Tenebrae

For the second of our tribute series this month, we're killing two birds with one stone by honoring two people we lost last year.

John Saxon was a longstanding veteran of screen and TV, with more than 200 credits to his name, perhaps most prominent in the horror community for his role as Nancy's mother in the Nightmare on Elm Street series.

Daria Nicolodi may not be a household name in the USA, but as a frequent collaborator and lover of Dario Argento, she had a role in some of his most notorious Italian horror and giallo pics, including a star turn in Deep Red and as the co-writer of Suspiria.

Expand to read episode transcript
Automatic Transcript

Tenebrae (1982)

Episode 243, 2 Guys and a Chainsaw.

Todd: hello and welcome to another episode of Two Guys and a Chainsaw. I’m Todd.

Craig: And I’m Craig.

Todd: Well, here we are three weeks now in today. The new year. And after our new year’s episode, we said that we were going to do some tribute episodes, tribute to the people that we lost in 2020 that we weren’t able to get to in 2020.

So last week we did David Prouse who had played Darth Vader in the earlier star Wars films. And, uh, this week where we got a twofer, two people who are, should be pretty well known to the horror community, maybe one more than the John Saxon and Aria Nicolodi both died last year, John sax and I believe of pneumonia, but anyway, Daria Nicolodi is.

A fixture in some of the most popular of Dario Argento films. She is the writer of Suspiria. She was supposed to star in that movie, but, uh, she got an injury and they brought in someone else to star in that film, but she did write the picture. Um, and that’s. Pretty significant because she was in a relationship with Dario Argento.

They have a daughter together, AZA Argento, who is an actress and writer and director in her own. Right. So she was in quite a few of his films. In fact, he met her when he was casting for deep red and she ended up starring in it. And that was the beginning of their relationship. She’s been in a few movies, actually that we’ve done, we’ve done deep red, we’ve done phenomena.

And she started an opera and we did opera as well. So, uh, today we’re going to do another Dario Argento movie, Tena Bray. Many people say this is one of his best films. And it also happens to have a role for another actor that we lost last year. John Saxon. John Saxon may be more well-known to the American crowd has been, has over 200 film roles and television roles to his name, very striking kind of leading man type guy in the early sixties, played a ton of different roles and then had quite a bit of a turn at horror.

He was, of course Nancy’s father in nightmare on Elm street and reply reprised that role a couple times during the series, a black Christmas, one of our all-time favorites. He is the police, the detective in there. And in this film, he plays a role that honestly, I he’s played a lot of stuff. Right. And I have not seen hardly any of his.

Huge repertoire of films, but the horror ones. So I’m used to seeing him as a very more somber, serious kind of driven guy and all these police roles. So for me, anyway, it was really nice to see him have a role as a literary agent in this movie where he’s just kind of, um, Schmoozing smiling, energetic guy.

And I was a side of him I hadn’t seen before. So even though his part isn’t so large in this film, I think it’s a fitting tribute considering we’ve done some of his more popular ones already, you know, Craig, uh, you know, uh, I love Argento. We’ve done four or five. This will maybe be the fifth film of his that we’ve done so far.

And I believe that when you come into these Italian horror films, it’s a bit of a mixed bag for you. Sometimes you really like them. Sometimes they’re a little too weird. Uh, sometimes they’re quite frankly quite stupid, but Argento is a little bit higher on the top of the pack with his films. And this is definitely a classic Argento.

Jolo. Uh, right down to the gloved hands and the killer POV and the mystery. And then one of his calling cards, usually the mystery solved by something that one of the characters needs to go back and remember, you know, something they saw that they had to kind of piece together. And I was really hoping that that would be the case in this one.

And it was in fact, which is fun because whenever you’re watching a mystery, you do kind of want to have a. Fighting chance at being able to figure it out. Right. And so I have confidence most of the time watching his films that. At least as giallo pictures that when there’s a mystery involved, I pay really, really close attention and try to figure it out by the end.

I have to admit this one had a couple twists that I didn’t see in it. Uh, there was a point at which I kind of thought I had it figured out and didn’t, and then there was a point where it’s revealed who the killer was and then it also kind of, there’s a twist there toward the end as well. So, um, if you haven’t seen this movie yet, uh, if the beginning of us talking about it, Starts to inspire you to go see it.

You probably should just go see it if you don’t want spoilers, because we will be hinting at if not outright spoiling it, especially by the end of the podcast. Definitely. So I’ve never seen this before, but it had been on my list for a long time. It’s a 1982 film. I had never seen it before, but it had been on my list forever.

So I was super happy and eager for the opportunity to cram another Dario, Argento, jello pic in the mix. Cause I’m always in the mood for these kind of movies, even if you are not. So, uh, have you ever heard of this before? Had you ever seen it before? I

Craig: heard it? It, it, uh, is on. Shutter, uh, and, and maybe other streaming prep platforms.

I don’t know. All I know is that I’ve scrolled past it many times, and I knew exactly what it was. Um, and you’re right. This, these, these films just, aren’t my cup of tea. I, um, my sister called me. Yesterday. And she’s a fan of the podcast. She’s listened to all of them. She’s co-hosted with us at least once or twice.

And. I said, I, you know, I, I have to get up early tomorrow to do the podcast and she’s like, Oh, what movie are you doing this week? And I said, Todd’s making us do another one. That’s dumb ass job.

Uh,

Todd: come on, Greg, tell me how you really feel. Don’t hold back. I

Craig: can take it. I can take it out. I get it. I get it. It’s it is a particular genre and I understand why it has its fans. I get it. It’s just not so much for me. And I think that part of what bothers me about them is after a while they all kind of start to seem the same.

Some creeper and black gloves sneaks around and talks. In a breathy voice and kills a bunch of people. And then in the end, you know, it’s very twisty and you figure out who it is and whatever. I mean, they, they all seem very similar to me. That’s not to say that. I don’t think that there is very skillful filmmaking going on.

I do think that there is skillful filmmaking going on. Just not my cup of tea and these actors, uh, who were paying tribute to, it’s funny that you say we’ve seen several movies that Darian Nikolay Nickelodeon was in because. I didn’t remember her. I didn’t recognize her. That’s not to say that she’s not good.

She is. She’s, she’s perfectly fine. She’s a good actress in this movie, John Saxon, I am more familiar with and a bigger fan of really just because of the nightmare movies. And I, I loved him as Nancy’s dad in. Nightmare one and three. Um, I really enjoyed him and then, you know, a new nightmare is very meta and any place himself in that movie.

And then, you know, at the climax of the movie, when reality starts to blur, he. Goes back and plays the character of Nancy’s father again. And I was a big fan of his, and I haven’t seen a lot of his other movies, but I just, he’s one of those faces that just pops up and you’re like, Oh, John Saxon.

Todd: Yeah. He’s kind of like a beefcake, you know,

Craig: he’s handsome and charming and yeah.

And he’s Italian. And he had a long career. He was discovered at like 16 or something, I think by a filmmaker who invited him to audition for a role. And then he went on to act steadily and in his early career, Um, as was the case for many darker complected Italian actors of the day, he ended up playing a lot of minority roles, like Hispanic roles or even native American roles, you know, back before we knew better than to.

Do that. And then his career continued and he was very successful. You know, he wasn’t necessarily a leading man, but he had a, a strong presence, a very handsome face, and he was a good actor. And I liked him. It’s always the case. These people. Who were familiar with from different films and different periods of our lives.

We don’t know them, but when we hear that we’ve lost them. Um, it’s sad. It’s, it’s, it’s not, you know, maybe on the same level. Losing somebody that, you know, personally are close to, but you feel a connection to these people and you feel the loss when they’re gone. And so I was glad for the opportunity, um, to be able to do this.

And, and you picked the movie and you picked it largely because we could kill two birds with one stone Franklin. Um, I’m sure that there, yeah, I I’m sure that there are probably. More compelling John Saxon performances that we could have talked about. But like you said, the ones that I’m most familiar with, we’ve already done.

He doesn’t have a huge role in this movie, but he’s charming and handsome. And so. It’s fitting the movie itself, I thought was okay. It was typical. It was exactly what I expected it to be. It was twisty. It did keep me guessing even by the end. I didn’t know who the killer was. I thought I had it figured out a couple of times I was wrong.

Ultimately, when it was revealed who it was, I kind of felt a little stupid. I kind of felt like that should have been more obvious than it was, but. Anyway, well, tonight

Todd: your enthusiasm just comes through loud and clear. And admittedly, obviously we approach these movies in different ways because this is comfort food for me. Uh, as I’ve said before, when I probably like a broken record, every time we do a giallo pick is that I am always. In the mood for these, like, I’m always in the mood for like a 1960s Godzilla picture.

There’s something about the style and the setting. And they’re almost always filmed in Europe and around those seventies and sixties and up like this one into the early eighties. So I get to see a foreign country and I get to see it at a particular time when it was kind of cool and hip and the fashion is kind of fun.

And then. There is, like you said, a very recognizable style, which I love about it. You know, there’s always cool camera work. There’s always some crazy tracking shots in there. Air

Craig: and beautiful locations. Always

Todd: beautiful. Crazy cool, beautiful locations. Uh, and then just a certain mood, a certain atmosphere.

And it it’s this it’s this mystery that you have to solve. And I love a mystery as well. The problem with a lot of these movies is that oftentimes the mystery doesn’t make a lot of sense. Sometimes the directors are so caught up in style and trying to do something that the, either it’s dumb or, you know, there’s some nonsensical way that the character comes to their conclusion.

Like they stumble on a book in a library that gives them a clue, you know, something really out there. But this movie I particularly liked maybe more so than, than any of the other giallo pictures we watch. I mean, yeah. It is a very straightforward, easy to follow makes, perfect sense kind of plot. And I thought the situations were, were realistic and reasonable and the things that happen could happen and the way that they come to the conclusion and the sort of the case goes along.

Makes sense to me. You know, I mean, there’s maybe one or two little coincidental things that kind of happened, but, uh, overall y’all it was something that I was engrossed in and I was following, I was really, really just trying to figure it out, who did it through the whole thing. And then of course we always get Gore, you know, some brutal stuffs in this movie, man, maybe more so than some of the other ones of his, like really gory at one point and then, and some nudity and I’m always a fan I’m a fan of, of nudity and Gore.

Two. Great, wonderful, lovely things. So, uh, yeah. So anyway, this movie hit all the buttons for me, to be honest, I know work, I’m going to drag you through this episode and this is going to be me talking about how much I enjoyed it and you’re going to be like, yeah. Okay, Todd, I get what you’re saying, but just didn’t hit those buttons for me.

Fair enough. Am I right?

Craig: Yeah. I mean, the stuff that you mentioned, I agree the cinematography is good. Always, like I said, the locations, it makes me want to travel. I, you know, I want to see Italy and all of this beautiful architecture and the Gore. Is very, very typical in this movie compared to Argento those other movies and, and the other jellos, you know, lot, lots of that bright shockingly red blood, lots of throat cutting and people getting impaled on things.

And, uh, it’s typical and it, it looks great. I don’t have any criticism of it in that area. The, as far as. Uh, the realism of the plot, there wasn’t anything that was, jarringly unrealistic about it, but I think that I would need to watch it again, which I’m not going to. I think that I would need to watch it again to satisfy myself because when the killer was revealed, I was like, Wait a second.

Like I kept thinking it, it felt like the killer would have had to be in more of that one place at one time at some points. And, and, and part of that also again, I would have to, um, review it because, and here we go, sign out. Now, if you’re not interested in spoilers because. Ultimately, there’s not just one killer in this movie.

Um, there’s more than one. So that’s the trick they pull. Yeah. I would have to really go back and pay attention to where in the timeline things happen to figure it out. But there’s one scene in particular. I was like, It’s kind of iffy to me that the killer could pull this off kind of being in two places at one time.

But anyway, I mean, I feel like every week we Jabber and Jabber more in the beginning before we get into the plot and we’re like, okay, here’s what happened? Here’s what

Todd: happened.

Sorry. I feel like we’re, at that point, let’s jump in into the fire. As the pages of the book, get tossed into the fire. Uh, the movie just starts right out, right away with those gloved hands. It’s holding a book called Tena Bray by a God, an author named Peter Neil, who is going to be our main actor in this whole thing is played by an actor named Anthony Francesca.

As this gloved hand is tearing pages out of this book and throwing it into the fire. He’s reading, the impulse

Craig: had become irresistible. There was only one answer to the fury that tortured him. And so he committed his first act of murder. He had broken the most deep rooted taboo and found not guilt, not anxiety or fear, but freedom, every humiliation, which stood in his way.

Could be swept aside by this simple act of annihilation.

Todd: And that is the theme that sort of frames our film. And we’re going to come back to that quote, uh, toward the end of the movie as well. And you know, for me anyway, the other thing I love about these movies and Dari or CentOS in particular is the fricking awesome music.

The music kicks off with this fantastic. Fantastic title that I absolutely love

Definitely not a score by goblin this time around, but it has that feel that progressive rock tunes that are a little creepy and a little fun and upbeat that come in at just the right moments in this movie. And that’s what kicks it off for us as well here. Yeah.

Craig: I enjoyed the Synthi score of these movies.

It’s fun. And so you’re right. You know, we need this guy, Peter McNeely author of the book that this gloved killer or presumably is obsessing over. And he first read, this is unknown rides his bike to the airport. Um, like in it, like in a jogging suit that he then changes out of to put his suit on for the flight.

Who does that weird. Um, and he gets a telephone call from somebody and we only hear his side of it. And the woman that he’s talking to her name is Jane. It sounds like a tense conversation, but he just kind of brushes her off and he leaves. And he goes to Rome and he’s in Rome for like, uh, a publicity tour for his book, I guess.

Yup. Yup. And then we move away from him and we see this gorgeous woman in a store. I don’t know where this was, but she’s just in a store and we get the classic geology killer POV shot, some heavy breather watches. This woman. Shoplift a book she gets caught and to get out of it, she gives the bookstore owner or manager her address to come by any time.

It’s like, like really like just own a stranger for a book, like go to a library.

But she goes back to her apartment and then she’s murdered. And I don’t remember specifically how I didn’t make note of it, but what I do know is that the pages of a book, presumably to Nebraska. No it is, they say later it is, are shoved into her mouth, right after that, the killer slips a note for Peter under the door.

And I don’t even remember if he reads it at that point. No. Gosh, I don’t know. I have to, I have to confess, I watched it first half hour of this book in like five to 10 minute increments. On break at work.

So I don’t really remember the first part very well. So you may have to kind of help me

Todd: out. I may jump in here then. Um, so he goes to a press meeting and he encounters a couple of characters. There’s a guy. Uh, who was interviewing him, he’s like a television journalist or whatever. He’s got a TV show and he’s interviewing him.

And there’s also a woman who comes in and interrupts them. And she’s also a journalist, but she claims that his book is sexist and tells him that all his books are sexist. Why are your books? So sexist women get killed in them, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. She, her name is Tilda and she’s very off-putting.

And then John Saxon jumps in. As his agent, why don’t we do this?

Craig: Set up a separate interview with you and Mr. Neil, I let him really come to grips with your magazine’s attitude. Huh? He just got off a plane and well, how would that be? Okay.

Todd: I, uh, I think it’s time. And then he goes back to his hotel room and he meets and we meet and his secretary.

And this is the woman played by Daria. And Anna is pretty and nice and his secretary, and right away, you get this impression that they’ve got some connection there that’s more than just professional. Although later we find out they haven’t. Maybe they haven’t really acted on it yet. Right. But they’re awfully touchy, feely with each other, uh, hands on shoulders.

They speak very sweetly to each other. Uh, and they’re there and they also mentioned, uh, Hey, Jane called, you know, but blah, blah, blah. So there’s something about some woman Jane, right?

Craig: Yeah. And there’s another you’re right. I, I. Felt that there was some sort of pre-established relationship between Ann and Peter too.

And I wasn’t sure what it was. There’s also this other kid, like, I don’t know, he couldn’t have been more than 20. Um, I’m not really sure why he’s there. I guess he’s supposed to be peers assistant or chauffeur. Yeah. Yeah.

Todd: He’s somebody that, um, he’s kind of a handler that, um, I believe that his, uh, well bull is the name of the agent that the agent put together for him to, uh, kind of help him around Rome or whatever.

He’s staying at like a, like a, I think it’s somebody’s home or somebody’s apartment or something like that, that they’ve rented out. I don’t think it’s a hotel proper. No,

Craig: it seems like an apartment building.

Todd: Yeah, but his bag was kind of taken from him at the airport, but then sort of dropped a few feet away from him.

And by the time he finally opens up his bag, he sees inside, there are some like blue looks like bloody clothing. I feel like the movie actually does move pretty quickly. At least the plot does because immediately the inspector is right there at his door and says, Hey, um, you know, we found this dead woman, this is what happened.

And the reason we’re talking to you is because the killer had stuffed pages of your book in his mouth. That’s when

Craig: they find the letter right in the letter, says something like there was only one answer to the fury that tortured him. Like . From his book, like the killer is taking his cues from the book and then the killer calls the apartment.

And it’s really weird. The killer’s voice, like, it sounds like the killer is kind of trying to disguise their voice, but it sounds like so

Todd: woman. Yes, it does. It does sound like a woman, which kind of

Craig: threw me. Hello, Peter Neil speaking. Not anxiety, but those words, 46 freedom

we’ve just

Todd: begun. It does throw you. And I think there’s kind of a reason for that. And so we basically have this setup that says a classic, right? The cops were like, we need your help to help was fine. This guy, this, this person. So as soon as the killer calls and the got them on the phone, the police run out there, uh, to try to find the person hot pursuit, but, uh, don’t find them.

And, and the, the police detective has this assistant. And she’s female and she doesn’t have a huge role to play. But I think it’s funny, maybe just more aside of the times that he turns and he looks at her and he’s like, got the way, huh? I couldn’t get him.

Craig: I should have a tough male assistant to run fast.

Todd: You’d

Craig: hate it. You’d have nothing to bitch about.

Todd: And then we get this shot. Uh, it’s this cutaway shot to a couple pills on a table and some bubbling water and the gurgling water in the background and a glass of water and a closeup on a guy’s eye and he’s groaning. And, and there’s a shadow on the wall. It looks like this man’s kind of in pain and we get a completely odd seemingly out of the blue vision.

And I think that’s what this is. It’s those of the vision, or later we kind of find out probably a little bit from this guy’s past

Craig: was very confused. I didn’t know what was going on. Like you see the killer, like agonizing and like he takes some pills or whatever, and then. We do get this weird scene and it’s so bizarre.

It’s this gorgeous, gorgeous woman like standing on a beach and she pulls her top down. She’s stunningly. Beautiful. I read that this was played by a trans actress. She’s she’s just amazingly beautiful, but pulls her top-down and then I thought that somehow I had. I thought that somehow switched tabs.

Cause I’m like, wait, is this porn? Cause like she kneels down, she kneels down on the beach and like these guys all surround her and she’s like caressing them and like rubbing her head up against their crotch little areas. And then another guy shows up. And, and slaps her and she runs, but then like the other guys attack the guy that had slapped her.

And then the guy that gets attacked, she like puts her shoe on his head and sticks or heel in his mouth. And her shoes are super important. Like we get these red shoe. Uh, flashback several times throughout the movie, but then that’s it. And it cuts away and I’m like, what was that? Like? It was totally not just in my mind, but like in the movie, very surreal and dreamlike and I didn’t even know what was going.

Yeah. Yeah. It throws you in several more times. It’s weird and it’s explained in the end, but it’s so out of context here that it’s very confusing and iterating. Yeah.

Todd: It always happens right after this, you know? Close up of some pills. It’s like somebody is taking some pills and whatever. And then at the, after this shot, you know, we get more of this shadow of this man sort of agonizing.

I pretty much figured at this point that somebody we don’t know who is troubled by visions of this, whether they’re real, whether it’s something that’s happened in the past or, or whether it’s just some symbolic thing we’re seeing his or her fever dream. Right going on. Right. But then now we go back to Tilda.

Tilda is the woman who earlier was really antagonistic to him, the journalist and she and her, we later found out roommate slash lover are in a bar. And, um, here’s her lover, a female. And, uh, Barely. No, no, no woman in this movie, I think wears a bra. I’m not complaining. Maybe it’s just a sign of the times or whatever, but there are moments at which like, how do these people walk around in public?

Like her nipples are like popping out of this thing right. And left as she walks, you know what I’m saying? Or am I just focused on the wrong things?

Craig: Well, no, you’re focused on exactly what the filmmaker wants you to be focused on. I mean, you know, when she. W when she gets back to her apartment, I like she has first, she and her lover are like together in a bar or something and her lesbian lover, but her lover like picks up a dude, but I love this.

She’s kind of like mad

Todd: about it. Yeah. She’s mad about it. But the dialogue and the bar is hilarious. She tells ’em. He doesn’t have

Craig: a place. So I’m taking him back to us. Oh, Christ. What’s bugging you. I thought we agree. Okay. No ties, but you don’t have to rub my face in it. Not your face, honey. Not tonight.

I know. So

Todd: dirty, it was

Craig: dirty and silly, but like then, so Tilda goes home and her lover is there having had her tryst and they’re still kind of fighting. And like the, the lover is for the next 10 minutes, she’s draped in a sheet draped draped, so that her amazing breasts are on full display. Yeah. Um, for, for the next 10 minutes.

And, and look, I can appreciate the beauty of the female form and this woman is curvy and like, wow. If I looked like her, I’d have my tits out all the time too. I

Todd: get it. But. But you know, her acting not so great.

Both of them is, is definitely the worst act. Probably the worst acting in the whole movie. It’s pretty bad. This is a very cringey exchange between the two of them. But their house is like, An insane, like postmodern crazy. It’s like blocks stacked upon blocks and it’s incredible house this place. And they have this tall staircase that she’s walks up, uh, to go to her room and Tilda is downstairs.

It looks out the window and then inexplicably, just some music starts playing. This happens a lot, actually in our Gentiles movies. I remember specifically one scene, a phenomena where the main character is out in the forest. And suddenly there’s kind of like a magical thing dancing around in front of her, some fireflies, and she kind of walks through the forest and suddenly this super pumping music comes in, even though there’s nothing super pumping happening on the screen and we get this.

Awesome. I don’t know. What is it like three minute tracking shot that starts outside of her window and slides up the house and kind of takes us past some of the other windows where we can see, you know, her lover upstairs, moving from room to room and then across the roof and really close into the roof tiles as we had across the roof, down the other side of the house.

And finally it ends up, uh, in front of a window where we see these gloved hands, clipping away, some shutters. On one of the windows clearly, uh, getting into the house. It’s so stylized. I love this thing because I just sit there and wait, you’re waiting for something to happen. And it’s like a good three minutes while this is sweeping around.

And just, what is it going to reveal? You know? And the music just is great. I think I read that this scene took like three days to be completed. Just this one shot. So, yeah. So then, um, This is our next murder. It’s like a double murder. The first girl gets killed.

Craig: He Tilda first, he slits her throat downstairs and then the lover kind of hears something.

So she comes downstairs, she sees, uh, Tilda dead. And so she runs back up the stairs, but the killer’s right behind her and then kills her too. But then he photographs the bodies, which is interesting because the next thing that we see is that he has. Photo lab where he’s got all of these like pictures and he’s also got like files on women.

So this isn’t random, like he’s choosing people for a particular reason.

Todd: He even whispers. And again, it sounds like a woman’s voice. But whispers filthy nasty pervert before he kills this girl.

Craig: Right? Well, and I feel like we failed to say that when, when, um, Peter was being interviewed by the. TV personality or whatever.

I think his name was Berti. His last name is bear or something like that. But he had said to him, he’s about human possession and its effects on society. And I’d like to know how you see the effects of deviant behavior on our lives. Well, first of all, it isn’t just about that. Two of the victims of deviance.

No, wait a minute, wait a minute. Who says that? Deviance? Well, when one is gay, but so what I mean, he’s portrayed is perfectly happy. In fact, His relationship with Sheila’s motivation is to eliminate what he calls corruption and that it seems to be what’s happening here. There’s a whole scene where the landlord’s daughter comes over to Peter’s apartment to turn on his water.

And she tells him to visit Carol at the bookstore on the corner, which I thought would surely be significant that he never does visit Carol at the bookstore or the quarter. So I don’t know what that was all about, but, um, the killer slipped. And Anne comes back over and the killer slips an another envelope under the door.

And the message is in Latin, but Peter apparently can read Latin and translates it to so passes the glory of Lesbos. It’s a little odd in the nose.

Todd: Yeah, just a little bit, but it tells the cops that they’re, they’re definitely all connected. You know, also Peter thinks he sees Jane’s car outside the window.

Boom. So there’s this, this Jane character who keeps possibly popping in that carrot. Peter’s a little, a little obsessed with the fact that he tries to call her a couple times more and doesn’t get a reply and is a little obsessed with the fact that she may be there in. In Rome for some reason. And we still don’t really even know who Jane is.

It’s clearly somebody who he had a relationship with and maybe cut it off or something like that. But yeah, I mean, it’s good. It adding all these possibilities, right? Who’s this Jane character, the film did a decent enough job of introducing us to enough people that it could be and throwing in a lot of suspicion amongst different folks, this journalist, you know, that Jane character and then Maria, the girl.

Who is the landlord’s daughter, whatever gets dropped off in a what looks like just a random, bad neighborhood, but I guess it’s near to her house, but it’s nighttime.

Craig: But hold on a second. Can you explain this to me? Cause I was really confused because Maria leaves Peter’s apartment with Johnny, the nice assistant boy, and they leave together on a motorcycle.

And then the next time we see her, she’s fighting. With some guy she’s sitting on the back of some guy’s motorcycle and she’s fighting with him and she gets kicked off. But that wasn’t

Todd: Johnny one. It wasn’t Johnny. Yeah. It was really confusing. You’re right. It was just another guy on a motorcycle later in the day.

I guess she,

Craig: I guess she just really likes motorcycles

Todd: the only way to get around and in Italy these days, you know,

Craig: I liked the scene though. I really liked the scene where. She gets off and she’s walking alone at night, which obviously is always not very smart for young women, but she sees this Doberman behind a fence and it’s barking at her and she just walks away.

But then she turns around, did somebody let it. Out or did it just happen to get out? Did not that I miss

Todd: something. I th well, she kind of, yeah, antagonizes the dog, right. It’s barking at her. And she kind of kicks back at it through the fence a few times you get the impression, like she’s just full of a lot of spit and vinegar at first.

I thought maybe somebody let it out, but I don’t think that’s the case. I think what actually happened was as we see later, a demonstration of this dog can fricking climb fences.

Oh

Craig: my gosh. Yeah. This is like a. Stunt dog. That’s crazy. Like, cause it, she jumps over one fence and the dog jumps over it and I’m like, I believe that.

But then she scales like this eight foot tall fence. I’m like, there’s no way this dog is getting over this. And the dog walks up to the fence, looks at it. Turns around walks like 12 feet back and then sprints at the fence and like scales it and gets older. It’s

Todd: amazing. I was impressed rest

Craig: by this dog and it attacks her.

She gets attacked by the dog. Um, and she ends up, she’s running away. And she ends up in this kind of opulent backyard at this door that we have seen. We know that this is the killer’s photo lab.

Yeah. Um, and, and she gets attacked again by the dog, right outside the door, but she escapes inside and she finds all of those pictures. And papers, but the killer isn’t there. So she, I thought this was really smart of her. Actually, she, she takes a lot of the papers and photographs and folds them up and sticks them in her skirt.

And then she goes up into the house and it’s a, it’s an extravagant house. Clearly somebody wealthy lives there. Um, but the killer shows up. And of course he’s all in silhouette and all black. And in that womanly voice, he Horsley whispers, spy, bad little spy, and he chases her and I thought for sure she was going to get away, but she doesn’t.

She gets an ax to the gut. Yeah, but, and, and the next morning, Peter gets a new letter where the killer explains that he’s upset that he had to kill that girl, but he will continue to kill all the deviance culminating with, uh, the, the corrupter, which it’s suggested that Peter. Is the corrupter. And so he’s going to be the last

Todd: victim.

And, and let me just talk really quick about this chasing. I thought it was fantastic. I loved it really tense, really spooky. And there’s something about that POV, you know, when you’re through their eyes and this girl’s running away, that kind of gets under your skin. There’s a lot of tension building up to this.

Two, because we’ve saw this key, you know, just, you just see this random image of a key dangling and you’re not really sure why. Uh, and then before that the, we had seen a killer going through his files and he’s got a file and one of them says prostitutes, blah, blah, blah. And, uh, we see a bunch of prostitutes on the street and a car pull up and these legs get out of the car and then.

That image of that key again. And then as though the killer wants to check something, he’s fumbling around his pocket and you clearly sees it as key as missing. So when she renders up and sees it gets to that door, okay, this is the key. This is the door. This guy is going to be back soon. So it’s, it’s very much foreshadowed that this girl is in danger in like three or four different ways before the chasing even happens.

And I love that about, it’s just very, very good filmmaking. It’s really interesting how he like this with those sort of flashback images with the girl, with the red shoe, he throws these things at you that just don’t make sense at the moment, which kind of forces you to pay attention and engage your brain, I think.

And then. At least in this case, you know, after about five more minutes and then you, you start to piece together why you saw those images and what they mean. Right. Instead of just a very straightforward way of doing it, I really liked that kept me engaged in the film, the way that he does

Craig: this. You’re right.

You’re right. You know, that, that whole series of things, to me, it seemed a little bit heavy handed. Like we see the killer, you know, for accidentally leave the keys and then we see him realize that he is, it, it was unnecessary for, I mean, it was suspenseful, but it was unnecessary for me because I knew the door.

So when she got to the door, I knew that she was going into the killers layer. Um, but whatever. She gets killed. Um, and at this point, Peter remembers

Todd: the guy, the, the news reporter. Yes.

Craig: Yes. He put, he starts to put it together and that’s the thing too. Like every time he talks to the inspector, which he does somewhat regularly, the inspector is kind of like, look, you know, you’re this murder, mystery writer.

Can’t you help me figure this out. And he’s like, well, I’m trying to figure it out. And at this point he’s like, Oh, that reporter kept asking me about perverts and deviance. Um, I think that there’s something there he says, but if I tell the police. They won’t believe me, but if I figure it out on my own, then what a story that will be that the murder mystery guy solved this crime.

So he and Johnny decided to go check out the crime scene and they go there and it’s that big opulent house that we had seen before. So we know they’re at the right place. And Peter hangs back for some reason. And Johnny goes up to the. You know, pretty much right up to the porch where there are big, you know, glass, doors and windows, so he can see inside and Berti comes in.

It is his house. So it seems like it must be him, but then all of a sudden his lights go out and Johnny can only see Berti like, there’s like a. Shrub or a big plant in front of the other side of the window, but he sees somebody approach Verdi and he hears you were right. It was me. I killed them all in that same voice that we’ve heard throughout.

And then Berti gets axed, right? Like in the head straight to the head he’s dead. So we feel like it can’t be him and, and. Johnny is like freaked out by this. I mean, he’s standing like six feet away. I didn’t understand. It even seems like the killer knows that he’s there. Cause like, I feel like the killer like throws something through the glass or something and then Johnny runs away and goes back to find Peter.

And when he finds Peter, Peter has been knocked out on the grounds by a rock and like he’s got a big. Gash in the back of his head, like Anne tells him when eventually he goes back to his apartment to clean up. She’s like, you should go to the hospital. I was like, yeah, you should go to the hospital. You got a

Todd: hole in the back of your head,

but he just puts a bandaid on it. And he’s fine.

Well, in the meantime, and, uh, has, has actually seen almost, she’s almost certain of a Jane. Again, this woman kind of across the street, pop into her car and drive off. She’s like, this is Jane. Uh, anyway, she goes back to Peter’s apartment and Peter asks and if she would stay the night and this is where they kiss and the way they’re talking about it, it’s clear that, or she says outright, you know, Oh, I’ve never slept in the hotel, the same place with you before and they kiss.

And so you get this impression that, yeah, they haven’t really consummated anything before now, but. But they are now.

Craig: I know, but it’s kind of lame. Like she’s like, yeah, you have to promise me that when we wake up tomorrow, none of this ever happened. Like, Oh God grow up

Todd: both.

Craig: I know she, she says like we was six years together and we’ve never spent the night together.

And when he asked her to spend the night, he’s like, just as friends. And then like the second she’s in her pajamas, he’s putting the moves on her and she’s totally into it. And it’s five and she’s like tomorrow it’ll be as though nothing happened. Okay. I mean, come on. Like, if you want to hook up, that’s fine.

Just do it. Don’t be babies about it. Anyway. So, I mean, we don’t see anything other than them kissing, but it’s implied that they hook up and then we get another one of those weird red shoe girl fantasies. Where this beautiful red shoe girl is walking through like a botanical garden or something. I don’t know.

And the killer presumably is watching her from behind a tree foliage as he’s prone to do, but then he approaches, but then he approaches her and stabs her in that. The end of it, Peter then goes back to Bomer John Saxon and says, I want to get out of here and had suggested that like, maybe we should just go back to America or whatever.

And Peter goes to Bomer and says, look, you know, I think maybe I should just get out of here. And Bomer says, yeah, but you know, it’s your publicity tour. You need this deal or whatever. I don’t know. He says, but all I’ll put you up in like a secret suite somewhere, which it seemed like Peter kind of agrees to.

And then Peter leaves and then boulmer opens a secret door in his office to reveal Jane and they. Make out and as it turns out, Bomer has been having an affair with Jane. Why they feel the need to keep it a secret? I don’t know, because it doesn’t seem like Peter has any interest in Jane and in fact wants to be rid of her.

Yeah. And at this point also, I thought, Oh, it’s them like, they’re doing it. Like Bulmers doing it because he says to, um, Jane, it won’t be long. I promise. And then they make, they make plans to have lunch later. And then Peter goes back to the crime scene to talk to the inspector and they have a whole talk about like the hound of the Baskerville.

Well, you know, there’s a sentence in a Conan Doyle book. When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however, improbable must

Todd: be the truth. The hound of the basket bins. Yes. And the detective actually asked him to leave town at this point. And he says, yeah, you know, that’s a good idea. I was really, and he

Craig: says, he’s going to, when he does, we see him get on a plane and leave,

Todd: we get to see Jane go home.

She goes, I guess, to her home, somebody’s home and finds a package to her by the door. And when she opens up the package, there are red shoes inside and she seems, I don’t know, kind of puzzled by it, but she thinks it’s a present from Bulmer. I think the meantime Bomer is out in this Piazza. Waiting for Jane and she’s apparently super late or something.

Uh, he’s looking around, he can’t see her, he can’t find her and we get a couple more shots of these pills. Somebody, you know, walks into a bar and gets a glass of water to down them with, uh, and this heavy sort of breathing. And, and this is a kind of a neat scene. I really liked how all this played out.

It’s super specific. Well, cause you know, something’s going to happen, but it’s this wide open Piazza. Tons of people and lots of little drama going on here and there, it

Craig: felt like that was intentional. Yeah. Yeah. Like there was something weird about it. Like everywhere you look and it’s not just in the scene, it happens a couple of other times too, in the background, or, you know, as Bomer is just casually observing people, there’s.

There’s conflicts going on everywhere. Like he sees these lovers fighting. And then on the other side of him, he sees a couple of guys kind of almost getting in a fist fight. It almost felt like a zombie movie, like these little hints of discord happening all around. And it doesn’t really. Ended up being all that significant, but I didn’t know if it was supposed to be an atmospheric or, or what it was a little bit bizarre because of that scene with him just sitting there, looking around, goes on for a while.

Yeah, it does. And then he’s just sitting there and, um, we’re expecting Jane to show up, but we instead get the POV approaching him. We don’t know who it is, but it appears to be. Somebody that he knows, like you see recognition in his face right before he then gets stabbed in the middle of the day in the middle of this busy Piazza and nobody bats an eye even notices for a while.

Todd: Yeah, the it’s, there’s a woman kind of approaching him. He does this little fake out, right? There’s this woman who’s walking just in his direction. Who’s just had an argument with a guy and then you get a POV towards him. That seems like it’s maybe from that woman. But then after he gets stabbed, then the woman is still approaching.

We see. And she looks down and horror and screams and people start to, you know, gather around while he’s twitching on the ground. But yeah, you’re right. It’s a little improbable maybe. That this person could have taken off. And then in the crowd, you know, we just get a shot of feet and we see these red shoes walking up.

Which is presumably Jane looking down, turning around and, and slowly walking away. And that’s interesting, right? Like, what’s that

Craig: right? I mean, it’s presumably Jane, but we still don’t really know. And then this is the point where Peter says goodbye to Johnny and he leaves blah, blah, blah. And then yeah.

Johnny, even though he has been averse to going back to the crime scene before, because he was so traumatized by it, he goes back by himself because he just feels like there’s just a piece missing. He can’t remember everything and there’s just a missing piece. And, and he stands in the same place that you was standing when he saw Berti get murdered.

We get to see his recollection of it. And we realized that that. What he had heard. Yes, it was me. I killed them all. That was actually Berti saying it, not the person who killed Berti. And so we Berti was the original murderer and Johnny says, Out loud. Exactly what I was thinking. So who killed him? Like, and it’s just been killing people since then.

Yeah. And so Johnny goes back to his car and he gets strangled in his car, but before he dies, he’s able to turn around and he sees the killer. And again, we can tell by his reaction that it’s somebody that he knows. So presumably this is somebody that we know too.

Todd: Yeah. It’s

Craig: twisty J it is twisty Jane, randomly calls and looking for Peter.

And she says, and again, like I get it, it’s supposed to be twisty and red herrings. And, um, you know, we’re not supposed to, we’re supposed to be confused, but. Jane says to Anne that she was looking for Peter, but she says it’s like, there were two people in me and sometimes the other one just takes over.

Where are you? Jane? Are you enrolled? Yeah, help me please. Don’t let me kill myself. Tell me where you are. Jane. I’ll come around. All right. And apartment number 11. I’ll be right. Brown. Give me a few minutes. I am so sorry. I didn’t mean to. I want it to all right. So I guess Anne’s going to go over there and we see Jane sitting in her apartment with a gun, and I have no idea what’s happening here.

I don’t know if she’s sitting there with a gun because like she’s threatening to kill herself. I don’t know if she’s sitting there with a gun because she’s trying to lure an there to kill her because she’s jealous. I have no. Idea, but she’s sitting there in front of this big window and it’s storming and there’s lightning outside.

And out of nowhere, an ax comes through, breaks through the window and chops her arm off and she jumps up and like spins around and blood just splatters, like. Paints the entire white wall behind her and it looks fantastic.

Todd: It’s insane. I read it. It looks so good. I read in the trivia, the Quentin Tarantino said the murder of Jane via acts in this scene is his favorite onscreen death scene of all time.

Because of its intense imagery and the fact that she paints the wall with blood, which makes sense, because if you think about later, have you ever seen kill bill? Have you ever seen the, uh, yeah. Oh yeah. You remember kill bill wood? Uh, the big scene, uh, the big fight scene. I think it’s in the first one in, you know, it’s, it’s the, it’s the martial arts kind of extravaganza and the place where Lucy Lu’s character is and he’s chopping people.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. His arms off right left and their arms are just spraying blood everywhere. Like it’s no tomorrow. Oh, I had forgotten about that. It’s a common trope in martial arts movies to some particular Hong Kong action movies had this aesthetic of the geysers of blood that would just shoot out of somebody.

But

Craig: what was that movie? Tokyo Gore police. Do you remember that?

Todd: Yeah.

Craig: Okay. That was there too. And then there’s the trippy red shoe girl murder fantasy again. And then some man’s hands. Take the shoes, I guess, from Jane’s apartment. So it’s the killer and the killer is still in the house. Like, because Anna, we know that Ann is coming, so a car pulls up and a woman walks in and immediately she gets axed from behind, from behind.

And then the killer, we, it, I, I liked this part just because. It focused on the killer’s shoes and then it started to pan up and I’m like, Oh, here it is. We’re going to find out who it is, who is, who is it? Who is it? And it was Peter. And at this point I assumed it must be because everybody else that we know is dead.

So unless it was going to be okay, Unless it was going to be the detective. It had to be

Todd: Peter. I’d be there. I thought it was everybody at some point, you know, to be honest, but yeah, Peter, Peter is the obvious one, but then the detective enters, Peter comes up to the body cause he thinks he might’ve accidentally killed Ann.

Craig: Right. It’s the lady

Todd: inspector. The inspector comes in with a gun and trained on Peter and Ann enters as well and explains that he figured it out. Peter spins around, well, it starts walking away from them. And then he like spins around, reaches into his shirt pocket and pulls out a razorblade. Now, maybe we’ve neglected to mention this, but almost all the people in this film to this point, by the way, have also been killed by razorblades or axes.

Yeah, even though it hasn’t been Peter doing the killing until

Craig: recently, right. Only since Bertie, the original guy. And it’s revealed at this point that Peter is nuts and they, they talk about it and talk about later. Yeah. And what’s his name? Germani the inspector I think kind of explains. Or maybe Peter says it.

I don’t remember that he wanted to kill Jane and Volmer and he wanted Berti to take the fall for it. And they had had a discussion about this earlier about how he, Peter had said to the inspector, like, it seems like somebody’s already dead, who shouldn’t be dead or somebody who’s supposed to be dead isn’t yet.

Like, things haven’t worked out right. This doesn’t, it doesn’t make sense to me because. Peter figured out that Berti was the killer and he wanted bear T to take the fall for Jane and Bomer, who Peter wanted dead. Then why did Peter kill Berti before. He could frame them for the murders that didn’t, I don’t understand that.

Todd: That’s a very good point. I don’t understand that either. He loses his alibi, write that in there. I just think, you know, he’s just crazy and he can’t control himself anymore.

Craig: He can’t control himself. And he talks about how, you know, killing all these people has and, you know, solving the initial mystery and then killing these people felt like writing a book, but like, he’s just clearly unhinged, but it’s kind of like, you know, he was.

Taking over the narrative or whatever, but you’re right. He pulls out this, you know, a straight razor and slits his own throat. And so Germani and, and go out. In sit in his car, Germani explains that they had figured out that it must be Peter because they looked into his file. And it turns out that on his record, it showed that this young woman, the red shoe woman had been murdered and he was a suspect, but they hadn’t been able to pin it on him or something.

And he says, you know, if he did do it, this must have been something that had haunted him, um, for his entire life, which all adds up. You know, that’s why we’ve been seeing the flashbacks and the pills.

Todd: And it neatly brings back the quote from the beginning of the movie. And this is how the detective piece it together too, because the detective had actually been reading Peter’s book and, you know, at one point he says to him, yeah, I finished your book.

And actually, as opposed to the other ones of yours, I actually knew who did it by the end. But you know, the part of the quote that we had heard was everything he did could be swept away by one simple act annihilation. That’s the end of the quote. So at the beginning of the quote, kind of explains why Peter did it.

He got a taste for the murder. He realized that he could do it again, but then the end of the quote makes him think. And I had the exact same thought too, as soon as he said that, I was like, wait a second. So does that mean also that somehow Peter swept his own problems away by his killing himself, which then the detective just kind of looks at her and goes.

You know, can you just wait here for a moment and I’m going to go inside and he goes inside and Peter’s body is not there. It’s great. And he, he picks up on the floor is just, uh, like a bloody rag and this razor blade. And when he picks up the razorblades, he’s, there’s a little button on it and blood squirts out of the.

Oh, fake blood, of course, squirts out of the little holes in the razor. So it’s a totally fake razory fake the death. Now the detective gets it here,

Craig: right? Yes. Uh, Peter axes him and so, and sitting out in the car by herself. So she goes back in. And Peter is waiting for her as though he’s going to kill her too.

Now, I guess he he’s just unhinged and enough that he doesn’t care anymore, but there’s been this huge sculpture right by the door the whole time that looks like it’s just made of, I don’t know. Things that we’re obviously into, right? Yeah. I mean, it’s just like a death. Like if this thing falls on you, if you trip and fall into it, you’re going to be impaled and die.

And that’s exactly what happens and opens the door and knocks over this sculpture. It completely impales Peter and pins him to the wall. And there’s really kind of an uncomfortable scene where he’s trying to pull it out. But I guess because of the blood or sweat or whatever his hands are. Slippery. And he just can’t even pull it out and he’s pinned there to the wall as an screams and screams and screams and screams and it, and it just fades to black and her screaming just continues for like the next five seconds of credits over the credits, which is a little bit silly.

But at the same time, I thought. I, I kind of liked it. Like just I’m like, she’s just shrieking.

Todd: I loved it. Yeah. It was great. You know, this is a thing that seems like our gentle, how many Argentum movies have we seen where they’re these crazy abstract sculptures that had some way fall on somebody or stab somebody or something

Craig: like that.

Oh, and I know, and as soon as I saw it, the very first time, I’m like, mm, somebody getting impaled on that thing.

Todd: You read my mind.

Craig: Yeah. I mean, so overall the mystery was fine. I, like I said, by the time the killer was revealed, there were so few options of who it could be that I wasn’t. Entirely shocked, but I felt like, you know, they did a good job of keeping it suspenseful and keeping me guessing.

I thought I had figured it out a couple of times. I thought that it was, um, the agent. Um, I thought that the agents and Jane were in on it together and then, you know, that ended up falling apart. So I was surprised. And, um, I, you know, I think the movie. As I understand why people say and why this movie is considered one of his best.

It is good. I don’t even know if it’s my favorite. One of the ones that we’ve seen, which one was it, where, um, it all ended up hinging on a painting that a guy saw in the very beginning. I believe that was deeper. I think that I enjoyed that one more, but this one was fine. The, these movies are not necessarily my cup of tea, but as far I understand what they are.

I understand the formula they adhere to and. It’s fine. And as far as this movie is concerned, I thought it was fine. The, the people that were paying tribute to Daria , I didn’t feel like she had a whole heck of a lot to do. She kind of felt like a side character a little bit. She’s she’s pretty and, and totally fine in the movie.

Um, John Saxon, again, there are other movies that we could have talked about where he played a more prominent role, but we’ve already talked about our favorites and, and we’ve been very complimentary. Of him when we’ve done that. So I hope that we have paid our due diligence and paid our respects, um, to John Saxon.

He’s a fairly minor character in this movie, but handsome and charming and young. And, uh, I enjoyed his performance overall for what it is. I give the movie a thumbs up. And if you are into these types of movies and you haven’t seen this, I would recommend it if you’re like me. And it’s just not really your cup of tea.

I think that you like me are going to find it to be more of the same. Yeah. I mean, that’s where I stand on it.

Todd: Well, obviously I have a different perspective on it, just because I’m a huge fan of these kinds of movies. And I’ve seen a lot, so many of them, this is really far up there on my list. Now I’m S I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to watch it, but it’s also, you know, there’s nothing supernatural about it.

It’s very much this giallo style, crime type picture, and there are a ton of crime movies out there, and many of them that we’ve reviewed with this style. I think the thing that sets this one apart for me is its straightforwardness. And it’s really tight plotting. It was more twisty than these things tend to get.

There’s always a twist or two, but sometimes a twist or a little improbable, or the plot goes in directions that are, things are just a little improbable or too neat or too coincidental or just plain wacky. And this movie is so mainstream in the way that you could have potentially figured it out.

Everybody has a great shot of figuring this out before they go into watch it. And I felt that way through the whole movie, like this is a film I could trust. And I think that it. It was very skillfully done, you know, dropping those little hints and those little notes and those little red herrings in there.

I was following it more closely than I tend to follow this stuff. Sometimes I just give up, you know, I’m like, I’ll figure it out. I’ll see who it was at the end. But here I was really engaged and really trying hard and really engaging my brain. And I think part of it’s due the plot and part of it, as I said earlier, it’s just due to the weight.

Some of the images are put together the way the film is edited. I think it engages your brain that way throws a few odd things at you that you’re not quite sure what they mean, but you’re kind of engaged, trying to find out. And then it satisfies that every at every moment. So there’s by the time of the end of the movie, you’re really not sure left with any questions, but that begs the question.

Craig, you said that there was one thing that you thought. You somebody couldn’t be in one place. What was that?

Craig: When bear T got murdered? Now I realized that, um, Peter stayed back in the yard while Johnny went and witnessed it happening. So it’s not like he had to be in two places at the same time, but then he knocked himself out in the back of the head with a rock, like, yeah.

That’s a little, that seems a little improbable to me. Yeah. But whatever, I don’t care. I’m not looking for perfect realism in these movies. It’s fine. It’s I will concede that. It’s possible. I guess. I mean, I, I don’t think that it would be physically or psychologically possible for me. To strike myself that hard in the back of the head with a rock.

But maybe if you’re crazy, you can do those kinds of things. So it’s fine.

Todd: As the medication wears off. Right. Well, thank you for listening to our tribute to John Saxon. Undaria Nickelodeon. They, they put their Mark on cinema and we have other people to pay tribute to in the next week or two. So please stay tuned.

If you enjoyed this, please share this podcast with a friend. You can find this online. There’s two guys. And a chainsaw is all you need to Google and you’ll find our Facebook page, our website, our YouTube channel. You can leave us a comment in any one of those places. Let us know what you thought of this film and give us requests for films to do in the future until next time.

I’m Todd and I’m Craig’s with Two Guys and a Chainsaw.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe

Apple PodcastsYouTubePocketCastsGoogle PlayOvercastCastroStitcherPlayer.fmRadio PublicPodbeaniHeartRadioSpotifyBlubrryPodcast AddictRSS

Recent Comments