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La Casa dalle Finestre che Ridondo

The House with Laughing Windows

Italy 1976
produced by
A.M.A. Film
directed by Pupi Avati
starring Lino Capolicchio, Francesca Marciano, Gianni Cavina, Giulio Pizzirani, Vanna Busoni, Andrea Matteuzzi, Bob Tonelli, Pietro Brambilla, Ferdinando Orlandi, Ines Ciaschetti

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Always make sure of DVD-compatibility !!!
Restaurator Stefano (Lino Capolicchio)  is called to a small village by local rich man Solmi (Bob Tonelli) to finish the fresco of its church after the actual painter has gone mad & died while painting it. But immediately he is greeted by the townsfolks with distrust, which even goes so far that he getsanonymous  threatening phonecalls which tell him to leave the fresco be ... A friend of his tries to warn him about the sinister goings-on in the city, tied to the fresco & its painter Legnani, but before he can do so, he is pushed out of a window to his death ... and Stefano is thrown out of his hotel, forcing him to stay at the decaying mansion of an old lady who cannot leave bed ...

Stefano soon hooks up with the new teacher Francesca (Francesca Marciano), who like him is from out of town, & they embark on a sexual relationship, she even soon moves in with hm. However, when Stefano makes further inquiries about his predecessor Legnani, the details he digs up become more & more bizarre & frightening: It seems that Legnani had an unhealthy fascination of the dead & of dieing, making it a motif of all his pictures, & that Legnani did eventually go mad & killed himself, stting himself on fire before hthe eyes of his sisters ... & his sisters might still be about ...

When Legnani's fresco in the church is partly destroyed by some acid, this is the last straw for Stefano, & he is easily persuaded by Francesca to leave the village for good - but a few hours before leaving, Coppola (Gianni Cavina), a local drunk, but the only one honest enough to tell Stefano the truth, drags him off to see a graveyard in front of Legnani's erstwhile house (on the windows of which smiling lips are painted, hence the title), where, as Coppola claims, many missing people have fond their last rest ... & the deaths haven't stopped after Legnani's death - which indicates his sisters are not only still around but are still happily killing.

When Stefano comes back to his mansion to fetch Francesca, he finds her tied up & stabbed to death (after she had been raped by the villages aide/idiot Lidio [Pietro Brambilla]), however when he wants to show the corpse to the police, Francesca has mysteriously disappeared ... as have the corpses in front of Legnani's home. Instead though, Coppola is fished out of the nearby river, drowned.

Returning to the mansion, Stefano finds the Legnani sisters brutally stabbing a man, just for the joy of their dead brother (who they kep in formaldehyd), then they redirect their attention to Stefano & place a knife in his shoulder, planning to kill him as well ... all for their brother. Badly injured, Stefano escapes though, but in the village he can get help from noone - since they all seem to be in on the joke -, only the priest lets him into his church ... only to reveal himself as one of the Legnani-sisters ...

 

Deliberately slow-moving, but very unquieting horror-mystery that gets most of his shocks from almost totally avoiding any clichéd shock-mechanics, instead relying heavily on its mysterious, dark story, which gets ever creepier the more of it is revealed, only to not end in any kind of catharsis but a descent to hell ...

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD