Review by Troy
= Highest Rating
serial killer targets the inhabitants of a posh boarding house...
but seriously flawed homage to the gialli of Mario Bava and
Dario Argento, Bad Inclination
(Cattive Inclinazioni) is yet another reminder of how
low the standards of Italian horror have sunk in recent years.
Though not without merit, it's a routine stalk and slash flick
spiced up with some cheesy gore and gratuitous sleaze. A few
reasonably clever twists to one side, and a hamfisted but sincere
attempt to skewer the media a la Oliver Stone's Natural
Born Killers, there is little to surprise the dyed-in-the-wool
Campanella has clearly studied the work of masters like Bava
and Argento — he does a nice job of aping their stylized approach
to horrific set-pieces, without having learned from their finesse
and sense of timing and rhythm. Though slickly shot, the film
has all the atmosphere of an extended music video. While early
critics of groundbreaking Argento films like Deep
Red and Suspiria made similar
criticisms, there is little question that his best work has
a level of depth and maturity that Campanella thoroughly misses
the boat on here. More than anything else, this is very reminiscent
of a slickly shot student film that pays homage to the director's
favorite movies — winks and nods abound, but the film, as a
whole, never comes together or really catches on fire.
continues Campanella's obsession with his cinematic forefathers.
Transsexual performer Eva Robins, so memorably featured in the
fetishistic flashback sequences of Argento's Tenebre
(she's the girl on the beach wearing the red stiletto heels),
plays a washed-up prima donna, while Florinda Bolkan (so memorable
in Lucio Fulci's striking gialli Lizard
in a Woman's Skin and Don't Torture
a Duckling) does the best she can in the underwritten role
of an older artist who may hold the key to the killings. Guest
star Franco Nero (Django) is seen in
full-blown Keoma mode, playing a crazed ex-cop who stands on
street corners preaching impending doom; it's a thankless role
that amounts to minimal screen time, but it's still nice to
see the dependable performer once again. The lead roles are
filled by younger performers with less distinguished credentials
— basically the best that can be said of the likes of Mirca
Viola (as the determined cop on the case) and Elisabetta Cavallotti
(as Robins' promiscuous manager/lover) is that they're easy
on the eyes.
it seems almost unkind to be too harsh on Campanella and his
film. The director's intentions were clearly honorable, and
even if he lacks the distinctive vision and voice of the artists
he is seeking to emulate, the film is a reasonably entertaining
throwback to a style of Italian filmmaking that has now almost
completely fallen by the wayside. Viewers disappointed by the
more realistic approach of Argento's newer gialli may actually
find this a preferable substitute.
Show's new DVD of Bad Inclination
is one of their stronger releases to date. Seemingly unaffected
by the glitches and flaws that have dogged some of their other
titles, it offers a nice transfer and some interesting bonus materials.
The 1.85 image is rich and colorful, with minimal grain and no
discernible print damage —
this is, after all, a newer film. The image, which is anamorphically
enhanced, looks sharp throughout. The Dolby digital soundtrack
is in good shape, too, but regretfully, only the English track
A flawed film
from the start, Bad Inclination certainly
suffers even more from the English dubbing, which is far and away
some of the worst ever heard in an Italian horror film.
Some of the dubbed dialogue actually had me laughing out loud,
and vocal performances are on the level of a high school play.
No doubt the costs of licensing the Italian track proved prohibitive,
but this is one film that could surely benefit from a subtitled
presentation. Within those confines, the track nevertheless sounds
punchy and doesn't suffer from hiss or distortion.
Extras include a behind the scenes featurette with comments
from the director and his cast, as well as separate interviews
with Campanella and stars Elisabetta Rocchetti and Elisabetta
Cavallotti. These are all subtitled in English, and the participants
come across with tremendous enthusiasm for the genre. A theatrical
trailer (in Italian!) and photo gallery round out the package.