Written by: George Pacheco on October 21st, 2015
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 2011
Director: Raffaele Picchio
Writer: Gianluigi Perrone, Tiziano Martello, Raffaele Picchio
Cast: Valentina D’Andrea, Desiree Giorgetti, Andrea de Bruyn, Francesco Malcom, Giuseppe Nitti, Simone Ripanti
BluRay released: September 8th, 2015
Approximate running time: 86 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 English, DTS-HD Stereo Italian
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
BluRay Release: Synapse Films
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $24.95
Morituris represent yet another attempt at revitalization from the Italian film industry; a film which tries to emulate the bonkers, over-the-top excess of its country’s 70s and 80s cinematic output, while at the same time falling too short of the marks necessary to make a true, lasting mark.
The concept is far beyond basic, focusing upon a pair of Italian men who pick up a trio of tourists, and make their way to the middle of the forest for a rave party. What they instead encounter, however, is a group of murderous Roman gladiators rise from the dead to torture, chase and kill the youths. Morituris is pretty bad on every conceivable level, with bland characters, blander acting, a laughable presence and zero tension, adding up to a film which feels numbingly long, even at a scant eighty-four minutes.
Sure, there’s some grim, violent behavior and gore to be found, but the reasoning is so insipid, and the delivery so hackneyed, that Morituris never becomes enjoyable in the slightest, instead coming across a some sort of neo-Italian attempt of torture porn. There’s no joy and no semblance of entertainment; just shitty people getting justifiably shitty things done to them in return. If this is considered the Italian horror revival, then things have truly hit the bottom of the barrel.
Synapse presents Morituris in an 1080 progressive widescreen presentation which preserves the film’s aspect ratio. Colors are clear enough without any DNR or pixelation issues, although the color palette as a whole is fairly dark, dreary and without much contrast. The film is also fairly dark on the whole, which makes the night scenes come across as even more drab. The subtitles, however, are quite well done, right down to the very specifically translated one for the hearing impaired.
Extras are limited solely to some reversible cover art, and the film’s theatrical trailer, making Morituris a passable presentation from Synapse.