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(aka "Etrusco uccide ancora" or "The Etruscan Kills Again" or "Geheimnis des gelben Grabes" or "Overtime" )

 

directed by Armando Crispino
Italy/West Germany/Yugoslavia 1972

 

Alcoholic archaeologist Jason Porter (Alex Cord, THE LAST GRENADE) discovers an Etruscan tomb near the villa where his former lover Myra (Samantha Eggar, THE BROOD) and her orchestra conductor husband Nikos (John Marley, THE GODFATHER) are staying. The tomb includes a fresco of the Etruscan demon god Tuchulcha who demanded grisly sacrifices of his worshipers. When a young couple making love in one of the nearby open tombs are clubbed to death - their bodies arranged on top of the sepulchers like offerings - the police are called in. As the murders continue - including an attack on Nikos son Igor (Carlo de Mejo, CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD) who survives - the investigation becomes murky. While Jason tries to determine how the first murders can mirror the scenes on the fresco in the tomb, the police have to sift through the Jason/Myra/Nikos triangle, Nikos' unexplained nocturnal wanderings and temper tantrums (if you've seen THE GODFATHER, you know what Marley can do with a violent outburst), Jason's past institutionalization (and a violent attack on Myra), a park guard with blackmail on his mind, effeminate red herring Horst Frank skulking around, and the presence of Igor's mother (Nadja Tiller) who was disfigured by a drunken Nikos years before. The first of two distinctive giallo films from Armando de Crispino (AUTOPSY), THE DEAD ARE ALIVE (aka THE ETRUSCAN KILLS AGAIN) lacks the queasy tension of the latter entry but this Italian/Yugoslavian/West German co-production (sold as an Edgar Wallace adaptation in Germany as were a couple other German co-produced gialli by Dario Argento, Massimo Dallamano, and Umberto Lenzi) has the more distinctive cast, attractive scope photography and interesting locations. Whereas Crispino's AUTOPSY was more like the slick, gory, modern gialli of the mid-seventies onwards, THE DEAD ARE ALIVE is more like the earlier giallo films with its jet set lifestyles juxtaposed with classical art and archaeology, car chases, and skulking but obvious red herrings. Riz Ortolani's score is also more lyrical than the breathy, jangling Ennio Morricone score that accompanied AUTOPSY. As in the other film, here Crispino wrings some tragedy and sympathy for the killer's slow motion demise. Cord's bland narration is used intermittently to underline some clues (like the pairs of shoes stolen from the wardrobe department of Nikos' current concert) and isn't a very compelling hero. Marley is appropriately bombastic and Eggar gets to wear several wigs, hairstyles, and eye-straining seventies fashions (as does De Mejo). Not the most satisfying giallo but worth seeing (Sergio Martino's THE SCORPION WITH TWO TAILS was another giallo with Etruscan themes and supernatural overtones).

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 22 June 1972 (USA)

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DVD Review: Code Red DVD - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Code Red DVD

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:45:32
Video

2.31:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.23 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Code Red DVD

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.31:1

Edition Details:
• Startup trailer for FAMILY HONOR (16:9; 0:31)

DVD Release Date: July 13, 2010
Amaray

Chapters 16

 

Comments

Opening with an MPAA R-rating card followed by a "National General Pictures presents" card and featuring the English opening credits, Code Red's anamorphic, progressive, single-layer transfer of THE DEAD ARE ALIVE looks quite nice in some scenes while others feature varying damage (white or black speckling) suggesting it was assembled from more than one source (the end titles are in Italian). One of the German BRYAN EDGAR WALLACE sets from UFA featured a brighter uncut Italian print as a full feature extra to the shorter German version but that version was not English-friendly and the image on the Code Red looks more naturalistic.

 

English mono dialogue is audible throughout but with a persistent level of hiss throughout. Derived from the US version, it is missing some footage (about 20 seconds) from a sex scene between the park guard and his girlfriend (A VIRGIN AMONG THE LIVING DEAD's Cristina Von Blank) that was probably snipped for an R-rating (I believe the same footage was clipped from the unauthorized Eurovista DVD release which used a 16mm scope 2.45:1 print with some dialogue-dropping splices as its source) but seems otherwise complete. As with their DVD of PRIMAL RAGE, their is no main menu; just a start-up trailer, disclaimer, logo, and the feature. There is no scene selection menu but there are 16 chapters for the feature. It is not yet confirmed if the final disc will have a menu and more extras.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 


DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Code Red DVD

Region 0 - NTSC

 

 




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