JOE D’AMATO WEEK: Buio Omega (1979)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is Joe’s big directing bid and its lack of reaction pushed him into only caring about more commercial films (porn). It’s a shame because this is a work of sheer weird art made by a maniac. We originally wrote about this movie on October 5, 2020. There’s also a cocktail recipe based on this movie at the end of the article.

I love Joe D’Amato. I can’t hide my devotion and even when his movies descend into outright exploitation, I love him even more. This is probably his best film — a remake of the 1966 film The Third Eye — that he would talk down by saying, “I personally opted for the most unrestrained gore, since I don’t consider myself very skillful at creating suspense.”

It’s also a movie that he shouted — while filming — “We’re making a movie to make people throw up. We must make ’em vomit!”

I wish he was still alive so I could hug him right now.

Frank Wyler has just lost the love of his life, Anna Völkl (Cinzia Monreale, Emily from The Beyond). That may have something to do with his voodoo using, wet nursing maid Iris (Franca Stoppi, The Other Hell and the dog-loving mother in George Eastman’s Dog Lay Afternoon), who is only too happy to have her boss suckle on her bosoms for emotional succor.

So our protagonist does what any of us would. He digs up his woman and turns her into a body that will never age. Of course, any other filmmaker wouldnt show this process in graphic detail, but you’re not watching any other director make this movie. This is the kind of film where a hitchhiker is killed and when our hero gets too stressed out, his mother figure gives him an old fashioned and then helps him hack up the corpse.

The crazy thing is, Frank can pick up women, like the jogger he gets in the sack in less time than it will take you to read this. Of course, he has to show off Anna, the girl goes nuts and Frank ends up biting through her neck. Such is life. Or death.

Imagine how Frank feels when his dead lover’s twin shows up! Why it’s enough to call of his engagement to Iris, which is one of the oddest scenes in a movie that pretty much starts strange and finishes beyond strong in the category of astounding weirdness.

Come for the necrophilia. Stay for the awesome Goblin soundtrack.

You can watch this on Tubi or buy it from Severin.

BONUS: Here are two cocktail recipes!

Dark and Stormy (simple version)

  • 2 oz. dark rum (Goslings Black Seal is traditional, but I use Kraken)
  • 3 oz. ginger beer
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
  1. Fill a highball (or Big Gulp) glass with ice. Add rum.
  2. Pour in ginger beer and lime. Stir, garnish with a lime wedge and drink up.

Beyond the Darkness and Stormy (complicated version, based on this recipe)

  • 2 oz. dark rum
  • 3 oz. ginger beer (go for a lower sugar and spicier brand)
  • 1 oz. spiced simple syrup (read on…)
  • Lime for garnish

Making this recipe means making your simple syrup a few days in advance. To do that, use this recipe:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 6 sticks cinnamon (making sure to grate a quarter stick into the mix)
  • 30 whole cloves
  • 10 allspice berries (or just double the ground allspice below)
  • 1/4 tsp ground all spice
  • 1 vanilla bean cut in half and seeds scraped out
  • 1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup fresh ginger sliced (you can always use a dash of dry ginger spice, but I have some rad frozen ginger cubes I’ve been dying to use)
  • 3 oz lime juice

Making simple syrup is, well, simple. Throw everything in a pot and simmer it over medium — not too hot — heat. Once it gets warm, turn it on low and stir it until it thickens on your spoon. Let it cool.

Then, strain out the spices and store it in a container in the fridge.

Here’s how to make this magic work:

  1. Fill a highball (or Big Gulp) glass with ice. Add the ginger beer and then the simple syrup. You’re going to be amazed, because the syrup will sink to the bottom.
  2. Hold a spoon upside down at the top of the glass at the top of the ginger beer later. Pour the rum over the spoon like you’re an absinthe fiend. Prepare yourself to shit your pants at how cool this is. I’m not going to spoil it.

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