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Formula For A Murder + Shameless Yellow Mac [DVD]
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David Warbeck gives an explosive performance in this previously lost Giallo never released in UK & now remastered in HD from brand new restored vault materials in the film s original widescreen format.
Joanna - who is wheelchair-bound after a horrific childhood attack - is a wealthy philanthropist who has funded a sports centre for paraplegics. She now plans to donate a large amount of her wealth to the local church, but visions of a priest-looking figure carrying a blood-soaked doll start to appear; apparently from her traumatised psyche... But her now wakeful visions seem to get awfully real ... There is someone very close to her who fancies her cash, and will flash a razor in anyone's face to get it!
Watch Warbek suit up in his yellow hooded-mac and turn from debonair fitness instructor into a conniving, violent, sadistic criminal .. grimacing, bellowing, slashing and smashing. Unstoppable. Shameless.
This unique, limited Collector s edition comes pre-packed with a slash-action Yell-o-Mac..But remember this is just a film: DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME - or anywhere in fact.
1. Limited Edition Collector's Edition
2. In depth Audio Commentary with Cinematographer G. Battaglia
3. Trailer & Shameless Slashers
4. Shameless Yellow Killer Mac
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Now, my first thought as I watched the start of the film was anger at Shameless giving away the fact that her boyfriend (David Warbeck) is the killer by plastering this all over the sleeve of the DVD, which really isn't necessary and is a very selfish decision to use this plot twist to enhance their marketing. Way to go, Shameless!! I am sure their defence will be that the film gives away this fact in the first 30 minutes, but yeah, those 30 minutes prior to that twist are effectively ruined, as the story is doing it's best to set up red herrings like Joanna's pouty assistant Ruth, who appears to have romantic designs on Joanna herself! All for nothing.
Anyway, so once we see the unveiling of Warbeck's intentions, the film keeps going for another hour, and I will say that things do pick up as Joanna becomes more and more terrorised by his evil scheme. The last 20 minutes of the movie are well staged, as Joanna literally fights for her life without the ability to walk, but just her sporting strength to help her survive. There are several acts of violence in the story but for anyone hoping for Italian style giallo-splatter, you're not going to get it here. The special effects are very poor, all we get is a lot of the old theatrical fake knives and razors which squirt blood when pressed against skin, and it really looks rubbish. On the plus side, David Warbeck does get to bash someone's brains out with a heavy church artefact, which looks painful, and there's a brief shot of scissors spearing someone's hand. I know it sounds perverse to rate the amount of violence, but let's face it, this is what the film is peddling, so it should be doing it well.
Although the performances are all fair, the English dub does not help. Christina Nagy does well in the pivotal role of Joanna but her dubbed voice diminishes the veracity of all of her scenes of peril. She does seem to be speaking English (as does Warbeck), but the post-shoot dubbing still makes a mess of her performance. The other sad thing is that the film has not aged well fashion wise, and it's a real shame that Joanna spends the last 20 minutes of the film (the only part which has any tension) wearing a hideous outfit with a massive collar that makes her look like she's dressed as a clown.
All in all, this is not a rediscovered gem, but just a passable thriller. There are other lost Italian shockers out there that could have a much bigger impact if released on DVD (Giallo A Venezia, Nero Veneziano to name two), so here's hoping Shameless can carry on looking. Just keep your mouths shut about putting plot spoilers on the cover next time eh?
David Warbeck, best known for The Beyond, Panic, Ratman and a few other cult Italian movies, stars in this excellent giallo. Despite being fairly unknown and made in the mid-80s when the giallo genre was arguably fading, Formula For A Murder is definitely among some of the finest. The score is superb (although it does steal some music from New York Ripper!) and the cinematography and editing is exactly what you'd expect from the best giallos - eerie, creepy and very European.
Everything a giallo fan will like is in here - style, the music, creepy dolls, twisted priests, memorable kills,a disabled victim (what is it with Italian horrors and victims being blind or wheelchair bound?!). Warbeck is the cherry on the yellow cake!
This is the first time the film has been released on DVD and it looks superb, since it's been newly remastered. Also included is a reversible cover, an audio commentary from the DOP of the film and a very cool yellow raincoat that's included with the DVD (limited amount).
Highly recommend this one to all gialli fans - old and new to the genre.
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