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Monday 27 July 2015

Burl reviews The Editor! (2014)

Well hello, it’s Burl here, with a review of a neo-giallo called The Editor! Ha ha, here we have a movie clearly made by fellows who’ve watched a lot of movies, and while that’s a common enough situation, these particular fellows have made something oddball and loonytune enough to be interesting! Not wholly successful, mind you, but interesting and compelling!
There are tributes to the obvious suspects, namely Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci, and also to filmmakers you might not expect, like for instance David Cronenberg! Yes, they squeeze a breathing Beta tape in there, and while this might cause a few readers to exclaim “Beta?!?,” please note that the mere presence of this wheezing cassette, whichever format it might have been, is as incongruous as it might sound! Ha ha!
Because, yes, again, this is a tribute to the giallo form; but its brief is broad enough to include the crazy supernatural aspects found in the more fanciful works of Argento, Fulci, Bava, so forth! So within its putative story, that of Rey, a wooden-fingered film editor (at one time one of the greats, but now working for an abusive producer on schlock pictures) who is caught in the middle of a series of murders at his studio while in production on yet another nonsensical, violent drama, we get increasingly bizarre instances of quasi-Surrealist pingo-pango, with characters disappearing into netherworlds, or surviving clearly fatal injuries, or maybe never existing at all! Ha ha! And of course there is a never-ending series of call-outs to giallos both great and not-so-great! Ha ha! While at least we don’t have any killers talking in Donald Duck voices,  I do have a feeling the idea was considered!
The picture, which was made on a pretty tight budget I’m sure, looks pretty good, and the music, which includes a contribution from Goblin’s own Claudio Simonetti, is effective enough, and the acting, particularly that of Rey and of his devoted assistant, is surprisingly strong; and we do get a cameo appearance from the great Udo Kier; but, speaking critically for just a moment, I do think the editing is one of the picture’s weakest points, ironically enough! Scenes end abruptly, transitions are awkward, and nothing holds together as well as it should, even for a parody-pastiche like this!
Moreover, the picture lacks the formal elegance one may reasonably expect from one of the better giallos! There are many scenes of spectacular (though frequently rubbery) gore, but nothing which earnes the name of “setpiece;” whereas something by Argento is composed almost entirely of setpieces! Think of the killer’s demise in Deep Red! Here the murderer is dispatched by, I think, fire – ha ha, big deal!
There’s a lot of slapping of ladies in the movie, which is played for laughs but sat a bit ill with me! Far better are the moustaches, which seem real, and are perhaps in the end the most genuine things the picture has to offer! Though I don’t doubt for a moment that the lads of Astron-6, who made the movie (and who brought us the great Cool Guys), have a true, deep and heartfelt love of the genre they’re playing fiddlesticks with here! Anyone with a similar admiration will find a lot to enjoy in The Editor, and I give the picture two Steenbecks and a hearty tousle on the top of the head! Ha ha!

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