Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1971) directed by Dario Argento
I thought Four Flies was just as a good as Crystal Plumage and it's probably my favorite of Argento's so-called "animal trilogy." The stylish shots and bright colors from Crystal Plumage are back, but Argento is better at eliciting fear in this film. One of my favorite sequences was when the killer chases Roberto's maid. We start out in a bright park with several families playing. Time passes, the people leave and the maid begins to get nervous. Darkness falls and the maid is completely frightened. Fleeing, she takes a turn into a very narrow alley, brick walls pressed against both her back and breasts as the killer peruses her. Great stuff.
Maybe Argento goes a bit overboard with the POV shots this time, I'm not sure. There's one POV shot of Roberto carrying a letter into his house that seems to have no point. The POV shots of the camera going through a series of red curtains was fun, though. And, of course, the POV shots of a masked killer (though we don't see eye holes over the camera lens) predate Black Christmas and Halloween by several years.
The final explanation for the killer's motive is a bit wonky. Turns out Roberto's wife only married him in some overly complex plan to murder someone who looks like her father. First, however, she wants make him crazy by tricking him into thinking he's killed a man who's been following him and then blackmailing him about this. Sure, she's crazy, but jesus that's a weird plan. The revelation that she's the killer isn't much of a surprise, either. We knew by the middle of movie that the killer was someone hanging out in Roberto's house and, since the movie never really focuses on any of the friends that visit him there, there aren't really any other likely suspects.
I think I'm beginning to dig these giallos. (7/10)
Fear Itself: "New Years Day" (2008) directed by Darren Lynn Bousman
You know, it wasn't bad. Maybe I'm just a sucker for apocalyptic zombie stories, but it felt like this episode was a notch above the others I've seen so far. A girl wakes up early in the morning New Year's Day and hears all kinds of commotion outside. Zombies, of course. She fights her way to her friend's apartment while recalling the events of the previous night. Those events she recalls are about her best friend stealing her boyfriend, which was certainly the weakest part of the episode. It's pretty hard to care about a silly love triangle when their are zombies eating people. Outside of this annoying subplot and frustrating shaky-cam shots, this episode had some pretty good zombie action for a network TV show and a decent twist ending. Probably my favorite one so far.