ARROW BOX SET RELEASE: Gothic Fantastico: The Third Eye (1966)

Mino (Franco Nero) is a wealthy nobleman and oddly enough taxidermist living under the domineering rule of his mother (Olga Solbelli) who decides to escape by marrying his fiancée Laura (Erika Blanc, pretty much the queen of Italian gothic horror). This also upsets his maid Marta (Gioia Pascal), who cuts the brakes on Mino’s car. She dies in a crash yet Mino saves her body, stuffing her and placing her body in his bed. While he’s preoccupied with that, Marta — why is the name Marta or Martha always filled with dread in Italian movies? — shoves his mom down the steps.

In his grief, Mino starts having sex with ladies of the evening in the same bed as his stuffed wife. When these girls find out that they’re part of a necrophilic threeway, he strangles them and Marta puts them in an acid bath. He agrees to marry her and make her a countess, but then Laura’s twin Daniela shows up and ruins her plan. When she tries to kill his love come back from the dead, Mino flips and repeatedly stabs his maid turned wife, then kidnaps Daniela and leads the police on a manhunt.

Italian censors were bewildered by this movie, saying “In addition many scenes of almost full female nudity and excessively graphic intercourses, the film features episodes of necrophilia, close-ups of horrific scenes with blood and brutal violence, presented with real sadism and a protracted insistence which conveys a sense of complacency by part of the makers.”

Imagine how they felt when Joe D’Amato remade it thirteen years later as Buio Omega, a movie that outdoes the depravity of this film on nearly every level.

Directed by Mino Guerrini from a script by Piero Regnoli based on a story by Gilles De Reys, this is one dark movie and you know, I love it. It’s wild to see Nero play such the villain.

Along with a new video introduction by Italian film devotee Mark Thompson Ashworth, a limited edition 80-page book featuring new writing by Roberto Curti, Rob Talbot, Jerome Reuter, Rod Barnett and Kimberly Lindbergs, a fold-out double-sided poster and limited edition packaging with reversible sleeves featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Colin Murdoch, The Third Eye also has new commentary by author and critic Rachael Nisbet, a new video essay by author and filmmaker Lindsay Hallam and a newly edited video interview with actress Erika Blanc.

You can get this set from MVD.

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