All posts tagged Giallo

Hell of a Gal: Nightmare Castle

Published January 26, 2018 by biggayhorrorfan

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(Hell of a Gal explores the films of the powerful, ever luscious Euro Vixen Helga Liné.)

Jealous looks good on Helga Liné. Of course, it should be noted, that almost everything looks absolutely fabulous on this devilish wonder. But most fans would probably agree that her dual role in the classic Nightmare Castle shows her off best of all.

As Solange, the devoted companion to the crazed Dr. Stephen Arrowsmith (Paul Muller), Liné makes her first appearance in this black and white gothic adventure as a withered crone. But, when we see her next, this gorgeous creature’s true beauty is shining through. (Hmmm…I just had to work a Melanie Griffith title into the proceedings, didn’t I?) It seems that Arrowsmith’s experiments have given the aged Solange the glow of youth…and a bit of possessiveness, as well. Solange is definitely not happy with the arrival of Jenny, played by the irreplaceable Barbara Steele. Jenny is the exact replica of Arrowsmith’s late wife and although she may hold the key to their fortune, Solange would, from all appearances, like her dispatched as quickly as possible.helga 1

Of course, all does not go according to plan in the world of villainy and the arrival of Jenny’s handsome and kindly doctor (Marino Mase) and a couple of vengeful ghosts soon spell doom for Arrowsmith and Solange.

But despite the corrosiveness of her character, Steele and director Mario Caiano have nothing but praise for Line’s beauty and talent on the special features of Severin’s beautifully restored copy of the film. Indeed, Liné is, nicely, given more range to play here than is normally required of her and while Ms. Steele, rightfully, has claimed the top spot in my many terror lovers’ hearts, Line’s take on Solange here proves that, in a fair world, she would be right up there with her.

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Those interested in the restored version of this film should definitely check it out at

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan

Hell of a Gal: My Dear Killer (1972)

Published May 28, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan


(Hell of a Gal explores the films of the ever luscious Euro Vixen Helga Line.)

It’s always nice to introduce a new color into one’s wardrobe for hire. In fact, even the irreproachable Helga Liné turned her back on the villainous seductresses and medieval monsters that she was best known for with her appearance in the rock solid giallo My Dear Killer.MDK1

As the confused (yet surprisingly calm) Mrs. Paradisi, Liné does her best to assist George Hilton’s determined detective as he investigates the brutal murder of her common law husband. Adding glimmers of humor and classic world weariness to their conversations, our deductive damsel eventually sets out to retrieve a clue from a post box that may provide the identity of the killer. Alas, even though she is surrounded by other customers, Liné is strangled to death by a quick moving assailant, allowing the film’s mysteries to proceed to full boil.

Hilton’s Inspector Peretti soon realizes that Mr. Paradisi had discovered the identity of the killer of a young girl and her father in a kidnapping scenario gone wrong and he is soon giving investigative chase to others who may lead him to the murderer. Naturally, each meets a particularly gruesome end. Especially notable is the savage annihilation of the young girl’s former school teacher, played with saucy bravado by gorgeous Euro-regular Patty Shepard.

MDK2What is, perhaps, most notable about this entry, though, is director Tonino Valerii’s hard boiled take. He provides a slightly more realistic edge to the film’s outrageous acts of violence and twisted turns of plot, setting My Dear Killer a step or two above other black gloved entries of that era. Nicely, his efforts gave Hilton, best known then for sex comedies, a new lease on life, career-wise, and, even more importantly for viewers such as myself, allowed the world to see an established actress like Liné in an entirely different light.

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan




Hell of a Gal: The Loreley’s Grasp (1974)

Published March 24, 2016 by biggayhorrorfan

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(Hell of a Gal explores the films of the ever luscious Euro Vixen Helga Line.)

The Wild West, the Trans-Siberian Express, a Gothic mansion…you actually can take the stunning Helga Line anywhere. But…she’ll usually be playing someone ruthless when you do it!

1974’s The Loreley’s Grasp is no different. Taking place in a tiny German village and at the all girl’s academy that is located on its outskirts, this tale, directed by The Blind Dead’s Amando De Ossorio, finds Line scantily enacting the deadly siren of the film’s title.

Beguiling Sirgurd (Tony Kendall), the hunter that has been hired to protect the students, with her black, string laden bikini and frequent dashes through the lakeside brush, Line is all exotic sexuality here. With moody stares and pouty concentration, she is an eternally compelling figure even though the plotline dictates that Sirgurd ultimately ignore her wiles for the more straightforward charms of school marm Elke, played by the equally beautiful Silvia Tortosa, who also shared the screen with Line in 1972’s Horror Express.

Helga 2Full of obviously fake, but very bloody attacks (including several shots of beating hearts being ripped from chests) courtesy of Loreley’s alter-ego, a scaly green monster, this cheesy time capsule is enjoyable not only due to Line’s compelling attitude but because of its innate ludicrousness. While Kendall’s swarthy handsomeness is a plus, the character of Sirgurd has to be one of the densest Euro horror heroes ever. After being filled in by a local musician and a determined scientist about Loreley’s deadly origins, he still can’t figure out that she is the mysterious woman that he has encountered – even after she practically confesses to him during their initial seduction scene. Tortosa’s Elke is almost equally insipid. Despite the evidence of several brutal outdoor attacks, she is constantly sneaking out at night to confront Sigrud – often ending up being targeted by her slimy nemesis.

Interestingly, the Americanized version of the film inserted red flashes to warn audiences when the picture’s more gruesome elements were about occur and was retitled When The Screaming Stops. Barf bags were also provided as a gimmick for the more sensitive viewers, as well.

If they would have asked me, I would have told them to simply concentrate on the ample awesomeness of Line to draw folks in. Well…better late than never!

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

Heiress Horror: Formula for a Murder (1985)

Published July 24, 2014 by biggayhorrorfan

Ruth: “I almost envy her. What a way to die, making love.”
Craig: “I know a place where you can watch.”

While they might not all enjoy the terror subgenre of Heiress Horror (wherein a sweet moneyed miss is done wrong so others may gain her fortune), The Society of Disgruntled Altar Boys simply has to enjoy the 1985 rarity Formula For A Murder for another reason. Here, two men of the cloth are, alternately, razored and bludgeoned to death with vicious glee by the film’s cash grubbing antagonist. Note: Never take a donation from amnesia stricken cripple, folks!

formula coverYes, our leading lady here, Joanna (a modestly thoughtful Christina Nagy) is confined to a wheelchair due to being viciously attacked, as a child, by a man impersonating a priest. Now, that the money is coming her way, a proposal from a hunky archery (???) coach falls on her lap. Of course, post-marriage, a morbid case of gas-lighting soon ensues.

Here, though, director/co-screenwriter Alberto de Martino (The Tempter, Blood Link, Contraband) lets you know, fairly quickly, that it is indeed the young woman’s new love (a finely outrageous David Warbeck) and her saucy best friend who are planning her undoing. With her noted weak heart, Craig (Warbeck) plans to fuck Joanna to death!formula4

Of course, strange dreams, betrayals and growing affections alter the course here and soon blood is being spilled in all directions. Even fans of strictly classic cinema should get a (minor) kick out of the proceedings due to the appearance of Rossano Brazzi (South Pacific, The Italian Job, Omen III) as Joanna’s concerned mentor.

formula-for-murder-dvd-coverStill, more than anything, this is a movie to track down for Warbeck’s blazingly frightful work. Those familiar with his heroic antics in Twins of Evil and The Beyond will be delighted by the frenzied passion he brings to this role. With demonic energy pouring from his eyes, he attacks the landscape (and Nagy) with an over brimming psychosis and scenery chewing panache.

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!