The Killer Reserved Nine Seats (1974)

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The Killer Reserved Nine Seats (1974). 1h 44m | Not Rated

“u0026quot;Lu0026#39;Assassino ha riservato nove poltroneu0026quot;(The killer reserved nine seats) is one of those films that stayed with me.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eIu0026#39;ve seen a copy with Greek subtitles. According to IMDb, the film has a running time of 99 minutes and this copy Iu0026#39;ve ordered runs around 92 minutes. So 7 minutes were cut out from the original film and now maybe the cut footage is lost forever. The DVD was visibly taken from a VHS tape and even if the colors are a bit drab and the images sometimes a bit jittery, the film is still quite watchable. Anyway it would be wonderful to see the film in a restored and remastered edition (uncut if possible).u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe film drew inspiration from Agatha Christieu0026#39;s Ten Little Indiansu0026quot; – Ten people are invited to an abandoned theater in an out-of-the-way place. The theater looms gigantic in the night when they arrive. A sense of foreboding underlined by the soundtrack creeps in. These people know each other and are linked by love/hate relationships – greed, love, sex, bitterness are their companions. The camera shows the chandeliers, the pictures on the wall show faces were luxury and greed meet, the decors…. Everything takes us back to a glorious past – lust, grandeur, suffering, intrigues … – all gone now….u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe killings begin. Where is the killer hiding? Long corridors, dressing rooms, the backstage, the imposing stairs that lead to upper floors…. Is He or She one of them? Later on we get to know that thereu0026#39;s a family curse hanging over the theater. Are supernatural forces at work? This is a very atmospheric thriller in which the camera and the soundtrack work well together. The story somehow doesnu0026#39;t make much sense. The behavior of the characters (like other reviewers already pointed out) is far from logical. They wander alone in badly lit corridors, enter dark rooms, almost like they were inviting the killer to take care of them. And the killer is very, very sadistic.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe action of the u0026quot;The killer reserved nine seatsu0026quot; takes place during the night. Itu0026#39;s a u0026quot;long nightu0026#39;s journey into dayu0026quot;, but itu0026#39;s a day that maybe no one will reach alive (as one of the characters dejectedly says). The film is tense and claustrophobic, but also lighthearted and ironical, like all good gialli. There are also the moments of sleaze, something very good to release the tension – the women undress themselves whenever they can, and thereu0026#39;s also a lesbian couple among the lot: Rosanna Schiaffino, Paola Senatore, Lucretia Love, Eva Czemerys, Janet Agren – take your pick. Thereu0026#39;s a moment of surrealistic sleaze that would have made even Buñuel take his hat off – many people had already been knocked off and what Paola Senatore does? She puts on some music, takes off her clothes, and dances semi-naked in front of a mirror. What?! Well, anyway I enjoyed the scene a lot. Thanks, Paola!u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eSomething that I want to stress again is the atmosphere conveyed by the film – the characters and decors, underlined by the imaginative soundtrack, seem to join their hands to paint a picture of lust, desire, decadence and tired joie-de-vivre. One can go back to the time when some Italian renaissance masters were able to portray luxury and ambiguity living together with virtue (whatever that means:).u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eu0026quot;The killer reserved nine seatsu0026quot; is an interesting film that deserves more recognition and to be presented to the public in a restored and remastered edition. Itu0026#39;s creative, bizarre and intriguing. Itu0026#39;s certainly not a run-of-the-mill giallo. Itu0026#39;s a worthy film to check out.”


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