Saturday, 16 December 2006

Seddok / Lycanthropus

Today I got round to watching a couple of those Internet Archive Italian horrors, Seddok and Lycanthropus. Neither is exactly a lost classic, though both have points of interest and probably suffered from being dubbed and edited for the US market.

Seddok / Atom Age Vampire comes across as very much a Les Yeux sans visage rip-off, albeit more melodramatic and less poetic. There is some especially tasteless use of photos of atomic burn victims, which are also the most horrifying and shocking things in the film, precisely because they are for real. I wondered if the dancer character, half of whose face is disfigured in an accident, and who is then – albeit temporarily – cured through the obligatory mad scientist's interventions was an influence on the fumetti Satanik; certainly there's a nice coincidence with the film's full Italian title, Seddok, l'erede di Satana.

Lycanthropus / Werewolf in a Girls' Dormitory was written by Ernesto Gastaldi and has Luciano Pigozzi as one of its various suspects. It's a strange combination of gothic horror and giallo, with assorted conspiracies and a detective subplot as a couple of amateur sleuths – a teacher with a secret of his own to hide, and one of the (reform) school girls – try to work out who is the lycanthrope and who is just a red herring. Substitute the werewolf for a black-clad masked killer and you would probably have something not too different from Antonio Margheriti's School Girl Killer. There is a fair bit of subjective camera, with some nicely energetic chases through the woods, and even some black-gloved menacing going on.

For free, both films are well worth checking out.

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