The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
thevideovacuum

THE EMBALMER (1965) ** ½

Here’s a nutty Italian giallo that plays more like a Mexican horror movie.  A lunatic wearing a black hood and a skull mask murders women and keeps them perfectly preserved in his lair located deep within the catacombs of Venice.  Meanwhile a womanizing reporter investigates the crimes and tries to bring the killer to justice. 

 

The Embalmer moves at a sluggish pace but it contains some moments of surreal weirdness that had me in stitches.  Wait until you get a load of the scenes where the killer stalks his prey.  This dude walks around the streets of Venice wearing scuba gear yet he is still somehow able sneak up on his victims.  At one point, he knocks over a trash can with his flippers and the chick doesn’t even notice!  Incredible.  If that doesn’t crack you up, the Ricky Nelson look-alike who croons a song (in Italian) after rising out of a coffin will.

 

If the flick had more of this goofy shit like this in it, I think we would’ve had some sort of Grade Z masterpiece on our hands.  Unfortunately, the endless scenes of the suave reporter taking beautiful women on sightseeing tours of Venice slowed the movie down to a fucking crawl.  The film does have some atmospheric scenes in the catacombs (the reveal of the skull mask is particularly effective) but the atrocious score, which is nothing more than a bunch of library striptease music, doesn’t go along with any of the action and drains the movie of much of its would-be suspense.  The climax is quite lively though.

 

Naturally, The Embalmer himself gets all the best (poorly dubbed) dialogue like, “My secret potion will penetrate every cell in your body, keeping you eternally beautiful!”

 

AKA:  The Monster of Venice.

Tags: e, horror
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