Friday, July 20, 2012

ITALIAN HORROR WEEK: The Rebirth of the Italian Horror Empire (Part III of III) - LAST INTERVIEW IN THE WOODS

Featuring Justin Giallo's Interview with Gabriele Albanesi, Director of Last House in the Woods, Ubaldo Terzani Horror Show and, the upcoming movie, Kid in the Box.

Warning: To Avoid spoilers keep repeating... it's only an interview. It's only an interview. It's only an interview... with spoilers.

GIALLO: Hello Gabriele, first off, let me begin my saying that your resume has been quite impressive so far! You were presented with the Neptune Award at the Italian Horror fest in 2011 for your accomplishments in horror cinema, Sam Raimi himself hand picked "Last House In The Woods" for an American release on Ghost House Pictures & you've currently worked with the likes of Sergio Stivaletti & Claudio Simonetti! How did you go from a film critic in Italy to directing horror films that are not only seen internationally, but critically acclaimed as well?

ALBANESI: Thanks alot for your kind words, since I was a teenager I shot a lot of home made movies with a Video 8 Camera and the horror genre has always been my favourite one. In Italy the horror genre is dead – as I show in the incipit of “Ubaldo Terzani Horror Show” – I have fought with all my forces to make horror movies like I wanted, adapting myself to very little budget but without compromises. They are sincere films.

GIALLO: Your phenomenal low budget breakthrough "Last House In The Woods" was not only a breath of fresh air for horror fans but for many a return to style that's comparable to such horror greats as Dario Argento, Bava and Fulci. Did certain films in particular influence you in the writing and directing of it?

ALBANESI: Of course, the style of the film is reminescent of Italian masters of Horror for the use of brillaint colours and for the aggressive use of zoom, but also for the importance of the music and for the extremism of the gore scenes. Instead the plot outline is taken from the American classics of the 70’s as the first movies of Tobe Hooper and Wes Craven, but they are rielaborated in the Italian way and mood.

GIALLO: "Ubaldo Terzani Horror Show", your most recent film which was released recently in the U.S. on DVD & Blu-ray from Raro Video, is a step further from "Last House In The Woods". Ubaldo in my opinion has more of a gialli feel to it gone way of "In The Mouths Of Madness", it also seems much more semi-biographical than "Last House In The Woods", am I wrong?

ALBANESI: You are right, “Terzani” is an autobiographical story because it tells the experiences of a young wannabe horror filmmaker in the Italy of today, and as you know today it’s very difficult to make horror movies in Italy. So this crisis is one of the main themes of the film. And yes, it’s also a more giallo film then “Last House”, more psycological and atmospheric… But exactly “Ubaldo Terzani” is a sort of “parody” of the Giallo film, because we know since from the beginning the evil nature of Terzani, and Terzani himself gives us a lot of details about his identity… as if he was making fun of us. There is a subtle irony that runs through the film.

GIALLO: Both your films have extraordinary special effects which in my opinion, is due to the fact that you have been lucky enough to work with Italian SFX veteran, Sergio Stivaletti. What is it like working with Sergio Stivaletti & how did that relationship form?

ALBANESI: Yes, Sergio and I are great friends and our collaboration is perfect. We have reached a great reciprocal symbiosis. I hate CG and postproduction special effects, so I always ask Sergio to make the blood effects directly on the set, and Sergio always agrees with me. So we have a lot of fun together because we work to recreate the mood of the faboulous 80’s.

GIALLO: You recently added producer to your resume with the upcoming horror anthology, "Italian Ghost Stories". An anthology of five different ghost stories by five young & upcoming horror directors. How did this project come about and; when can we expect to see it stateside?

ALBANESI: “Italian Ghost Stories” is very different from my movies as writer-director because it has a suprenatural and atmospheric mood, in the tradition of the classic ghost stories of the past. As producer I wanted to make something different from my abitual kind of cinema. It’s an anthology film by six young directors, and I can tell you that there are at least three stories very scary and terrifyng. The film is coming out in September here in Italy.

GIALLO: You're currently finishing up post-production on the upcoming sequel to "Last House In The Woods", "Kid In the Box". Can you tell us a little bit about it & what can the viewers expect this time?

ALBANESI: “Kid in the Box” is a very crazy and difficult film… I shot a teaser trailer that is online on youtube and now I’m in the pre-production of the film. The film tells the story of the two children who survived the first chapter, the cannibal child and the child with no arms and legs… it’s the story of their odyssey. As you can immaginate by this plot, it’s a film very controversial and I’m encountering a lot of trouble to do it. The special effects are very difficult too. I think it will become a memorable movie, something never seen before.

GIALLO: Both Last House andUbaldo Terzani contain fantastic prog rock retro-synth musical scores that echo similiarities to composer Fabio Frizzi or Goblin, it is also noted that Claudio Simonetti is composing the score for "Kid In The Box". How important is the musical element to you & your directing process?

ALBANESI: It’s very important, because in the tradition of Italian western and horror movies, the music is a lead and strong element. For “Ubaldo Terzani” I asked to my composer Valerio Lundini to recreate the vintage sounds of synth scores of the 80’s, and he did a great job. Now for “Kid in the Box” I have the lucky privilege to collaborate with Claudio Simonetti in person, the pioneer of this type of soundtracks because he made “Deep Red” and “Suspiria”. The fantastic music of Claudio is already on the teaser which you can see on youtube.

GIALLO: In closing, since it's Italian Horror Week here at Dr Terror's Blog, can you please list five Italian horror films that you would highly recommend or have influenced you as a director?


1. Phenomena by Dario Argento
2. Tenebre by Dario Argento
3. I tre volti della paura (Black Sabbath) by Mario Bava
4. Shock by Mario Bava
5. Deliria (Stage Fright) by Michele Soavi

GIALLO: On behalf of Dr Terror's Blog of Horrors and myself, thank you for your time, Gabriele!

Thank you and to all the Italian Horror fans around the world!

Last House in the Woods is available on Amazon HERE.
Ubaldo Terzani Horror Show is available through the amazing RaroVideo HERE. Check out this and other fine world cinema.

Here are some of the trailers from Gabriele Albanesi future and recent endeavors.

Kid in the Box

Last House in the Woods

Ubaldo Terzani Horror Show 

Italian Ghost Stories

 JUSTIN GIALLO is the film programmer, coordinator and host of the Grindhouse Theater in Tacoma, Washington as well as a full time projectionist at the Grand Theater in Tacoma. He also works for the fantastic horror con Crypticon Seattle. Justin is the best kind of horror nerd who has a passion for all media formats although considerably prefers film.He will soon break ground on a new horror related podcast called the Profondo Rosso Podcast (keep your eyes and ears open folks).  Justin's a great friend and has been a huge supporter of Italian Horror Week since day one. Many thank to him and good luck to Justin and his fiance.

You can follow the happening at Crypticon Seattle HERE.
You can check out Grindhouse Theater offerings HERE (like the page dammit). 

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