They Have Changed Their Face (1971)

Corrado Farina was once a copywriter in advertising before he began to direct his own commercials. He moved on to direct documentaries as well as two feature films — Baba Yaga and this strange campire film. After this, he mainly worked on documentaries and wrote novels. That’s a shame, because both movies are pretty good.

Farina referred to this as a conceptual movie. It concerns a man who is given a promotion at the car company that he works for. However, that promotion comes from a place and a person that he didn’t expect.

This film was influenced by German philosopher Herbert Marcuse and his critique of capitalism and communism One-Dimensional Man. In story, consumerism is a form of social control, just like vampirism. Nosferantu is still out there, sucking blood, but now he’s being much more polite about it — he’s Adolfo Celi playing Giovanni Nosferatu and not Max Schreck.

In the modern world, the vampires use advertising — a subject that Farina obviously knew plenty about — and business to control their victims. There’s even Harkers and Van Helsings on the Nosferantu payroll now. And instead of draining blood from their necks, Giovanni derives pleasure from shooting targets that moan with each shot.

Co-writer Giulio Berruti would go on to direct Killer Nun if you’re interested in playing seven degrees of giallo and Italian genre filmmaking with me. Let’s keep the game moving — Geraldine Hooper, who plays Nosferantu’s androgynous secretary, was also in Deep Red and Emmanuelle in Soho.

You have to love a movie where business meetings take on the sinister trappings of the occult ritual. The symbols may have become logos and the mantras may have become concept statements, but the intent is so much the same.

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