Via a digital screener I was given the chance to check out Nightmare Symphony which is currently playing festivals. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into but was pleased to find out that this is a Giallo shot in Italy and was written by a frequent Fulci collaborator Antonia Tentori. We also get a theme song from Fabio Frizzi, though I’m not sure it was specifically written for this movie it was still awesome to hear. There is some serious old school Italian filmmaking cred involved here so I was hoping to love it.
The opening is rather brutal and sets the tone for the movie, at least the ending of it. We see a beautiful woman drop her towel and jump in the shower. A mysterious killer dressed as a Peacock is stalking her and when the lights go out and she is attacked. There is liberal use of a razor to cut her up and the camera lingers on the skin being sliced up in a neat bit of practical effects work. Not a bad way to start things off.
Then the director arrives in Rome to finish the edit on his latest horror movie. He is shown a magazine that mentions the woman’s death and is shocked. It seems that she was the start of the very movie he is editing. We also meet several other characters such as an angry actor who psyches himself up in the mirror, a rude guy that hangs around the editing bay, Izzy the director’s friend who is helping him finish the movie, as well as an obnoxious producer and a writer who is angry with what was done to his script. These characters and more act as either victims or suspects and in the best tradition of the Giallo sometimes both.
|Movie looks great!|
|Kills are fun and creative|
The camera work is creative, and the music is perfect. Other than clearly not being shot on film, not a complaint, this movie could be dropped into a marathon of classic Gialli and it would fit right in. Again, the ending really bugged me, but I can’t ignore all the other things that I loved. If you dig this genre you will want to check out Nightmare Symphony. I heartily recommend it.
© Copyright 2021 John Shatzer