What kind of movie would you expect from the guy who directed the movie The Smut Peddler? Porn? Hard or Soft? This ain't ice cream folks. This is cinema and this director is William Rose. The movie we're here to discuss is The Girl in Room 2A and boy do we have a few things to talk about; most of those things involve naked women being tortured relentlessly by an individual in a red super hero type costume complete with cape. This isn't porn. This is giallo; the Italian gift to the curious, the intrigued and the horny, but don't unzip your fly just yet.
Mondo Macabro presents a terrifying tale of a young girl who moves into a boarding house run by a kindly older woman, only to discover that the place has a dark and sinister past. Young girls and pretty girls seem to disappear without trace. Where they go and what happens to them is the dreadful secret of The Girl in Room 2A.
Mondo Macabro puts out some of my favorite exploitation, cult classic and horror flicks. I recently reviewed Don't Open Until Christmas and love their presentation. Nothing short of excellent here. The transfer is great. The special features are for fans boys and girls although I'm always looking for more more more. The packaging is classic; why ruin a great thing. There's a nice written bio, but we would always prefer a video bio.
Tech specifics for you freaks and geeks out there:
NTSC All Region
Brand new anamorphic transfer from negative
Interview with actress Daniel Giordano
Brand New English subtitles
Extensive production notes
Mondo Macabro previews
English/Italian Language options
1.66 Anamorphic Widescreen
Now on to the actual review of the flick itself. As previously mentioned this whole thing centers around torturing and killing women in somewhat unusual and most definitely violent ways perpetrated by a person wearing a red super hero outfit (or reasonable facsimile there of). It's kind of like watching The Bloody Pit of Horror featuring the Crimson Executioner with less oil and fewer rippling muscles. If you like one you'll certainly like the other. I guess you could think of The Girl in Room 2A as a more mature version of The Bloody Pit of Horror. It did have nearly a decade to grow up after all.
What Girl in Room 2A has over The Bloody Pit of Horror is intrigue. Mystery. That's the giallo in it. When you want a mystery you either turn to Angela Landsbury, Perry Mason or you find a movie from Italy that's a little more "yellow" than the rest. William Rose may be from New York, but The Girl in Room 2A is giallo through and through. shot in Italy and with some of the finer attributes of the Italian thrillers. That's not to say this is my favorite of the genre. Rose is no Bava or Martino, but he's got the right idea.
Berto Pisano concocts a rather good score. That's half the battle with this genre. You've also got the infamous still frame ending where the picture keeps moving until the last frame where the image is held ad infinitum. The Italian title cards give the film that authenticate Euro Trash vibe but declare that it may be a bit more sophisticated than your average second stage giallo.
You can pick it up from DiabolikDVD HERE for less than $20. Isn't that worth the price of seeing naked woman tortured and then thrown off a cliff. What if I told you the alternate title was The Strange Habit of Mrs. Grant? Fits right in there with the Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh. Make it a double feature.
Note: Herschel Gordon Lewis himself would be proud of the choice of blood color in this film. I'm a sucker for Crayola.
Also, continue to follow the Giallo Challenge we've been undertaking since January. We're gonna watch every single giallo movie ever made. 274 movies in all (on the list we chose out of many). You've Got Yellow On You!