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on 12 June 2010
Brett halsey plays lesley parson, a pychopathic, cannibalistic killer with gambling problems who recieves helpful advice from the voice in his radio! To call Parson a nutter would be kind and to call this film restrained would be a lie... It opens with him killing a woman, eating part of her leg then carving her up to feed to the pigs! If any of this sounds familiar then its because if you've seen fulci's cat in the brain then you've already seen large portions of this film as he cannabalised (pardon the pun) both this and another film called Sodomas ghost Sodoma's Ghost (1988) for the infamous cat in the brain recently released in a supurb special edition by grindhouse releasing Cat in the Brain [DVD] [1990] [US Import] so much so Halsey was surprised to find out he had made a second film with fulci as the maestro had not bothered telling him he was re-using so much of the film for cat.
This as with sodomas ghost and cat probably best represents Fulci's decline in the later years of his career as this is certainly nowhere near as good lizard in a womans skin, Zombie 2, or even new york ripper and often feels more than a little stale styalistically. That said its mental enough to enjoy at least for laughs as Halsey seduces rich women then kills them forwhatever cash is lying around the house (not really a long-term planner!) and has rows with his only pal the talking radio! The disc is bare bones and the print quality is lacking (apparently the origional materials are long lost) but it's certainly worth a look for fulci completists, and anyone after some genuinley mad and over the top gorey fun, or better yet check out Cat in the brain which is probably a better film overall... nonetheless I enjoyed it!
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on 24 March 2013
Touch of Death (AKA When Alice Broke The Mirror) was made by Lucio Fulci in 1988, a few years after the pinnacle of his career had occurred. It's about a man with serious gambling issues who is compelled to date and murder rich women to fund his downwardly spiralling lifestyle. It would appear that his mind is losing its stability in the process, as he believes odd things are happening with his own shadows, conversations occur with himself, and most uncannily, people he has killed are indeed found dead - but not where he left them. Furthermore the police seem to be closing in as clues to his identity materialise on the News with alarming frequency.

As with Sodoma's Ghost Fulci wrote the story and screenplay for this one, though his efforts are more successful here than the dire Naziploitation flick. Carlo Maria Cordio's score is stronger, though still a tad excessive, and the dialogue appears to be improved (though it's difficult to directly compare due to the fact that I couldn't view Sodoma's Ghost in Italian, as previously mentioned). There are doses of humour varnished on to the horrors (e.g. the feet of a recently murdered corpse keep popping out of his car boot, until he resorts to chopping them off!) that occasionally function as intended, but what keeps your eyes on the screen is the presence of the downright bizarre. Every woman he tends to get his mitts on is remarkably ugly, even to the point where one of them has a scarred face that he can barely even look at (and as plain wrong as it is, this scenario actually forces a couple of smiles that you'll be desperately trying to suppress). Surprisingly the film is incredibly gory (I say surprisingly because I believe it was made for television), one scene early reminding me of some of the atrocities in Guinea Pig II, which is kind of pleasing given Fulci's history with some of the best gore films to ever come out of Italy, however, special effects man Angelo Mattei is no Gianetto De Rossi. Having said that the head in an oven is a bit of a show-stopper. Exploitation regular Zora Kerova (Miss Meathook from Cannibal Ferox) is also present.

The Dutch DVD from EC Entertainment gives us a soft, washed-out fullframe (framed as shot on 16mm) transfer, with optional English or Italian audio tracks. Thankfully there were English subtitles available, although the Italian track is in quite bad shape (I've heard forties films sounding better than this). Shriek Show released a DVD a couple of years after this one, looking much the same although featuring a more comprehensive package of extras. Make no mistake: this is not an excellent film, though I do feel there is enough of the macabre and weird here to save it from the dust-bin (garbage can if you're American).

Possibly stretching to *** for the film, although in the HD era I could no way give this (admittedly quite old now) DVD more than **

Paul (The Grim Cellar at Blogspot)
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on 8 March 2016
touchy feely
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