Suspense! Gore! Gratuitous sex! Tinny dubbed dialogue!
These are just a few things Winnipeg-based auteurs Astron-6 nail in their latest offering The Editor as it revives/pays homage/satirizes the Giallo genre.
"Giallo" actually means "yellow" in Italian. In post-fascist Italy, the word became synonymous with cheap, pulp novels due to their yellow covers and would eventually mature to denote any sort of thriller.
Meanwhile, in English-speaking countries, "Giallo" denotes Italian horror/suspense movies from the 1960s, 70s and parts of the 80s known for their eroticism, violence, synth-heavy soundtracks and complete disregard for logic. Without it, the slasher film genre would simply be an idea too shocking to get by censors. Thanks, Giallo.
We're talking your Argento's. Your Bava's. And now, your Astron-6's.
Rey Ciso (Adam Brooks) is a film editor whose career hit a lil bump in the road when he sliced off his fingers. Mondays, am I right? Now equipped with a wooden hand, Ciso finds himself working on a trashy slasher movie.
As if Rey's situation wasn't bad enough, a masked psychopath haunts the film set, killing cast and crew members. Each victim is found with their fingers severed, making Ciso the prime suspect. The editor is forced to find the killer while navigating: hot shot detective Porfiry (Matt Kennedy), wannabe leading man Cal Konitz (Conor Sweeney), his former-horror movie starlet wife (Paz de la Huerta) and his own mental deterioration.
While hardcore horror and Giallo fans will instantly fall in love with The Editor thanks to its numerous references and nods to genre tropes, the overarching silliness and stunning practical special effects should be enough to win over the uninitiated (should they have strong enough stomachs to handle going from a belly laugh to a violent urge to vomit). If not, you have a heart of stone and I hope you die alone.
If the awkwardly dubbed, utterly tone-deaf line, "Don't worry...we'll catch the killer who killed her!" doesn't pry a smile out of your face then you're working hard not to be charmed by this movie.
Yes, Astron-6 were precise enough to shoot the movie with no dialogue and dub it in later in post like a real Giallo.
The Editor should not exist. A Giallo movie made in 2015 in Winnipeg for $100,000 with Paz de la Huerta, Laurence R. Harvey and Udo Kier getting top billing? None of that makes any goddamn sense. Yet the Quebec premier is real and happening at midnight on July 31st thanks to the good people at the Fantasia Film Festival. Tickets here.
If you don't like gore, suspense, gratuitous sex mixed with comedy in your movies, that's your prerogative. I, for one, can't help but marvel at the fact that independent Canadian filmmakers were able to contribute a parody that so authentically recreates the source material that it deserves to be included in the Giallo canon.
With that in mind, I hope you'll go check it out and support ambitious Canadian genre films.
Worst case scenario, you don't like. In which case, who cares? It's just a movie.