The Paul Naschy Collection II [Blu-Ray]

This follow up to the acclaimed Paul Naschy Collection from earlier in the year, comes with a five Blu-Ray collection, and a twenty four page booklet with an essay on each film included. Folks seeking to further explore Paul Naschy will find a great delight in this follow up box set, as it has almost everything you’d want to continue your education in the Spanish horror star.

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The Paul Naschy Collection [Blu-Ray]

Paul Naschy has always been something of a large figure among horror fans and cult cinema enthusiasts everywhere, and Shout Factory is up to the task in reward their devotion with a collection that will peak interests. Still making an argument for why it’s one of the best horror movie distributors out there, Scream Factory unleashes a five disc collection that compiles some of Naschy’s most notable films, complete and uncut. There’s even an optional English dub for the films, or their truer Spanish language tracks with the subtitles.

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Daguerrotype (Le secret de la chamber noire) (2017)

In a French mansion, a photographer is obsessed with reproducing long lost photos taken with the daguerreotype technique of yore.  When he hires a young assistant for his project, things get complicated.

Written by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Catherine Paille, and Eléonore Mahmoudian and directed by Kurosawa, Daguerrotype is a very slow burn of a film that feels more like a drama than anything else.  This being said, there are a few elements that will be surprising if the viewer goes into it completely blind and thus will not be spoiled here.  Having the genre pre-established as anything other than drama will lead into guessing a few of these.  Given the director and his resume, this aspect can be easily guessed.  Here he works in a manner where the characters are given plenty of time to develop themselves and their arcs while the story builds around them.  The writing and directing of the film feel like a proper mix of French and Japanese cinema in a way that is hard to explain but works wonderfully well here.

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Veloce come il vento (Italian Race) (2016) [San Diego Italian Film Festival 2017]

A young race car driver loses her father suddenly. Having no mother in the picture, she becomes in charge of her younger brother when their older brother, an addict and ex-racer himself, becomes their legal guardian.

Based on a story by Matteo Rovere who co-wrote the screenplay with Filippo Gravino and Francesca Manieri and also directed, Veloce come il vento is a touching family drama with a hopeful outlook on things. The film throws many curve balls at lead Giulia as she is trying to win in car racing, but nothing is going to stop her from winning and keeping her family together. The film has its ups and downs and it works well on all fronts. The balance of good moments versus sad moments creates a dynamic storyline and gives plenty for the characters to bond over. The film makes good use of the drama and the few comedic moments and builds itself towards an end that is a touch sad, but also perfect.

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La pazza gioia (Like Crazy) (2016) [San Diego Italian Film Festival 2017]

Two women interned in a psychiatric facility in Tuscany escape looking for a little bit of happiness.

Written by Paolo Virzy and Francesca Archibugi based on a story by Virzy who also directs, La pazza gioia is a lovely story of two women with not much in common coming together to try and find some happiness. Given that both are crazy leads to this being complicated by where they live and their issues as well as how they are viewed on the outside of the facility. These characters are charming even as their issues come to light and they are clearly not completely innocent. Their background is explored in a way that gives a view on mental facility patients that is not all negative. It’s a view on them that is gentle, loving, and caring. The characters are shown as humans first, crazy second. Their goals are like anyone else’s; they just go about things a bit differently. The way the film approaches mental health is refreshing as the story is not at the expense of the patients but respectful of them and their beings. They are fully fleshed characters and not caricatures of their issues, something that brings the viewer in and creates a story that is easily enjoyed while showing how hard life can be for people with mental problems and issues.

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