La Casa del Buon Ritorno (1986)

This 1986 late model Italian giallo — with a title that translates as The House of Good Returns  — was written, directed and produced by Beppe Cino. It is the only horror movie he’s made.

Twenty years ago, a young girl died here. Now, Luca and his fiancee Margit have come back, reopening old memories and unleashing Ayesha, a mysterious woman, and a series of killings.

Yes, Luca killed that girl accidentally when she put on a mask to frighten him. But now, that very same Onibaba mask is being worn by a killer. Of course, that mask comes directly from the 1964 film Onibaba, but this a film that shows its influences for all to see, like large chunks taken from Deep Red. But hey — remixing is art, after all, and this movie looks great, feels like a dream sequence and is the only giallo I’ve ever seen with music that would fit better into a Woody Allen film.

While this was released on VHS in countries like Italy, Spain (The House of No Return) and Germany (The House of the Blue Shadows), it was never put out on DVD until its 2020 TetroVideo reissue. It still hasn’t been dubbed into English. In a strange way, it’s Japanese look reminds me of another completely off-kilter movie that makes dream logic sense, Blood Beat.

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