Directed by Michele Soavi [Other horror films: La chiesa (1989), La setta (1991), Dellamorte Dellamore (1994)]
Perhaps it’s due to the fact that, at the time of this writing (4/23/2019, should anyone be interested) I’m drunk off my fucking ass, but this movie was excellent. Great death scenes, damn good suspense, fantastic movie, and just overall a fun movie.
I saw this before, and I enjoyed it, but this time around, I get the sense I enjoyed it a lot more. I have virtually no complaints about Deliria (as that’s it’s original title), and it really has a lot of things going for it.
The funky Italian music is especially fun throughout the film, and toward the ending, there’s a great sequence on the catwalks with the music playing that was just a delight. The special effects were great, and pretty much every kill was enjoyable (favorites including the dismemberment and decapitation, along with the drill and chainsaw). My all-time favorite kill, though, was one of the earlier ones, when a character gets stabbed on-stage. The way that scene was filmed was great, and it had such an epic feel to it (music, of course, played a large part in that). It’s not necessarily an overly gory kill, but it was my favorite in the film.
Most of the main performances are pretty decent. Barbara Cupisti and David Brandon in particular impressed me, but I also rather enjoyed Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Loredana Parrella, Martin Philips, James Sampson, and Ulrike Schwerk. Clain Parker played the killer wearing the owl headpiece (which, by the way, was a rather random yet fun addition to the film), and I really loved Parker’s calm style, especially the sequence when he’s just sitting around all those he’s killed, stroking a cat (which, on a side-note, was a fantastically suspenseful sequence).
While I sort of wish the film had gone the giallo route (by attempting to hide the identity of the killer, or throwing in some type of plot twist where there were multiple killers), I sort of appreciate how the movie kept things simple. We know who the killer is from the beginning, and the body count rises and rises in generally gory and satisfying ways.
Truth be told, I don’t think there’s any really big issues with the film. If you’re a fan of slashers, I really don’t see where this film would do you wrong. Pretty much everything’s solid about it, and there’s even a little humor provided by two cops sitting outside the studio while all the mayhem’s taking place (the younger cop played by the director, Michele Soavi). Whether you know this movie as StageFright, Aquaris, Deliria, whatever, this Italian movie has the goods, and was a fantastic rewatch.