the editor | adam brooks | matthew kennedy | conor sweeney | paz de la huerta | giallo | homage | parody | comedy | crime | mystery | thriller | canada | udo kier | laurence r. harvey | jerry wasserman | samantha hill | kevin anderson | brett donahue | tristan risk
Film: The Editor
Director: Adam Brooks and Matthew Kennedy
Writer: Adam Brooks, Matthew Kennedy and Conor Sweeney
Starring: Paz de la Huerta, Adam Brooks and Matthew Kennedy
This was a movie that I heard of but didn’t necessarily know what it was all about. The Summer Challenge Series from the Podcast Under the Stairs gave me a good idea what it was about after it was covered there. I’m glad that I held off seeing this one as it is a parody of giallo films from the past. Not that I’m the most versed, I think I can appreciate this more from diving into the subgenre.
The synopsis: a film editor gets embroiled in a string of murders.
We start this movie off in a strip club. There is some interesting lighting and cinematography here. A woman leaves and grabbed by a bum, freaking her out. She does run away and makes it home. She gets undressed and someone attacks her. She is given a shot which paralyzes her and then she’s killed with an ax. A spider is used as well.
It turns out everything we were watching is part of a new film that is being made by Francesco Manicini (Kevin Anderson). It is a new giallo film. The man editing it is Rey Ciso (Adam Brooks). He’s helped by his assistant Bella (Samantha Hill). Rey has an interesting story though. He snapped a few years back and accidentally cut off the fingers on his hand. He now has a prosthetic. It makes his job as an editor more difficult since he was the best.
As Rey goes to leave for the night, he is bullied a bit by the star, Claudio Berti (Brett Donahue). He is with his lady of Veronica (Tristan Risk). After their run-in, Rey goes home to his wife of Josephine Jardin (Paz de la Huerta). She was a popular actress who had a break down when she was no longer wanted for pictures. There is something still a bit off about her.
Things then take a darker turn when Claudio and Veronica are both murdered. Margarit Porfiry (Sheila Campbell) is the one that found them. The shock of it caused her to go blind. Her husband is Peter (Matthew Kennedy), a police investigator. He is assigned to the case to figure out who did the killing.
The prime suspect is Rey, since they had that run in. There are more killings where the fingers on one of the victim’s hands are cut off, this also correlating to Rey. There are other suspects though. Did Cal Konitz (Conor Sweeney) kill Claudio to become the leading man? Is Bella that unnerved? Or could it be Francesco finally losing it after making all these movies. There is a bit of the supernatural that is mixed into this and the Latin meaning of the word ‘editor’.
That will be where I leave my recap of the movie as that gets you up to speed. What I should reinforce here is that this movie is a comedy. They are taking what they did in the giallo film and playing it with a comedic twist. I would say that this is done in more of homage though. There is still a coherent enough story t that I could follow. Of the gialli that I have seen, this one would be in the middle of the road since some of the lesser ones can have more of a disjointed story and a reveal at the end that doesn’t make the most sense. This ending at least fit for the story we got. The last thing here before moving to my next point, I didn’t figure out who the killer was. Looking back, it makes sense and isn’t a cheat which tends to bother me more.
What I want to dive into next would be the references that they are making here. A host on the Summer Series was a lot like me, stating that they’ve seen some gialli, but not as versed as some. This movie has so many references that the more you see, the more I think that you can appreciate. I saw references to Suspiria, which isn’t a giallo, but builds its story like one. There also seems to be references to The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh, The Beyond, The House by the Cemetery and The New York Ripper. Now all these that I’ve mentioned aren’t gialli, but they are Italian. The use of nightmare logic you would get in Lucio Fulci’s movies is here. That is something else I enjoyed.
Where I think I should go next would be the effects, cinematography and the soundtrack. This is where we are really getting that feel of a giallo. The cinematography is amazing in this movie. I also think that the use of filters on the lights gives it that vibe as well. The soundtrack is on point and according to the opening credits they are taking actual songs from gialli which adds another layer for me. They also overdub the actors like you would get in these movies since originally, not everyone on the cast would speak Italian. There is even more care that some people’s dubbing is better than others as well. What I can’t gloss over are the effects. They are on point. The blood looks good. The gore does as well. Overall, I was quite impressed with everything from these categories.
Then I think the last thing that I need to go into here would be the acting. It is interesting that Brooks and Kennedy are co-writers/co-directors of this movie as well as stars. I must give them credit for knowing what they were doing here and then taking on the leads. Brooks feels like a guy that is down on his luck due to events on his life as Rey where Kennedy is this hard investigator trying to get to the bottom of what is happening. It is funny though that he is a bit bumbling and trying to cover up evidence later. I liked Hill as Bella. We get fun cameos from Udo Kier, Laurence R. Harvey and Jerry Wasserman. I’d say from there that Sweeney, Donahue, Anderson, Risk, Campbell and the rest of the cast rounded this movie out for what was needed.
So then in conclusion here, this is a fun movie. If you are a fan of giallo films and versed well enough in them, I think you’ll have fun picking out the troupes along with the references. What is interesting though is that we get a decent enough gialli despite what they’re doing. The acting fits for what they needed. The cinematography and lighting is on point. The soundtrack is as well. One of the best parts is the deaths and how good the effects look there. I would say that because this is a comedy, that holds it back a bit. For me, this movie is above average for me. If what I said here works for you, then I’d say to give it a watch.
My Rating: 7.5 out of 10