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by Shrub 5/12/05

OK, here we have Lamberto (son of Mario) Bava’s feature debut and it is serious. Lamberto went on to direct the Eurohorror staples “Demons” (parts 1 & 2), and “A Blade in the Dark,” amongst others. He kicked it all off with this 1980 sickie which is also known as “Macabro” and was originally released on U.S. video as “Frozen Terror.”

The story takes place in New Orleans and the premise is that it is based on “actual events.” We meet what appears to be a happy family who are each going their separate ways on a typical weekday morning. However, once the husband leaves for work, the wife goes to her on-the-side apartment to wait for her lover, Fred. After he arrives she gets a call as there has been a completely inexplicable tragedy at home involving her son (which she does not realize at the time is caused by her daughter). She has Fred frantically drive her home, but in their rush, they crash into a guardrail, decapitating him.

One year later she is separated from her husband and returns to her apartment after being “away” for a bit in a mental hospital due to the extreme shock of that day. She is supposedly cured and even becomes the object of her blind landlord’s affections, however, it becomes clear in no time that she is still quite unhinged, reminding me of a cross between Cybill Shepherd and Karen Black, she entertains herself alone in her unit upstairs. She keeps a shrine to her dead lover and Robert (the landlord) hears sounds of her making love and calling Fred’s name at night. He eventually discovers her secret and tries to enlist the aid of her daughter. Little does he know that the daughter just might be more dangerously deranged than her mom.

Macabre is twisted and, well, macabre fun and has an ending that had me clapping and laughing. Perfect midnight movie viewing material.


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