undermined what was supposed to be a pivotal moment in the film. Thankfully, as a whole, the rest of the score is more than serviceable, and particularly effective in a couple of scenes. The cinematography is georgeous, and probably the one aspect of the film which I enjoyed most. Along with this, the opening dream sequence is a creepy stunner and another highlight in the film. This is easily one of the best films I've seen released by Shriek Show. The overall presentation is quite good, with a nice widescreen transfer and the option of either an English dubbed soundtrack, or an Italiano soundtrack with English subs. So, if you're a fan of Italian horror films "All the Colors of the Dark" is certainly a film worth adding to your collection."
Enjoyable, beautiful, top shelf 'giallo' movie
Chris | Australia | 05/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great Italian giallo movie. In this film Edwidge Fenech is simply stunning as the often scantily dressed or even nude lead. She plays a woman psychologically disturbed and seemingly stalked by an unknown stranger. In her search for a cure she becomes entangled with black magic rituals and a hidden and unknown past comes back to haunt her. The "tall dark and handsome" George Hilton plays her detached and elusive husband and along with the supporting cast this movie is very well acted throughout. The movie is great to look at with a strong artistic streak running below the surface without ever becoming distracting. You will quickly become aware of the great camera work used in this film. Like many giallo movies, there is a touch of the surreal about this - especially in the opening scene. The film has a good soundtrack in parts, and is particularly enjoyable during the black magic rituals. In my opinion, the plot is engaging, the tempo is consistent and the movie is a joy to look at. The DVD is well presented, the film transfer quality is first rate and looks fresh and vivid. The extras on the DVD are well worth having, with a couple of interviews and a number of trailers for other similar genre films. I would have no hesitation in buying this one - it warrants multiple viewing and it contains a decent bag of extras."