ABOUT THE AUTHOR: When Frederick Burdsall isn’t at work or watching movies while covered in cats, you can find Fred in the front seat of Knoebels’ Phoenix.
What we have here today, my friends, is your standard supernatural made for TV Giallo. From 1978, comes Circuito Chiuso (Closed Circuit), directed by Giuiano Montado, who is probably best known for the trilogy of films he made dealing with the various abuses of power, the most known being Sacco and Vanzetti. It stars Flavio Bucci, Tony Kendall and to an extent Giuliano Gemma. Let’s look at the story…
A harmless, movie loving old man goes to the cinema to watch the Giuliano Gemma western now appearing. Everyone takes their seats and the film begins to roll. Nothing out of the ordinary happening here until the final confrontation, when the Pistolero (Gemma) fires at his adversary and the old man is struck and killed by a bullet. With police already in the theater, it is quickly locked down so the killer can’t escape. We watch tensions build as the interrogations begin and no one is allowed to leave. The police chief decides to re-enact the crime in the hopes of figuring it out and gets a volunteer to sit in the death seat. When the final confrontation takes place, the pistolero fires and the volunteer is gunned down. There doesn’t appear to be any connection and finally the chief runs the film a final time, taking the death seat himself. Not to spoil anything but it doesn’t end well for the chief and the mystery is solved.
It is part sci-fi, part social commentary and somewhat supernatural making for an interesting watch. If you go in expecting the usual black gloved killer and lots of bloody violence you will be very disappointed. Go in with an open mind, then watch and enjoy this visual experiment that has been overlooked long enough and I’ll see you at Knoebels.