Thursday, November 11, 2010

Honourable Mentions: Anemia

Okay, I admit it; this Italian flick from 1986 (directed by Alberto Abruzzese and Achille Pisanti) utterly defeated me. I like to think of myself as fairly intelligent but if there was an underlying meaning to this it lost me. There is, vaguely, a vampiric aspect and I’ll go into it soon enough. But, first…

We see a man, later named as Umberto (Hanns Zuschler), in a curio shop. He talks to the owner and makes eye contact with a woman at the back of the shop. His attention returns to the shop owner and then he realises she is gone – but the shop owner never saw her. He leaves the shop, carrying a parcel, obviously looking for her. He goes under a bridge and calls for Marcella (Gioia Scola). Night falls and he walks from the bridge, leaving the parcel and goes in a theatre. He looks to the audience already seated and is clearly scared, he stumbles and falls. He is helped to a chair and asks the man if he has seen a parcel. He leaves, goes back to the bridge, the parcel is gone and we see him sat in his bathroom – roll credits.

sauce at mouth
If you think any of that will later be explained, you are sorely mistaken. Anyway, it turns out that he is a politician for the Communist Party and, as things go along, we discover that she was with journalists when he was interviewed and they ended up having a love affair. However, something really odd is going on with Umberto. Every time he eats something or sees something that reminds him of blood he freaks out. Get raspberry source on his mouth – freak out. Cut a rare steak – freak out. It appears that he has hereditary anaemia.

father with stake
He travels to his father’s old house, discovers a hidden cellar and reads a diary found within. In flashback form we see the father evidentially going nuts. We see him open the grave of his (recently drowned) housekeeper and stake her and we see him open the grave of an erstwhile friend and start shaking the corpse. It appears he thinks that the housekeeper, at least, was a vampire.

Gioia Scola as Marcella
Umberto and Marcella go away and there is a murder of the guest house owner. When Marcella leans out of a window and gets a drop of blood on her breast Umberto licks it and then appears to bite – which is where the film ends. What had I just seen? I can’t honestly say, I will admit it was a vhs and the quality of the recording was poor but even so I should have had some sort of clue as to what the Hell was going on. Vampiric moments mean that I’ll give this a mention but my head hurts. The imdb page is here.



Anonymous said...

"Anemia" was inspired by the Alberto Abruzzese's novel.The book was considered a political take on the horror genre.This movie in Italy is rare,it was transmissed in television only one time,in the first 90's.(And never reversed on VHS)If you are interested in italian writers that wrote on vampires i have few suggestions:
-"Ultimi vampiri" and "Ho freddo"
by Gianfranco Manfredi.
-"Il 18° vampiro" by Claudio
-"Dampyr" a comic-book written by
Mauro Boselli.
P.S. On the web i've found a web-comic on the the first chapter of "Varney".The adress is
Il vampirologo che ride

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Many, many thanks for that - the film left me befuddled - I have to admit - but I am interested in the books you mention. Unfortunately, a quick scan doesn't reveal english translations (bar Dampyr, which I have just ordered book 1). If you know of any I'd appreciate it.

Many thanks for the Varney link also.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Adendum - tried the link and it didn't work but a google found this link: assuming it is the same comic refered to

Anonymous said...

Yes it's the same comics.I don't know if there are foreign editions of the three italians books,but if in future someone will publish a english edition i'll signal to you.
Il vampirologo che ride