Written by: Michael Den Boer on February 12th, 2012
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 2010
Director: Gabriele Albanesi
Writer: Gabriele Albanesi
Cast: Giuseppe Soleri, Paolo Sassanelli, Laura Gigante, Antonino Iuorio, Ripli Zsuzsanna, Francesco Mastrorilli, Stefano Fregni, Vera Dragone, Massimo Triggiani
DVD released:January 17th, 2012
Approximate running time: 87 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Italian, Dolby Digital Stereo Italian
DVD Release: Raro Video
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $29.98
Synopsis: When his producer is unhappy with his latest script, a first time director is forced to teamed up with a well known Horror novelist. And what should have been an opportunity of a lifetime, quickly turns deadly. When the novelist reveals the source of his inspirations, the darker side of his personality.
Since the late 1990’s, good Horror films in Italian cinema have been far and few in between. With Michele Soavi’s Cemetery Man, being widely regarded as the best Horror film to immerge out of the sluggish Italian Horror since its heyday in the early 1980’s. And while there is no denying that budgetary reasons have plagued the majority of Italian Horror films since the late 1980’s. There are also two other reasons why the majority of Italian Horror films since the late 1980’s have been forgettable. It is their lack of creativity and the stubbornness in acknowledging what had come before in Italian Horror cinema. This brings us to Gabriele Albanesi’s Ubaldo Terzani Horror Show, a film that defies its meager resources and proudly wears its influences on its sleeve.
Content wise, Ubaldo Terzani Horror Show has all the ingredients that one would expect and want out of a Italian Horror film. Also the film often employees many of the things that have become with the Giallo, like a black gloved killer, who wears a trench coat and a hat to obscure their identity. Another area in which fans of Italian Horror cinema should be very happy are this films ‘Grand Guignol’ style death scenes, which become more gruesome as the story progresses.
And while there are many things that this film does right or at least very well. There is at least one area in which it is not always smooth sailing. Outside of the film’s finale and few moments that blur the line between what is real and what is fiction. The film’s plot almost to straight forward, that there really are no real surprises.
Thankfully the performances in this film do a great job counter balanced some of the predictability of the story at hand. With the film’s most memorable performance coming from Paolo Sassanelli in the role of the eccentric author named Ubaldo Terzani.
In closing, what this film lacks in substance it more than makes up for its abundance of style. And while it may not be the film that puts Italian Horror back on the map, it is at least a step in the right direction.
Raro Video presents Ubaldo Terzani Horror Show in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original aspect ratio. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, black levels look consistently good and there are no problems with compression.
This release comes with two audio options, a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in Italian and a Dolby Digital stereo mix in Italian. Both audio mixes are always clear and balanced throughout. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles that are easy to follow and error free.
Extras for this release include two trailers for the film, a three minute screen test with actress Laura Gigante, a audio commentary with screenwriter / director Gabriele Albanesi and screenwriter Antonio Tentori (in Italian with English subtitles) and a short film titled ‘The Hunted’ (24 minutes 16 seconds – 4:3 full frame, in Italian with English subtitles). Topics discussed in the audio commentary include, locations, the cast, visuals, inspirations for this film like Mario Bava’s Blood and Black Lace, Dario Argento’s The Bird With the Crystal Plumage and Lucio Fulci’s Cat in the Brain and the film’s special effects which were created by Sergio Stivaletti. The short film is a Western themed story about a wanted man and his son’s, who are trapped by their pursuers in a remote cabin in the woods. Also included with this release is a eight page collectable booklet that includes a essay about the film and a text bio and filmography for Gabriele Albanesi. Overall Ubaldo Terzani Horror Show gets a strong DVD release from Raro Video.