Fatal Frames (1996)

Fatal Frames feels like the most 80’s movie I’ve ever seen, yet it was made in 1996. It’s also the longer giallo I think I’ve ever seen, taking nearly two hours of meandering to get to anything worthwhile, throwing in red herring after red herring, including turns by David Warbeck as a cop, Angus Scrimm as a ghost, Linnea Quigley as a parapsychologist, Alida Valli as a Countess whose home feels like it was lit by Argento (after all, she was Miss Tanner in Suspiria) and Donald Pleasence as an FBI agent. This would be his last movie and his voice was dubbed as he wasn’t around to do any dialogue.

I’d like to say that Mr. Pleasence went out on a high note, but after a career of never saying no to anything, this would not be the movie I’d choose for my epitaph.

Alex is a music video director who has come to Rome and has perhaps brought a serial killer — The Video Killer — with him. That very same killer took out his wife and now he’s a person of interest. His only interest is getting closer to Stefania Stella, who is playing herself here. She’s a pop star — and the wife of director Al Fiesta — whose nickname is the Napoleonic Madonna.

Fiesta would also direct The Hermit and Gipsy Angel, as well as contributing music to the Claudio Fragrasso films After Death and Robowar.

This movie feels like one that has been on for weeks and not hours. It just goes on and on, looking foggy and blue lit, which are things I normally love, but this feels like when your parents caught you smoking and forced you to smoke the whole pack until you got sick.

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