Monday, October 28, 2013

In Hell (DVD Review) - One 7 Movies

France, Italy/1976
Directed By: Nikos Papatakis
Written By: Nikos Papatakis
Starring: Olga Karlatos, Roland Bertin, Phillipe Adrien
Color/99 Minutes/Not Rated
Region FREE

The Film
Galai is the star in an unfinished film by director and neo-revolutionary Hamdias. The film is one centered around the theme of torture and is filled with all sorts of scenes of nasty abuse, often of the sexual variety. The picture is to show the relationship between artist and subject and politics and humans. Hamdias dies in an accident before the picture is finished and obsessed with the notes left for her by her director Galai continues to rehearse the scenes and sets out to complete the film on her own. 

IN HELL aka Gloria Mundi and Tortura, is a film from Greek director Nikos Papatakis and was a comment on the Algerian struggle for independence years earlier, a subject I'm admittedly very ignorant on. The film is, in my opinion, more about the aforementioned relationships. Galai goes to terroristic extremes in her quest to finish this film in which she is the star, a role that Hamdias is accused of filling repeatedly throughout the film. It is a case of an artist's pupil following in the footsteps of her mentor. 

 According to IMDB the film has a runtime of 130 minutes, this DVD presentation clocks in at 99 so if the IMDB is accurate we are missing half an hour of the film which would be a shame because it could really have raised this film above the bar of decent. I don't think all of the goals that Papatakis set out for were accomplished, and I don't think this film is as important as it wants itself to be but it is a weird, exploitative, oddity of the 70s that deserves to be seen, even if for nothing more than what it is on the surface.

The Audio & Video
IN HELL is delivered to DVD from One 7 Movies in a 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer that is rough to say the least. The source material was not kept in good condition and the image suffers from lots of scratches, speckling and noise. The image is soft and colors are dull. There are a couple instances of wobbling as well. That said, while it would be preferable for a better looking picture it is a watchable transfer. Audio fares a bit better with only minimal background noise and though the Italian mono track isn't great it is pretty decent and clear. 

The Extras
The lone feature on this disc is a still poster gallery, otherwise it is barebones. 

The Bottom Line
IN HELL doesn't have a great presentation here but it is here. Either way I'd say this is recommended for its weirdness for those looking for something off the beaten path. 

IN HELL is available HERE

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