Friday, March 3, 2017

The Dead Are Alive, Psycho-Sexual Horror from Italy

Oh those Etruscans!  They came...they stayed for awhile...they disappeared.  Damn those lousy Etruscans!  Who are the Etruscans?  Glad you asked.  According to 1972's "The Dead Are Alive" (L' Etrusco Uceide Ancora), they are a fashion conscious race of ancient Italians who are very prudish when it comes to fashion.  This Italian horror film, directed by Armando Crispino, has dozens of twists, many over the top, and more suspects than the Corleone family.
In order to fill in some historical blanks on the vague Etruscans, Jason (Alex Cord) excavates an ancient Etruscan burial ground.  This is usually not a smart move, and in this case an ancient demon Etruscan deity may have been awakened.  The initial victims?  Need you ask?  Couples attempting pre-marital sex are bludgeoned to death by one of Jason' archaeological tools.  Interestingly enough, the women were all clad in short shorts and go-go boots.  Apparently this offended the Etruscan god as the women are stripped of their boots and fitted with red pumps.
As the killings continue, as no one in Italy will refrain from pre-marital sex, the police believe Jason is their man.  In fairness to Jason, a plethora of likely suspects are thrown at us.  Nikos (John Marley), an eccentric conductor who wants to be married to Myra (Samantha Eggar).  Oh yes...Myra! She might be married to Nikos, but might be in love with Jason (don't ask).  The killings continue and paintings inside the Etruscan tombs indicate their god is angry and looking for more sacrifices.
Did Jason unearth an angry demon deity?  Is our prudish killer merely an Italian sex-maniac? Is the demon Etruscan god a metaphor for an out of control Italian fashion industry?  This is a deep, involved Italian horror story.  Every few minutes a new suspect is introduced, usually a statuesque Italian babe.  In a very misogynistic Euro-horror tale, the blood and sex will keep you entertained.

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