A one-time (and now one-handed) master film editor toiling in the cinematic sweatshops of 1970s Italy becomes the prime suspect in a series of brutal murders.
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★★★★★ review by Jim Drew on Letterboxd
"The Editor, a 70s Italian giallo-inspired comedy in which a one time (and one-handed) master film editor becomes the prime suspect in a series of brutal murders."
The above synopsis sounds like my perfect film to be honest. I'm very keen on the Italian sub-genre of leather glove clad murderers, incredible soundtracks, 'interesting' plotting and much more besides. That this film is made by no-budget masters Astron-6 probably made this one of the most-anticipated movies for me in recent memory.
It lives up to internal fevered hype.
Adam Brooks plays sadsack editor Rey Ciso, a film-cutting maestro reduced to working on genre pictures after an unfortunate editing accident. Rey's psyche spirals downwards just as bodies start to pile up. Suspicion naturally falls on him as Matthew Kennedy's detective Peter Porfiry investigates. Impossibly masculine, Porfiry serves as a further depressing figure for our poor protagonist. 3rd Astron member Conor Sweeney appears as 'actor' Cal Konitz, again displaying high levels of manhood (in more ways than one) that cannot help Ciso's fragile mindset.
While this is an extremely devoted stab at mimicking these films with many a reference to different Argento or Fulci films, The Editor is still infused with the broad and sometimes hyper-weird comedy beats we expect from these guys. One of the most repeated style of gags is the gentle mocking of both the macho posturing and the troubling misogyny often flaunted by the Italians in this era. It is very very funny and you question yourself for liking these films. But when they so brilliantly ape the lush cinematography, the tense scary music (Claudio Simonetti joins the gang!) and the bloodletting, you're reminded why you do.
This modern habit of making films appear retro with their looks or their sound has broken into the mainstream the last few years and shows no sign of slowing down. But nobody quite does it like Astron-6. The craft is finely tuned and you don't even need to squint to kid yourself that it could be the real thing.
★★★★½ review by Daniel Rodriguez on Letterboxd
Astron 6 <3 <3 <3 How can I not love the hell out of those guys?
The Editor is a horror comedy that makes fun of Giallo and Italian Splatter movies. The references are pretty easy to discern and this lack of subtlety keeps those references from being too obscure; I am not an expert on giallo, so it was actually great that I could get the jokes and recognize which movies and directors they are making fun of. In addition to their spot on sense of black comedy, there are great characters, the synthwave soundtrack is perfect and the whole visual style is awesome, even better than Father's Day. I might even raise my rating in a second view with subtitles on!
★★★★½ review by Jeremy Milks on Letterboxd
Hard to describe how much I loved this. When you can seamlessly incorporate scene recreations of both New York Ripper and Hitch-Hike into your plot and then top it with a climax that's a direct homage to Argento's Inferno, you have my full attention. A lot of people don't like self-aware throwbacks (in this case a parody), but this is how you do it right. It's made even more obscure by being totally devoted to referencing Italian horror and exploitation, meaning this had no chance to make any money or find a wide audience. The old cliche about a "labor of love" applies here. The directing team of Adam Brooks and Matthew Kennedy made 2011's nasty Father's Day, which I really liked but this is on another level. Other direct references I could make out: House By The Cemetery, Tenebre, Videodrome, The Beyond, Murder Rock, Zombie, Suspiria, Black Belly Of The Tarantula and probably dozens more. A horror nerd's buffet.
★★★★ review by Dawson Joyce on Letterboxd
October 2017: Flounder's Halloween Scavenger Hunt
TASK #29: A horror comedy!
Both a loving tribute/homage and a witty, effective satire of the giallo horror films of old, The Editor makes for one hell of a bloody good time thanks to its committed cast, authentic characters, solid mystery, well-crafted gags, and outstanding gore effects.
★★★★ review by The Spork Guy on Letterboxd
After waiting for this to come out for so long, slight expectations had begun looming over Astron 6's newest cinematic venture. A few things even happened during its delayed release to shake those expectations up a little bit: "Nurse 3D" had come out and completely wasted the career of Editor star Paz De La Huerta, and the whole over-the-top 80's revival comedy had become the most common trend since mustache beer rings were in 2010, making the top selling point of this film fit in rather than stand out. I now knew what I was up against when viewing this and I'm quite happy to say that it still didn't disappoint regardless. "The Editor" is a Giallo inspired murder mystery revolving around the life of a film editor at a dingy horror film studio. Having a reclusive and depressing life to call his own, the whole loner in society labile makes him a prime target to be a murder culprit.
This stylish who-done-it doesn't just showcase tons of great practical gore effects and erie lighting set ups for the shock alone. Having Astron 6 behind the wheel, you can also expect lots of... well I don't know if you can call it comedy, but laughs. The laughs are there alright. Throughout the film, there about 4 instances in which the film either cuts to a flashback or spontaneously shifts tone mid-scene, thus entering into an indescribable and unexplainable sequence of complete off the wall randomness. Don't get me wrong, these trademark Astron moments are hilarious, but just know before you watch this that not everything makes sense in their world. Not at all. But it's also the little things such as this that truly make their film stand out from the crowd, at least to the extent it needs in order to survive amongst heavyweight contenders like "Kung Fury".
If you enjoyed "Berbarian Sound Studio" for its atmosphere and/or point of view from a post production artist's perspective, this film should tickle that same fancy. I loved the production design, dark humor and references to the greats like Lucio Fulci. Also, it scores further points for knowing it doesn't need to add CG film grain in order to make it a throw back to Grindhouse era shock and terror. It's time for that gimmick to die. Astron 6 is rather disliked by quite a few these days, but hopefully this will be a slight shift toward a revitalization of their careers, taking work a little more seriously while growing in subtle talent. I look forward to seeing their future work and hope that it all releases on time for now on, cause I'm selfish with my time like that.
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