Written by: John White on February 7th, 2006
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1964
Director: Dino Tavella
Cast: Maureen Brown, Luigi Martocci, Luciano Gasper, Anita Todesco
DVD released: September 13, 2005
Approximate running time: 77 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 – Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono 1.0
DVD Release: Retromedia
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $14.98
Journalist, Andrea, is convinced that sex maniac is on the loose in the canals of Venice. Gorgeous women of all walks of life are disappearing from the canal side and the police are clueless. Gondoliers are seeing strange lights under the water and a bunch of good looking tourists have come to town to stay at the local hotel. Andrea decides to prove his suspicions right and the police and his editor tell him he is on his own. Will he stumble on the truth before more disappearances happen?
The Monster of Venice is proof that Italian Horror existed in the sixties that wasn’t from Bava, Freda or Margheriti. Unfortunately, it also proves that little of any value did exist outside of that holy trinity. Monster of Venice relies on young women being stalked by a man in a wetsuit with a snorkel. The monster is collecting the young women and embalming them so he can appreciate their beauty for ever. Along the way we meet drunken comedy gondoliers, a dancing pensioner, the Italian answer to Shakin’ Stevens and a scientist with a pipe and a beard. I promise that is not as much fun as it sounds.
On the positive side the victims are a pretty lot, but they act so stupidly that you doubt that any would have made it into their late twenties anyway. The film goes for spooky thrills and coy eroticism which look very dated now and the whodunit is derailed by the obvious killer. However, it is courageous enough to kill lots of characters off and avoid a wholly happy ending.
Monster of Venice could be missed even for the most diehard Italian Horror fans.
The disc comes with a new 35mm digital transfer. The transfer is very good with very little grain in what is a very dark film. However the original print has seen better days and is severely truncated with at least six minutes missing. There are lots of lines on the print and occasional damage.
The dubbing on this film is dreadful with the very mannered acting and lots of distortion on this disc.
The disc comes with a trailer for the film.
It is often difficult to know how good a film is with abysmal dubbing like this but I would hazard a guess that you could live without even a perfect presentation of this movie. Rent if you are very, very drunk.