Riccardo Parisio Perrotti
Based on an
Archaeologists excavating the Roman catacombs break open the gates of hell. Hellishly confused plot is unoriginal, to boot; decent production values hardly compensate.
---VIDEO HOUND'S GOLDEN MOVIE RETRIEVER
...the gore is well-handled, but the demon is rarely shown, and the first hour leading up to all the mayhem is a talky bore.
---Robert Firsching of ALL MOVIE GUIDE
Sharp-looking but slow, with unsympathetic characters and all the gore saved for the last 20 minutes, when a face is pulled off, a heart torn out, and a head crushed against a wall.
---James O'Neill of TERROR ON TAPE
The film is stretched beyond human endurance, offering nothing frightening.
---John Stanley of CREATURE FEATURES
AMAZON.CO.UK: Popular online seller offers the DVD in Region 2 format.
THE INTERNET MOVIE DATABASE: Cast and crew information is available at this popular film database.
Besides Michelle Soavi, Marcello Avallone is perhaps the most gifted director of Italian horror movies today. One would think that Mr. Avallone would be much younger than he is, though. Instead he has been around since the '60s, learning his craft from Lucio Fulci among others and having made only a handful of films of his own, his latest being The Last Cut in 1998. His masterpiece is Maya from 1989, which was not only masterful, innovative and creative, but also daring and, of all things, well produced, which isn't too common since the days of Dario Argento. Specters [also known as Spettri], on the other hand, was the film that preceded Maya and was really his first acclaimed film, perhaps because it was also his first film in 16 years. It is also very well made, with beautiful photography and plenty of good actors to match. Among them, of course, Donald Pleasence playing his usual oddball. This time he's masquerading as an archaeologist discovering mysterious, previously unknown catacombs under the Maussoleum in the city of Rome. As always in these types of films, you can't do such a thing without unleashing evil forces upon mankind. Is this the end of the world as we know it? Will Donald Pleasence make it to the end? The obvious recemblances to Demons aside, Specters is a pretty exciting little gem. It may be a bit out of focus with too many subplots hanging around loose, but once the steady-cam and special effects-operators get their stuff going, you almost forget about the silly plot. For Scandinavian buffs, the film also offers as a bonus the presence of former Miss Denmark, Katrine Michelsen.
Review submitted by Peter
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trying to discover the deadly secrets within the catacombs.
UK video artwork is the propety of its respective owner.
US video artwork © 1988 IMPERIAL ENTERTAINMENT CORP. All Rights Reserved.
Photos © 1987 RETEITALIA S.p.A. /
TRIO CINEMA E TELEVISIONE S.r.l. All Rights Reserved.
Thanks to Julian Grainger for the cast and crew information!
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