Written by: Michael Den Boer on March 6th, 2014
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 2011
Director: Paolo Fazzini
Writer: Paolo Fazzini
Cast: Eleonora Bolla, Giovanni Maria Buzzatti, Andrea De Bruyn
DVD released: February 18th, 2014
Approximate running time: 95 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Italian, Dolby Digital Stereo Italian
DVD Release: Elite Entertainment
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $14.95
Synopsis: A disturbed young man trying to find where he fits in this world abducts the daughter of a wealthy businessman.
Psychopaths have long been a staple in Italian cinema since the heydays of the Giallo genre in the early 1970’s. And though the killer from Italian thriller’s from yesteryear spends the majority of the screen time lurking in the shadows, only to be revealed in the film’s finale. That is not the case with Mad in Italy a Italian thriller that pushes its psychopath front and center. With that being said, this is not your atypical body count thriller as the horror that lies within is deeply rooted in psychology.
The narrative is straight forward enough and the events which unfold are all told through the eyes of this film’s protagonist. And right from the opening moments it is obvious that said protagonist is not all there. Also to reinforce the deteriorating mental state of this film’s protagonist the film does a very good job setting a foreboding tone with its stylish and nightmarish visuals. As mentioned before this film owes a great debt to Italian thrillers from the past. This is most evident in the way the camera moves and frames compositions.
At just under 95 minutes this film can be grueling journey as there are several peaks and valleys along the way. And though things do start off kind of slow, the film firmly finds its footing once the protagonist and his victim start spending time together. Another area that this film does not quite hit the mark is the performances from the cast who are all merely adequate in their respective roles. And this is especially harmful in the grand scheme of things since the film’s is told from one person perceptive and that actor is this film’s weakest link. Ultimately Mad in Italy is yet another case of interesting premise that fails to realize the its full potential.
Elite Entertainment presents Mad in Italy in an anamorphic widescreen that retains the film’s intended ‘scope’ aspect ratio. Though the source looks clean, the image at times looks soft; there is edge enhancement that varies in degree throughout and some mild instances of compression, most notably during darker moments.
This release comes with two audio options, a Dolby Digital 5.1 in Italian and a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in Italian. The differences between these two audio mixes are marginal. Dialog comes through clearly enough and everything sounds balanced. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles.
Extras for this release include two music videos, a photo gallery and a informative interview with screenwriter /director Paolo Fazzini (15 minutes 40 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Italian with English subtitles). Overall Mad in Italy gets a serviceable audio / video presentation from Elite Entertainment.