YES, PLOT AND CHARACTER and production values are fine and good—there's no real shame in being emotionally moved by a film—but let's be honest: The only things that matter in a movie are (1) sex and (2) violence. Every Saturday night through February 13, Cinema 21 will be home to the Late Night European Horror Series, an awesome five-picture lineup of original 35mm prints curated by Dan Halsted of the Grindhouse Film Festival. These Italian and Spanish horror flicks from the '70s and '80s are some of the goofiest, creepiest, bloodiest, and nudity-est films ever made, including Burial Ground: Nights of Terror (January 30), Demons (February 6), and Creepers (February 13).
Some are rooted in the Italian giallo tradition, like 1973's Torso (January 23). "Giallos featured stylish cinematography, strange music, beautiful women, and graphic violence—[they] were the precursor to American slasher movies," explains Halsted. "What's great about Torso is that [director Sergio] Martino lets the first two-thirds of the movie play out like a typical giallo. Then he pulls the rug out. You suddenly realize you're watching a much more intelligent movie than you thought."
Others focus on tits and gore, like Pieces, a demented 1982 Spanish slasher whose inane dialogue might qualify it as the most entertaining movie ever made. It kicks off the series on Saturday, and as Halsted says, "You can't have more fun in a movie theater than watching Pieces with an audience."