German week: Im Banne des Unheimlichen

Hier spricht Edgar Wallace… We’ll excuse you if you thought Edgar Wallace was German. In fact, he’s a Brit, but his books were extremely popular in Germany, more than anywhere else in the world. We’re not talking about his most famous creation, for that is King Kong, but about the dozens of crime novels. In the sixties these was turned into movies by the masses. (If you force us to be exact, it’s actually from 1959 to 1971.) As it’s German Week here at DV, we’ll take a closer look at the phenomenon Edgar Wallace tonight.

It wouldn’t actually be not too difficult to review all these movies together, as most of them are somewhat similar. Most begin with a voice saying “Hier spricht Edgar Wallace”, most of them are decent but not exactly masterpieces (I think I must’ve given plenty of Wallace adaptations either 6 or 7 out of 10) a lot of them were directed by the same people (of these Harald Reinl and Alfred Vohrer should be mentioned, for they were the best) and – it’s almost as if someone kept them in a box – most of these films contained the same actors: it’ll be hard to find one without Joachim Fuchsberger (most often as the Scotland Yard detective), Eddi Arent (as the clumsy assistant) and Klaus Kinski (almost always as a psychotic gangster). But, so as not to overcomplicate stuff, we’ll review one of his films in depth: In Banne des Unheimlichen, which also got the pretty exciting English name, The Zombie Walks.

Richard Horatio Edgar Wallace was born in 1875. He died in 1932, one year before King Kong was released. So it’s not just the German crime movies he never got to see. Don’t worry though, by the time of his death, already 35 film adaptations of his works had been made.
So, with a reassured heart, we can travel back to Germany. The later in the 1960s you get the more odd his movies were. A lot of the earlier wFuchsberger checks if the victim is really deadork was already tame: there were crime movies (the Germans call them “Krimi”) alright, but you wouldn’t think twice before showing them to a kid (who’d then probably complain Pokemon is far more exciting).In Banne des Unheimichen was made in 1968, by this time the films weren’t too shy to include a bit of violence, nudity and even colour. And what would happen if you’d use those combinations even more? Don’t know? Which quite classic film would be dubbed Das Geheimnis des Grünen Stecknadel in German, do you think? Yes, it’s the classic giallo, What Have You Done to Solange? (with Fuchsberger once again as inspector). Another film based on a book by Edgar Wallace. (It’s not the only Wallace giallo by the way: Riccardo Freda made A doppia faccia with Klaus Kinski, Duccio Tessari directed The Bloodstained Butterfly and Umberto Lenzi directed Seven Bloodstained Orchids. That’s a lot of blood stains…)

Choosing one Wallace movie for this review wasn’t easy: despite the recurring casts, it’s not easy to find a movie with Kinski, Arent and Fuchsberger, which was directed by Vohrer or Reinl. I finally chose Im Banne des Unheimlichen because it was a later Wallace film. The ghostly culprit provides a little extra and it paved the way for the final chapter in the Wallace filmography, the gialli.

In The Zombie Walks, a serial killer, who calls himself “The Laughing Corpse”, dresses up in a skeleton costume, only to kill his victims with a poison-filled scorpion-shaped ring. The The killer (as you'd probably guessed)killer does look a bit like criminal masterminds so very popular around that era, like Kilink and Kriminal (which was directed by Lenzi, director of Seven Blood-stained Roses, allowing us to go full circle once more). I’m not very sure whether Vohrer tried to give the killer a supernatural touch, but I guess he didn’t (or he failed). Which isn’t too bad: it’s a Krimi and it doesn’t have to be supernatural. (By this time, that other Wallace director, Reinl, was also walking on similar territory, with Die Schlangengrube und das Pendel, another cult classic better known as Castle of the Walking Dead).

Im Banne des Unheimlichen loves using colours, which makes the film seem vibrant. It doesn’t Startled by the killersucceed in the scenes where one man is suffering from a rare disease, which makes his face look green. It’s the sort of green failure we’ve only seen in Zombie Lake. (Click here if you want to judge for yourself.) On the plus side, there’s enough mystery to keep the film moving on and Siw Mattson is great as the mysterious and feisty Peggy Ward. Mattson is a Swedish girl, who only appeared in three movies, the other two being Swedish coming of age films (with titles as Eva, the half virgin). I don’t know why she didn’t act more: maybe the other directors didn’t give her the good direction Vohrer gave her, or maybe she was fed up with cinema after her two Swedish films.

The killer’s suit may look a bit silly on the screens, but Vohrer managed to make it seem more menacing during the film. Typical for Wallace is the addition of several subplots to confuse the reader or viewer, but this film manages to do without that. This is also not a film that desperately wanted to show the action took place in Great Britain, like some of the older Wallace movies, which often included a lot of establishment shots from London. And there is also a lack of levity, which is a good thing in my opinion. A lot of the earlier Wallace films contained a slapstick sort of humour (often acted out by Eddi Arent), which I found highly annoying and distracting. The later films, paving a way for the gialli, managed to exclude the comedy bits and were therefore a lot more effective.

If you paid close attention to the introduction of this article, you’ll have figured out how I’d rated this film. If not, I’ve given it 7/10. Most of the Wallace films are out on dvd in Germany, with subtitles, there is even a full dvd box containing no less than 33 films. Pay close attention though: some Krimi movies by Vohrer have a similar dvd sleeve, but if you read carefully, you’ll see it actually says “made by the Edgar Wallace director Alfred Vohrer” on the sleeve. And another thing to watch out for, Wallace had a son, Bryan Edgar Wallace, who also wrote crime novels, some of which were also turned into films. We recommend The Strangler of Blackmoor Castle, by Harald Reinl of course.

Amer (preview)

It looks as if Belgium has a new giallo on its hands (that’ll be n°3). It’s called Amer (Bitter) and it’s released in April in France (01/04) and Belgium (28/04). The film’s poster is dedicated to classic giallo posters and one of the trailers genuinely looks and sounds like a giallo. And this in the same month as Argento’s mediocre Giallo is released in Belgium.

To celebrate Amer’s release, Cinema Nova will have the premiere with both directors Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani and a mini-season of gialli: The Bird With The Crystal Plumage, Blood and Black Lace and Autopsy.

Gilles Vranckx is the man who designed the film’s poster and did such a good job Mondo Macabro asked him to design a couple of posters for them as well. His blog can be found here:

Amer itself will be reviewed later, for now here’s the film’s site … … and the trailer:


It’s a tricky thing, to name a film after a genre. Especially if it seems like you’ll be perennially associated by the genre anyway. A handful of lucky punks may have called their short “Film Noir”, but no feature film seems daft enough to go with that title. (We’re not sure if we want to include Masahiro Kabayashi here, whose Koroshi allegedly means “film noir” in Japanese – as the international title became Killing.)

Enter Dario Argento, whose career boomed in the 70s with films like The Bird With The Crystal Plumage and Suspiria and whose recent career has been so successful we’re still referring to the films he made in 1970 and 1977. One of the thrillers Argento made at the start of his career was recently released on DVD – finally, we’d like to add – and this Four Flies on Grey Velvet got a lot more buzz than Argento’s two recent films: Mother of Tears and Giallo. There, I’ve said it: the latest Argento film is called Giallo. Can you smell the problem already?

“Giallo”, you see, isn’t only the Italian word for “yellow”, but it’s also the movie genre that Argento got his fame from. Allegedly, his Bird with the Crystal Plumage was supposed to be the real start of the genre – even if there had been some giallos (or gialli) in the 60s and Mario Bava should probably get the credit for Blood and Black Lace in 1964. Anyway, even now there probably won’t be a giallo retrospective at a film festival without including at least a film by Argento or Bava. And whereas Argento’s current status may be overrated, there’s no denying the man’s gialli (The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, Four Flies on Grey Velvet and Profondo Rosso) were good movies. It’s Argento’s later work that a lot of fans have problems with: despite the odd movie that was got a more welcome reception, pretty much all of the man’s films from the 90s and 00s was met with less than lukewarm reviews.

But lately it seems Argento seems to have found a new hobby and it’s called: spitting your fans in their faces. Twenty-seven years after Suspiria and Inferno, he completed his Three Mothers trilogy with Mother of Tears, probably the worst film Argento ever made. The general consensus was not only: “Did we have to wait a quarter of a century for this?”, but also the status of the two earlier films seemed suddenly smeared. By comparison, the Star Wars prequels seemed like cinema gold. But Argento wasn’t happy just by killing off half of his legacy… no, the other half (his gialli) had to go down the drain too.

Gialli were in essence film noir movies but with more nudity and gore. Outrageous at the time, a lot of them can now only be served as an appetizer before watching a torture porn film like Saw or Hostel. And that wouldn’t be a terribly wrong way to describe Giallo: Argento does torture porn. In this film, you see, there’s a mad killer on the loose who kidnaps and tortures beautiful young women. The mad kiler goes by the name Yellow or Giallo, not because of he wants to pay homage to the genre but because a disease has made his skin go yellow. As far as motives can be stupid, this one can be par with that Japanese flick where a man tortures and kills people because his body odour has made him unpopular with the ladies.

To be fair, Argento shouldn’t be the only one to take the blame: the script was penned by Jim Agnew and Sean Keller especially for the Italian director. Keller was responsible for a couple of “original Sci-Fi channel movies”, to give you an idea of what we’re dealing with here. But that neither Argento nor the other two writers came to the conclusion that giving a thriller such a title could only be considered as hybris, is beyond me.

Mainly because it ensures the film can only disappoint. In all fairness, Giallo isn’t a horrible film but you only notice this if your expectations have been crushed upfront. I couldn’t say Adrian Brody astounded me in the film and his role was quite silly indeed: because Avolfi (Brody) investigates vicious murders, his desk is in the deep dark cellar. A bit like Fox Mulder in The X-Files then, with the exception that Spooky Mulder was ridiculed by the FBI and Brody’s character genuinely investigates gruesome murders. Just imagine the man has a lead: it’ll take him ten minutes just to leave the precinct. Luckily the pizza delivery service still knows where he is. Which is how Emmanuelle Seigner‘s character Linda (whose sister was kidnapped by a man in a taxi) manages to track him down. At first, Avolfi doesn’t take her serious, but then he believes her and suddenly he has no problems talking about the gruesome murders to a civilian. As one does over a yummy slice of pizza.

Meanwhile Yellow tortures Linda’s sister by forcing her to watch how another victim is tortured to death. The torture scenes aren’t there to show how twisted the character is, it rather looks as if Argento is trying to show us he can still direct gory scenes. But Terror at the Opera this isn’t (remember those pins?) and it actually looks as if Argento is still trying to show how cool he can still be, anno 2009. In all fairness, I was able to find the screenplay of the film and Argento has genuinely improved parts of the film, including some of the torture scenes.

All in all, Giallo is a lot better than Mother of Tears (then again, so would be a testcard, so I’m not sure whether that’s saying anything) and I’m pretty sure I’d like the film better a second time round. Sadly I’m also certain I don’t want to see it again. Blame it on the hybris, kids!


Kadin Dusmani

Turkish cinema may not make into the annals of film history as being highly original. This site has never thought twice about ridiculing the Turkish homegrown remakes of ET, Spiderman or Rambo. If this has caused you to believe that all Turkish cinema is cause for ridicule, it’s a misconception we hope to end today with the review of Kadin Düsmani (Woman Despiser).

If you want to look for a fitting genre, Kadin Düsmani has to be classified as a giallo. Well, a Turkish giallo. Made in 1967. A time when even the Italians weren’t thinking of mass-producing films in this genre.

If I seem a bit reluctant to underscribe Kadin Düsmani as a giallo wholeheartedly, it’s because my own description of a giallo is a ‘film noir with more blood and nudity’. Judged merely on that account, Kadin Düsmani fails to deliver:  you may get to see some disrobing, but nudity is not around. For that we have to refer you to Thirsty for Love, Sex and Murder (the Turkish ‘remake’ of Sergio Martino‘s The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh).
Hair-splitting issues aside, not every giallo was conceived to make actresses strip as much as possible. Believe it or not, some directors went for a thing called ‘atmosphere’. And, while we’re at it, let’s also drag in Mario Bava‘s The Girl Who Knew Too Much, a 1963 case-study for the upcoming giallo genre and an ode to Hitchcock. Kadin Düsmani feels much closer to that sort of film.

There’s also a gothic horror feeling to the film, largely due to the killer’s fetish of wearing a horror mask while scaring his victims. Unlike most killers, who are content with just one hat and one pair of gloves, the maniac in Kadin Düsmani wears a different mask for each murder.
This ghoulish theme briefly works in favour of the film as you are left wondering whether the killer is a supernatural being or not. A thought you quickly shed, as you see the killer’s hands touching the freshly murdered body. The police inform us the maniac also had sex with his victims after killing them, but again, this is only suggested in the film, rather than explicitly shown. Weirdly enough, this suggestion doesn’t seem to help your conscience.

The way the killer crouches over the body (in the still shown above) brings me to another point worth mentioning. Unlike a lot of Turkish trash movies, this film has a director with a good eye. Here we don’t have just a camera pointed at the action, someone has thought deeply about the position of the camera, hence the occasional clever use of low angles, close-ups and bird’s eye angles.
Not even the murders are coincidental: the victims’ first names start with the same letter as the district they were living in. The killer is obviously trying to tell the police something, even though their idea the killer must therefore be a poet somewhat puzzled me and is one of the less good plot twists in the film.

Apart from trying to catch the maniac, one policeman has another thing on his mind. After the first murder, he finds out the late victim’s husband has an attractive sister-in-law, Oya, and he starts dating her against the will of her mother-in-law. That there’s even a scene where the older woman listens to Oya’s phone conversations on a phone she metticulously hides in a locked cupboard, shows you someone thought about this film and it’s not just some quickie people made because they had time and money.

Some scenes drag a little or are even unnecessary, but otherwise Kadin Düsmani is a good investment of your 96 minutes. As it’s an older Turkish movie, there’s a need to mention the state of the print. Well, it’s either been looked after with care or the remastering crew did an amazing job. Apart from one scene, 55 minutes into the film, where the print suddenly decides to crouch up a bit and you’re left watching headless people for twenty seconds. That scene is irritating, but anyone who’s seen the state most older Turkish movies are in won’t mind for half a minute of headless heroes.

Kadin Düsmani was released by Onar Films about a month ago. The Region 0 dvd offers you the film in Turkish with English and Greek subtitles. Extrawise there’s part of a documentary on Turkish cinema that Onar has decided to spread out over a couple of movies. In this particular segment (10 minutes) we get to hear more about science fiction and horror. Seven minutes are dedicated to sci-fi (from Turkish schlock remakes of ET and Star Wars to 21st century cgi efforts) whereas horror fans have to be content with clips from Araf, Dracula in Istanbul and Seytan (Turkish Exorcist). There’s even a tiny interview with the girl from Seytan, but pardon me if I can’t take her and the narrator’s comments seriously. No, Seytan and Badi (Turkish ET) are not high quality movies and no, they’re not scary, they’re silly. That sci-fi and horror were combined in one segment is because the Turkish cinema doesn’t really appreciate these genres. And whereas the people involved in Seytan and Badi may have overestimated their place in cinema’s history, there’s a cute little story about Dracula in Istanbul (not a remake, by the way). The budget was so minimal the crew couldn’t afford fog for one scary scene. So, as the weather didn’t seem keen on helping them out, the entire crew lit up cigarettes and blew them towards to the camera to create a foggy effect. Yet, that film is nowhere as silly as Badi.

For the record, the DVD also has a handful of trailers, two of previous Onar Films releases and two of upcoming releases… well, provide there will be a next release. This, for now, is the final release by Onar Films. The company will sit and wait till the baker’s dozen of releases they’ve produced so far will have generated enough money before they’ll invest in another remastering of an old Turkish film. It’s not just the lack of sales (though some of the releases are sold out, some will stay available till 2357), but also the lack of distributors like Xploited Cinema (who decided to stop acquiring new releases about a year ago). You can now get your Onar Films releases straight from the source. That isn’t all bad news: a new dvd now just costs you €17.50 (it used to be €23.50). So we can end on a positive note after all.


More proof if needed that the world’s gone mad: I’ve just noticed an expiry date on a roll of tape. It’s as good as any other reason to lament the seventies are finished: an era style may have forgotten, but food didn’t have an expiry date and mothers weren’t crucified when they allowed their toddlers to sip their wine or inhale some smoke. The latter was shown on a retro show the other day and I believe the viewers have caught up with the woman by now and have banished her from the country. Another grand plus of the seventies: it was the era of the giallo.

Meet Byleth, the Italian bastard child of a giallo and Bilitis. The erotic scenes are clearly shot to titilate the viewer and the lack of vaseline on the lens has a simple explanation: they didn’t have a budget. In Byleth a young man has the best day of his life when his sister returns home: you see, he had a fond relationship with his sister. No, fonder than what you’re thinking of… let’s just say they often slept together. Too bad for him she’s been keeping a little secret: she’s been married for a couple of months and she’s returned to introduce her husband.
And to make it more of a giallo: there’s also a mad killer on the loose, cutting women with a strange knife.

Byleth – or Byleth, il demone dell’incesto to use the film’s full title – was directed in 1972 by one Leopoldo Savona, whose filmography included mostly westerns (maybe you’ve heard of his Apocalypse Joe). The biggest name attached to the film is Mark Damon, whose filmography we don’t need to mention here (because we know you’re into cult movies and there’s no need to insult your intelligence). Damon plays Lionello, the troubled protagonist of the film. His sister (and possible love interest) Barbara is portrayed by Claudia Gravy, who appeared in a handful of exploitation movies. Speaking of exploitation movies, Marzia Damon (the unlucky chambermaid) has a filmography brimful of exploitation: this film is by far the most normal, other films include Decameron n°69, Holocaust 2: the memories, delirium and vendetta (nicknamed “I’ll spit on your swastika”) and Sexy Sinners. Aldo Bufi Landi, as Barbara’s husband, completes the main cast.

Byleth was released by X-Rated Kult DVD and it proudly boasts it has the dvd world premiere of this film. It’s true that this is quite a rare movie. Not in the least because its theme (the incestuous relationship) and giallo references make it sound sleazier than the film ultimately is. It should be avoided at any cost if you can’t stand slow-paced films. In fact, Byleth is so slow it makes Finnish arthouse films look like rollercoaster rides. However, one third of those overlong scenes consist of semi-naked to naked women in extasy, so the pervs amongst you may want to complain the movie is only 79 minutes long.

Which brings us to the language options of the film: you can choose between German audio with optional English subtitles or Italian audio with fixed English subtitles. If you choose the Italian audio, you’re in for a surprise: the first scene is in German. Rather than have you check seven times whether you’ve chosen the correct audio channel, I can tell you that you did choose correctly, but the Italian version is shorter than the German version (that’s a first) and the missing scenes are inserted into the Italian version. Because clearly the Italians thought 79 minutes was way too long for a movie. Collectors will of course choose the Italian version to see what was chopped.

Bad news from our subtitle department: the movie is presented as a 4:3 letterbox and the subtitles are at the bottom of the screen. So if you don’t understand German or Italian, you’ll be forced to switch your widescreen tv to 4:3 format if you want to know what’s going on.
Speaking of subtitles, they sometimes lack a finishing touch. The subtitlers may want to check up on their English grammar again: “Why you wrote me…?” and “he don’t” is not correct English and as far as sloppiness goes, there’s one scene where we’re informed the killer dragged the “boody” to the “parc”.

As per usual, X-Rated have released the film with two covers. You can choose between one using the German subtitle “the demon with the bloody fingers” or one going for the sleazier “horror sex in spooky castle”. The artwork is also different, but the one with the naked woman approached by the gloved hands was often used as the film’s poster. This is something you can check in one of the extras: a slideshow of artwork for the film. Other extras are a couple of trailers (including Africa Erotica and the quite awful Oh, Bangkok!) and a comparison of the film copies. The Italian VHS didn’t use a nightfilter whereas the DVD does. The result is a clear improvement: suddenly Italian nights don’t look like noons anymore.

I must say that the film improves after a while, but it’ll take you more than half an hour to get captivated by it. And, for me, the captivation didn’t last forever: Savona may be able to direct a couple of interesting scenes, but a handful of good scenes don’t make a good movie. Weirdly enough, this helps the film in a way: when the movie’s finished you are allowed to wonder if all you’ve seen really happened or whether you were partly in the sick mind of Lionello.

So maybe not an exceptional movie, but at least it’s decent and rare. Good luck – as with most X-Rated Kult releases – tracking it down.

P.S. At the time of writing Xploited Cinema still offered both versions of the DVD release.

Turkish horror double bill (Onar Films)

Onar's Turkish horror (image: Xploited Cinema)There’s good news and very good news. The release of the Turkish horror double bill by Onar Films comes as very good news. If you’ve tried to follow the story: about everything that could go wrong when you’re releasing a DVD went wrong with this release. But, more than six months later than originally planned, the Turkish horror double bill is finally available for you to enjoy.

The Turkish action and horror cinema in the 70s and 80s has got the reputation of copying worldwide successes and adapting them for the Turkish market. Remember the almost literal remake of The Exorcist, only with Turkish touches and awful effects? That’s Seytan for you. The Turkish copied (sorry, remade) other classics too: you have Turkish versions of Superman, Spiderman, Star Wars, Star Trek, The Wizard of Oz and ET (renamed Badi).

Ölüler Konusmaz Ki (The Dead Don’t Talk) and Aska Susayanlar Seks Ve Cinayet (Thirsty for Love, Sex and Murder) offer two new slices of Turkish horror. They’re not exact copies as Badi and Seytan were, but tried to make local versions of genre films.
The first one is an attempt to make a gothic horror movie, the second one is best described as a Turkish giallo.

The Dead Don’t Talk opens with a couple being taken to a mansion. The coachman seems reluctant to do so (mumbling something about it being the 15th of the month) and rushes off as soon as they’ve arrived, without waiting to be paid. This, dear audience, means something must not be right in the house. And indeed, though the food is served, noone seems to be around. Apart from eyes spying on the new guests. The eyes seem to belong to Hasan, the servant of the house, who isn’t keen on communicating and seems to have only two hobbies: looking eeriliy and lamenting the death of his first mistress (whose portrait is hanging somewhere in the house).
Then, it turns out there’s a ghost who comes to the mansion every 15th night of the month and kills the lady of the house (oh, and her husband, if he just happens to be around).

My main problem was that I found it impossible to take this movie serious: the opening seemed to come straight from Die Schlangengrube und das Pendel (one of the best-known German gothic horrors) and then they arrived at the mansion which just didn’t seem to scare me at all. The actor who plays Hasan was obviously asked to “look scary”, which is why you’ll see a lot of staring and frowning, but scared I wasn’t.

On the other hand, as a schlock movie the film works. You see the movie, the efforts, the attempts at good dialogue… and you see it failing miserably. As could be expected with this sort of movie, the soundtrack is lifted from classic American movies. You’ll hear the same three songs (I think I identified Rosemary’s Baby, but I suck at recognizing soundtracks) over and over again, whether it’s appropriate for the scene or not (mostly not). Quite overused is “Also sprach Zaratustra”, as used in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Clearly the idea was that if it worked for Stanley Kubrick, it’ll work for The Dead Don’t Talk too. Well… not really.

I couldn’t take The Dead Don’t Walk serious, but I highly enjoyed it.

The second movie is Thirsty for Love, Sex and Murder and it’s a completely different movie: it’s more audacious than the rather prudish The Dead Don’t Talk and there’s good reason for this: it’s an attempt at making a Turkish giallo.
As with other Turkish movies, lots of plot elements (and, of course, the soundtrack) have been borrowed from Italian movies. Onar Films noted on the back cover “it could be a Sergio Martino film but it comes straight from Turkey”. Martino sprang to my mind too, but there’s also a heavy influence from other directors like Dario Argento (The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, anyone?).

The main difference is that Thirsty managed to combine this into a movie that ends up being a movie (rather than a melange of bad copies). The liner notes inform us that director Mehmet Aslan had a thing for trash and sleaze and you can definitely see that in this movie. If there had been a guidebook How To Make A Giallo, Aslan managed to study and execute that very well.
The bad news is that Thirsty for Love, Sex and Murder only lasts 57 minutes. But at the same time, this means there’s no time for the movie to get boring (some gialli sadly did outstay their welcome by making the film longer). It’s short but effective, and with quite a bit of gore and nudity (especially for Turkish movies – well, those I’ve seen, anyway).

As for the transfers, you’ll have to bear in mind that Turkey has destroyed a lot of movies in the 80s and that it’s very hard to find a good print. If you still can. Most Turkish B movies seem to be lost forever. So one shouldn’t expect to see these rare Turkish cult movies in crispy states.
The Dead Don’t Talk looks the worst of the two films. It’s taken from a master they could find, which was in satisfactory condition. You can see they’ve attempted to make it look as good as possible, but one shouldn’t expect a miracle. There was one tiny moment where I could see a scene missing: we see our heroine going to ask for help. You can still briefly see she’s walking towards the man who’ll help her later, but this brief instant is all that remains. It’s not a vital scene (as those three characters were already being introduced earlier as people who’d help our heroine in distress) so you won’t miss out on the plot. Onar Films might’ve cut this brief instant to make the movie looks more complete, but on the other hand we’re dealing with extremely rare material and it’s nice to see as much of what remains as possible.
Thirsty for Love, Sex and Murder looks a lot better. It was taken from the only remaining master (in fact, it’s so rare it’s not even mentioned on the IMDb) and the condition of that master was still good. They did try and make it look better and the result is pretty good.

Furthermore, Onar Films has splashed out on the extras. Aside from the trailers of upcoming releases (I myself am quite looking forward to Turkish Superman) and galleries (of Turkish horror and of actor Aytekin Akkaya, actor in a.o. 3 Dev Adam and The Dead Don’t Talk) there are three interviews that’ll give you an inside on the phenomenon of Turkish horror. There’s an interview with Metin Demirhan (author of the book “Turkish Trash Cinema”) and Metin himself will also interview an expert on Turkish trash cinema (Giovanni Scognamillo) and actor Aytekin Akkaya.

This release by Onar Films gives you a great insight into Turkish horror movies as it provides you with one movie that committed daylight robbery without ending up great (unless you’re counting the humongous schlock values of The Dead Don’t Talk) and one example that shows implementing foreign genres on Turkish movies could sometimes work.

The Turkish double bill of Ölüler Konusmazki and Aska Susayanlar Seks ve Cinayet is released by Onar Films in a limited edition of 1200 DVDs. You can get this DVD (and it’s one we at DV sincerely recommend) at Xploited Cinema or straight from Onar Films.