Sunday, April 24, 2022

TRAUMA (1993) Blu-ray Review

Trauma (1993) d. Dario Argento (Italy) (106 min)

David (Christopher Rydell), a graphic artist for a local news station, encounters a young Romanian runaway Aura (Asia Argento) contemplating suicide on a highway overpass. He convinces her to come in off the ledge, but when he tries to comfort her at a local diner, she reveals her bulimic tendencies, fleeing for the bathroom and into the waiting arms Dr. Judd’s (Frederic Forrest) Farraday Clinic cronies, from which she had recently escaped. Returning Aura to her spiritualist mother Adriana (Piper Laurie), the family reunion is spoiled when Adriana holds a séance in which she senses a murderer at the table and is herself murdered along with her husband by a mysterious serial killer known as “The Headhunter,” so dubbed for his/her decapitatory tendencies with a portable garroter. (Who knew there was a call for such things?) Aura flees again into David’s arms, and the two begin an investigation into the killer’s connections to Dr. Judd, Adriana, and the increasing number of victims, all of whom seem to be connected by a common thread…

Sunday, April 17, 2022

TASTE OF FEAR (aka SCREAM OF FEAR) (1961) Movie Review

Taste of Fear (aka Scream of Fear) (1961) d. Seth Holt (UK) (81 min)

Following the recent death (by drowning) of her boarding school friend Maggie, wheelchair-bound Penny Appleby (Susan Strasberg) is beckoned to her estranged father’s seaside home in the south of France. After being literally picked up by the family chauffeur Robert (Ronald Lewis), she is informed by her stepmother Jane (Ann Todd) that despite the fact that her father has been suddenly called away on business, Penny is invited to consider this her new home. That night, Penny investigates a mysterious light in the summer house and sees what she believes to be her father’s corpse; in her hasty retreat, she falls into the adjoining swimming pool and is rescued by Robert. The cordial but stern Dr. Gerrard (Christopher Lee) quells her fears, telling her it must simply have been “a case of nerves,” but this marks only the first of Penny’s encounters with her pater’s inanimate form popping up in the most unlikely of places. It’s the kind of thing that could drive a person mad… and out of her inheritance.