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Author Topic: A Taste for Fear/Pathos (1987, Piccio Raffanini)  (Read 2443 times)


  • Cane Arrabbiato
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A Taste for Fear/Pathos (1987, Piccio Raffanini)
« on: 27 Jan 2008 - 01:19 »

Where's the love for this late eighties futuristic giallo?  It has a cool music score features Grace Jones and Lou Gramm.  It has saturated neon gel lighting by Romano Albani (PHENOMENA, INFERNO).  Sure the story is shallow but what a cool world it creates.  The exteriors seem to be drenched in perpetual night (if you're a night owl, the world this film creates is kind of appealing) although the blue gels seem to be reserved for interiors and green outside.  There's a sub-city full of gamblers and drug dealers, nightclubs where people are still singing George Gershwin tunes.  The bitchy Diane (Virginia Hey) drives a futuristic car (there never seems to be any traffic) designed by Giorgio Giugaro (who also designed the shells of several Nikon camera models) and her digital camera is actually a Nikon manual focus 35mm camera with a little box with glowing lights attached over the film rewind crank.  Video CDs are in abundance and the computer graphics are primitive by today's standards but must have seemed state of the art then (I think I was 7 when this was made so I have no idea).

Besides Hey, we've also got Eva Grimaldi as her ex-husband's muse, chauffeur, and bondage toy, the gorgeous Gioia Maria Scola as the Diane's lesbian assistant (she was definitely TOO BEAUTIFUL TO DIE in Dario Piana's sequel to NOTHING UNDERNEATH), a body-building model played by Teagan Clive, and  Carin McDonald as her roommate who pinches her modeling job not knowing that her friend has been murdered by the killer.  Gerard Darmon (DIVA) plays Diane's ex-husband who makes pretentious bondage movies.  Kid Creole (remember him?) plays a bookie.  Dario Parisini plays the hard-boiled cop (not very convincingly) who has carries a police-issued laser.

I first rented the uncut Imperial NTSC tape of this in the nineties and it was quite a discovery for me considering that at the time the American video market's idea of an erotic thriller were those tiresome "overused noir plot with sex scenes" shot-on-film DTV products with titles like ANIMAL INSTINCTS (not actually sure if that one's a film or if the title just sounds like it would be used for an erotic thriller) and quite different from the more recognizable world of NOTHING UNDERNEATH.  I have a couple tapes of this and the Imperial one is in my opinion the best representation in terms of sound and color (and sports a nice cover design).  The Italian tape from Mondadori looks a bit fuzzy.  The Greek tape looks better and it has the original English title (A TASTE FOR FEAR) while the Imperial tape adds OBSESSION and uses the original title as a subtitle.  The Australian tape is cut for an R-rating (Imperial also released an R-rated tape but I haven't seen it).  The only letterboxed release I've seen is the German tape but the film was shot open matte and I think in this case the matting actually hurts the compositions but the German tape comes in a nice clamshell with a photograph of another of Diane's photo shoots that was not used in the film (not even in the end credits montage).

The Italian and German tapes have the Italian credit sequences and the end credits are far more complete than the English ones (which suggest a much smaller crew while the Italian credits have the more conventional "camera operator" "assistant editor" and other below the line credits).  Two of the songs heard in the film must have been written by the composer as the credits don't mention them.  Grace Jones' song "Private Life" and Lou Gramm's "Midnight Blue" are both put to good effect in two of the film's setpieces as is a rendition of Gershwin's "The Man I Love" during the nightclub sequence and over the end credits.

There may have been a Cinevox LP of the soundtrack.  Anyone have a CDR of it?  I also haven't gotten a DVD recorder yet so does anyone have a DVDR of it in their collection?  On another forum, someone suggested that music rights might be the reason this, NOTHING UNDERNEATH (Glora Gaynor and the only good song from that annoying musical CHESS), and TOO BEAUTIFUL TO DIE (Huey Lewis, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, and Toto), have not gotten DVD releases.


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Re: A Taste for Fear/Pathos (1987, Piccio Raffanini)
« Reply #1 on: 31 Aug 2010 - 22:20 »

I saw a VHS copy of this film (Obsession: A Taste For Fear) at a video store that my family rented from when I was a kid, but I of course was too young to pick it up at that time.  I'll always regret not buying it when the store when out of business, as I haven't been able to find it anywhere since then (there are probably torrents and mail-order bootlegs out there, but I'm unfortunately a fan of RS and am wary to buy any sort of bootleg or copy unless I purchase them at conventions). 
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