Umberto Lenzi Triple Bill

Titles: PARANOIA, EYEBALL, DIRTY PICTURES
Location: Silent Movie Theatre, 611 North Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
Date: October 14 at 8pm
Link out: Click here
Description: As part of its Thursday Giallo series, the 3rd Annual Cinefamily Halloween Horror Film Fest presents three films directed by Italian filmmakers Umberto Lenzi.

Paranoia – 8:00pm
Also known as Orgasmo, this Italian-French co-production written and directed by Umberto Lenzi is one of the sexiest, yet most undervalued gialli of its time. Don’t go in expecting a double-digit body count or an unseen killer wearing shiny leather gloves; Paranoia is a perverse game of cat-and-mouse played by wealthy widow Carroll Baker (throwing herself into the role with naked abandon) and dubious houseguests Lou Castel and Colette Descombes. Rated X in the U.S. for Baker’s copious nude scenes, this mindbending drive-the-widow-crazy caper is capped by a deliciously cynical sting-in-the-tail that is molto-Lenzi.
Dir. Umberto Lenzi, 1969, 35mm, 91 min.

Eyeball – 9:45pm
With its abundance of empty-headed victims and suspects, thumping, cheeky Bruno Nicolai score, and trendy lesbi-antics, Eyeball is a tasty slice of giallo provolone for any fan of cheese, Italian style. Playing like an insane mash-up of Ten Little Indians and If It’s Tuesday, This Must be Belgium, this Italian-Spanish co-production follows a progressively shrinking busload of tourists through sunny Barcelona as a red-gloved killer with a penchant for eyeball-plucking takes their lives and their left eyes. On its own terms, this ludicrously slash-happy outing makes for energetic and eye-popping viewing, a poorly dubbed treat for fans of Eurotrash at its trashiest.
Dir. Umberto Lenzi, 1975, 35mm, 91 min.

Dirty Pictures – 11:30pm
Leave it to Italian genre king Umberto Lenzi to find the worm in the big juicy apple of ‘70s free love and permissiveness. Supposedly Lenzi didn’t really want to make this one a giallo (and this film certainly stretches the definition to its limits), but rather a countercultural film along the lines of Easy Rider — legend has it that producer Carlo Ponti strong-armed him into completing the “trilogy” that also included the 1967 film Paranoia, and the 1969 film Orgasmo (which later was retitled Paranoia in the States, and is the Paranoia we’re showing earlier in the evening). The results are great, however you slice it. Like all the best Lenzi films, Dirty Pictures is full-blooded in both its sleaze and cinematic invention. With cinematographer Alfio Contini (The Night Porter) behind the camera, Lenzi downplays explicit sexuality in favor of gialloesque stalkery, and stars Irene Papas and the smokin’ Ornella Muti keep things steamy. As with Paranoia, Dirty Pictures saves the best for last, sucker-punching the audience with a deliciously pessimistic coup de grace.
Dir. Umberto Lenzi, 1971, 35mm, 90 min.