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Hansel e Gretel

Never Hurt Children
Die Saat des Teufels / Non si Seviziano i Bambini

Italy 1990
produced by
Antonio Lucidi, Luigi Nannerini, Lucio Fulci (supervising) for Cine Duck
directed by Giovanni Simonelli
starring Elisabete Pimente Boaretto, Lucia Prato, Gaetano Russo (as Ronald Russo), Giorgio Cerioni, Mario Sandro De Luca, Renzo Robertazzi, Silvia Cipollone, Massimiliano Cipollone, Paul Muller, Maurice Poli, Brigitte Christensen, Zora Kerova, Roberta Orlandi
written by Giovanni Simonelli, music by Lanfranco Perini

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Two kids (Silvia Cipollone, Massimiliano Cipollone) go missing, and the suspicion arises early on that they have fallen victim to an illegal harvesting ring, possibly have even been sold to organ harvesters by their stepfather, but no evidence can be found, and the alleged head of the organ harvesters, Solange (Brigitte Christensen) does of course not admit to it once questioned by the police. A few days later she is found dead, drowned in her own pool. It could have been an accident, but because a) the police doesn't think so, and b) the police needs an excuse to blow the organ trade ring wide open, policewoman Silvia (Elisabeta Piamente Boaretto) moves into Solange's mansion to question her relatives, personnel and other houseguests. All of them are of course part of the organ trade ring, but nobody confesses anything ... but then they start to drop like flies, all dying from what could be natural causes or simple domestic accidents - but why then are all deaths accompanied by nursery rhymes that seem to emmanate from nowhere.

It doesn't take long for Silvia to figure out the deaths and the disappeared children are somehow connected, but what she doesn't know is that the kids have actually come back as ghosts, and they drive their former tormentors (all of them) to death, one after the other. Eventually, the ghost kids make themselves known to Silvia, and signal they mean her no harm, but when she tells this to her superiors, she earns nothing but ridicule.

Finally, the baddies are down to one, Fred (Gaetano Russo), Solange's free-loading husband, and he thinks he can outsmart both the ghost kids and the police presently searching Solange's place for evidence by taking Silvia hostage - but as a result of this, his death is only all the more gruesome ...

With Fred dead, the ghost children return to their grave in the ground, but not without waving Silvia a warm good-bye.

 

Hansel e Gretel is a film not without its creepy ideas - especially the nursery rhymes preceding the deaths are, while not exactly a novel idea, very effective. Also, the film is very decently filmed, nicely directed, and the gore scenes are well-placed ... but that's about it then. In all, the film's premise is ok, but after a time repeating the same scare tactics again and again gets tiring, the story develops more and more into a soap opera with rather uninteresting characters, and the whole thing lacks narrative build-up too.

Not a disaster, and especially horror flicks from Italy from that time were often a lot worse, but nothing really outstanding, either.

 

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