Review: Ubaldo Terzani Horror Show (DVD)

Raro Video imports modern Italian 80's horror homage, Ubaldo Terzani Horror Show to DVD!

  • Director: Gabriele Albanesi
  • Starring: Giuseppe Soleri, Paolo Sassanelli, Laura Gigante
  • Year: 2010
  • Runtime: 87 Minutes
  • Company: Raro Video
  • Format: DVD
  • Discs: 1
  • Video: 1.85:1 - 16:9 - Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Audio: Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 & Mono
  • Region: 1 - NTSC
  • Released: 1/31/2012

Italian horror cinema just isn't what it used to be. The boot shaped country's output of gore drenched, psychotropic cinema that once dominated & shaped the golden age (for better or worse) of horror has sadly evaporated since. It was an era filled with legendary directors such as Argento, Fulci, Bava, Martino and even Mattei (yes, Bruno Mattei) that made films that are cherished and loved by devout fans of the genre today. Filmmakers now, who grew up gluing their retinas to a television to consume all the classics of the macabre as youngsters, are now trying to recreate that golden horror aesthetic. Ubaldo Teranzi Horror Show is such a film that aspires to homage classic Italian horror.
Alessio Rinaldi (Giuseppe Soleri), a young up and coming director in the horror genre is in a bit of a bind. Producers won't fund Rinaldi's latest film, a splatter film in the vein of 80's italian horror that he loves so dearly. "The days of Lamberto Bava are over!" citing the heyday of Italy's horror film success by the producer, horror just isn't profitable as it once was. Alessio is advised to contact popular dark fiction author Ubaldo Terzani (Paolo Sassanelli) to collaborate on a screenplay that hopefully will skyrocket his film career. Alessio bunks up in Ubaldo's villa, against the whiny pleas of his girlfriend Sara (Laura Gigante). It's apparent from day one that their is something sinister about Ubaldo. From his demeanor to his too close to reality novels that depict extreme violence. Ubaldo leads Alessio down a path of nightmares, sexual encounters and ultimately a blood shedding finale.
Ubaldo Teranzi Horror Show is a film I definitely sympathize with. Director Gabriele Albanesi clearly has a love for giallo and films of yesteryear, evident through the mysterious black figures and silver shining butcher knives that are staples of gialli features. Italian horror one sheets cover the wall of horror fanatic director Alessio's apartment as well. Both directors in front and behind the camera are one of us, fans turned filmmaker that vie to create original, unique horror pictures. In that aspect, I appreciate the effort put into Ubaldo Teranzi Horror Show, but it fails to leave an impact.
UTHS is sadly an exercise of repetitiveness that exudes a been-there-done-that quality. Sure it's great to see original work coming out of a country that's known for it's accolades in the horror genre, but when your film is completely telegraphed by the viewer from the get go it's extremely disappointing. Not all is lost, thanks to a retro giallo-esque score by Valerio Lundini & great makeup FX pieces provided by gore effects legend Sergio Stivaletti (Demons, Cemetery Man). Ubaldo Terzani Horror Show is worth a watch at least once, buy by no means is it a return to form that the film's packaging and booklet would lead you to believe.

  • Video
This disc by Raro sports a decent 1.85:1, 16:9 transfer that is faithful to it's low budget, digital roots. Many scenes with an abundance of detail and color are given an almost HD boost which is quite nice. Those who have made the jump to Blu-ray may want to hold off on purchasing this as a 1080p release will be debuting in April, which will definitely bring out the array of colors present in the film even more. This is a great looking DVD nonetheless and doesn't disappoint.
  • Audio
Available are two Italian tracks, one with 5.1 and the other a simple Mono. The 5.1 mix is put to good use, offering a lot of front speaker action with the occasional background music ques. Dialogue is clear and English subtitles are included throughout.

Bonus Features
  • Audio Commentary - Director Gabriele Albanesi & Antonio Tentori
  • Screen Test - Actress Laura Gigante
  • Short Film - "Braccati"
  • Trailers
  • Booklet
  • A 6 page booklet is include detailing the films various homages and profiling director Gabriele Albanesi's career.