Thursday, April 22, 2010

In short: Trhauma (1980)

With the money of his wife Lilly (Domitilla Cavazza), gambling blighter Andrea (Gaetano Russo) has bought a nice villa in the country, right next door to a sprawling forest. Lilly is not impressed, and what's worse, she's also unwilling to pay for Andrea's gambling habit any longer.

Nevertheless, the couple has invited a bunch of their decadent, yet boring friends for the weekend. Things get exciting when first one of the female members of the group disappears and then more and more unpleasant things happen. Looks like the local necrophiliac and madman is slashing and stalking his neighbours.

But is he working alone or is all the needless slaughter part of a plan concocted by the only person around who has a motive and is additionally indicted by a pre-credit sequence that makes everything that happens absurdly obvious?

Trhauma is usually called a giallo, but you might as well call it a slasher movie for all I care. The handful of more interesting scenes look more influenced by Halloween than by Bava or Argento to me.

There is a more giallo-esque mystery angle to the murders, but the evil evildoer's plan is so obvious and lacking in surprises or suspense that I couldn't shake the feeling that nobody, not even the characters in the film themselves, actually could care about it.

Most of Trhauma is just a plain old-fashioned bore with not very interesting characters doing the expected things for much of the time. Even the sleazy set pieces (one act of necrophilia in front of dismayed sheep and an angry - typical conservative, if you ask me - Alsatian and one act of marital rape) don't work too well. Instead of trying to get the viewer by the throat, they feel like the film's just going through the motions. Very very slowly at that.

Gianni Martucci's film isn't completely without merits, though. The final girl sequence is perfectly alright, yet I couldn't bring myself to get even the least bit excited about it after the depths of boredom the film plunged me into beforehand.

Trhauma just lacks the conviction needed to make a mean and sleazy movie. That it also just plain isn't good enough to entertain in other ways should come as no surprise.


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