Poor Ray Cisco, once the best film editor in the world until an accident while editing the world’s longest movie left him with four wooden fingers. Now he edits cheap exploitation films and goes home to Josephine, his shrewish wife. About the only bright spot in his life is his new assistant Bella, who certainly lives up to her name. When the actors on his current assignment start meeting horrible deaths he finds himself the chief suspect, and even he isn’t sure that he’s innocent.
The latest film from Ashton-6, the Canadians who gave us Father’s Day and Manborg, The editor is a loving parody of the Giallo films the stylish, bloody and mostly Italian films that gave birth to the slasher films of the 80s. And as twisted as the plots of many of them were, they’ve managed to take the staples of the genre and take them even further over the top. And then further still as the movie progresses until it s a full blown parody, but it never loses track of it’s internal logic or become stupid like so many horror comedies. It stays on track right up until the end, which will not surprise fans of Italian horror.
And this raises the question, do you have to be a Giallo fan to enjoy The Editor? Well, it certainly helps. You can enjoy the film for it’s own sake if you have the right sense of humor, but the more you know about the genre, (and Italian horror in general), the more jokes and references you’ll get. And those references aren’t just in the script, the cast includes Udo Kier and Claudio Simonetti wrote the film’s theme. A fan for example would chuckle at the dubbed actors, while somebody not used to watching the Americanized versions of the originals would probably just be puzzled by it. There are also direct references to numerous films that will go right over the heads of those not familiar with the genre.
It definitely holds true to the originals in it’s inventively bloody violence and frequent nudity. There’s even full frontal male nudity for the ladies, (or guys who like that). The gore is all done old school which fits the film perfectly. And it is well done and convincing with the exception of one gag in the film within the film, and I’m pretty sure that was meant to look cheesy.
It’s not fair to judge the acting here because it’s intended to look bad, like the poorly dubbed films we sat through in the first place. I suppose it can be called a compliment that they’re good at being bad. They sound like they’ve been badly dubbed and give appropriately over acted performances. There’s quite a few points that if you didn’t know better you’d think you were watching one of the more bizarre Giallo from back in the day.
And with the Giallo undergoing a bit of a revival lately with films such as The Darkness Surrounds Roberta, Amer, Tulpa and Berberian Sound Studio it’s a great time to have a laugh at them. And this allows us to both laugh at and with them. It never attacks it’s targets, just playfully jests at them, pointing up and exaggerating it’s eccentricities and excesses. And the fact that those excesses involve bare and/or bloodied flesh just makes for better viewing.
The Editor is a must for fans of Giallo and classic Italian horror. For others it may be rough going at times as they’ll miss a lot of the humor. However it’s also a good excuse to get familiar, (or take a refresher course), with the genre and then watch it.