BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Paganini Horror (1988) - Blu-ray Review

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Paganini Horror

Satanism and switchblade violins make quite the combination in this blast from the past!

Luigi Cozzi’s Paganini Horror probably shouldn’t exist.  Sure, sure, I mean, the film does have some merit thanks to its wicked premise, but its execution - amounting to a bunch of screaming (mostly) female rock and rollers running around on a haunted video shoot - is a mess of missed opportunities as a portal to Hell is opened thanks to a cursed musical piece.

"for the Horror Hounds out there, it makes for a must-see, even if you just get to brag about it to the most hardcore of fans as buckets of gore meet MTV"


Hard to find for a number of years, the horror film - about a demonic score by composer Niccolò Paganini being recorded by an 80s Big Hair rock band - was a massive bomb when it was originally released and is proof positive that a really cool poster does not make for a great movie.  But that promising opening, in which a young composer fries her mother with a hair dryer while the poor woman bathes, works shockingly (pun intended) well.  

While the neon is in place and the babes in tight clothes are all present, the film takes its 84-minutes and spreads it out in all directions.  From gore to surrealism, the film is a constant sucker punch, trading camp for cool and vice versa. All of this adds to a horror flick that is known for all the wrong reasons.

Unfortunately, the idea of shooting a music video in a very haunted location just doesn’t translate that well.  La Casa di Sol is famous for being where the famed composer murdered his bride.  That’s according to legend, but it seems to play out as a verified curse as Paganini himself starts stabbing the girls in the band to death with his own violin-turned-knife.  That’s one way to break an E-string.  

Directed by Cozzi (StarCrash, Contamination, and Lou Ferrigno’s two Hercules flicks), Paganini Horror's origin can be traced back a poster that has a skeletonized violinist serenading the devil as possessed pieces of his written score float around.  A horror film was then written and even that was based on the “success” of an unreleased biographical film written, directed by and starring Klaus Kinski.  Nothing really landed with audiences.  Not even the presence of Halloween’s Donald Pleasence could get this film scored higher.Paganini Horror

That doesn’t mean all is lost, though.  This is demented entertainment and, for the Horror Hounds out there, it makes for a must-see, even if you just get to brag about it to the most hardcore of fans as buckets of gore meet MTV.

Starring Daria Nicolodi as Sylvia Hackett, Jasmine Maimone as Kate, Pascal Persiano as Daniel, Maria Cristina Mastrangeli as Lavinia, Michel Klippstein as Elena, Pietro Genuardi as Mark Singer, the hotshot horror director who agrees to shoot their video, and Pleasence as Mr. Pickett, Paganini Horror rips off Bon Jovi and definitely gives love a bad name!

Paganini Horror, newly remastered in 2k from the original negative, is now available on blu-ray from Severin Films.

3/5 stars

Paganini Horror

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Severin Films
Available on Blu-ray
- October 29, 2019
Screen Formats: 1.66:1
Subtitles
:
Audio:
DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set; DVD copy
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

From producer Fabrizio De Angelis (Zombie, Killer Crocodile), writer/director Luigi Cozzi and co-writer/star Daria Nicolodi (Deep Red, Tenebrae) comes one of the most hard-to-find shockers from Italian Horror’s greatest decade: When an all-girl rock band records an unpublished song by Niccolò Paganini – the 19th Century composer said to have sold his soul to the Devil – they will unleash a skintight spandex nightmare of extreme violins, cheesy power ballads, now transferred in 2k from the original negative from Severin Films.

Video:

Newly scanned & restored in 2k from its original camera negative, Paganini Horror looks as fleshy as it is going to ever get. Lots of love went into the restoration and it shows. The region free Blu-ray looks incredible. Black levels are consistent and so, too, are the colors. The new 1080p transfer is crisp with defined edges. Colors are vivid and fine details are noticeable. Skin tones are warm. Occasionally, the red tones overcompensate in some areas, but a sharp-looking release nonetheless.

Audio:

The faithful English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track is an incredible accompaniment to the feature.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

Included with this release are interviews with Cozzi and actor Pietro Genuardi, a collection of deleted scenes, an alternate ending, and the film’s trailer.

  • Play it Again, Paganini
  • The Devil’s Music
  • Deleted Scenes 
  • Alternate Ending
  • Trailer

Blu-ray Rating:

 

Movie 3/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 3/5 stars
  Extras 3/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

3/5 stars

Paganini Horror

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
82 mins
Director
: Luigi Cozzi
Writer:
Luigi Cozzi
Cast:
Daria Nicolodi, Jasmine Maimone, Pascal Persiano
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
A film by Luigi Cozzi.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Go ahead. Open it."
Theatrical Distributor:

Official Site:
Release Date:

DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
October 29, 2019.
Synopsis: When an all-girl rock band records an unpublished song by Niccolò Paganini – the 19th Century composer said to have sold his soul to the Devil – they will unleash a skintight spandex nightmare of extreme violins, cheesy power ballads, SUSPIRIA-influenced lighting, and outlandish Satanic havoc.

Paganini Horror

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