Il mostro di Venezia (1966)

Italy, 1966
83m, 2293 metres
35mm film, black and white
mono, Italian

An Italian horror film directed by Dino Tavella.

Plot Summary

In Venice a psychopathic killer is embalming beautiful women and putting them on display in his own private gallery.

Credits

Crew
Director: Dino Tavella
Gondola Film
Producer: Christian Marvel
Production Manager: Attilio Tosato
Script: Dino Tavella, G. Muretta
Director of Photography: Mario Parapetti
Music: Marcello Gigante
Art Director: Giuseppe Ranieri

Cast
Maureen Lidgard Brown
Gin Mart [real name: Luigi Martocci] (Andrea)
Luciano Gasper
Anita Todesco
Alcide Gazzotto
Alba Brotto
Elmo Caruso
Viki Del Castillo
Carlo Russo
Antonio Grossi
Jack Judd
Paola Vaccari
Maria Rosa Vizzina
Gaetano Dell’Era
Pietro Walter
Francesco Bagarrini
Roberto Contero

Alternative Titles

The Embalmer – USA, UK
The Monster of Venice
– English language title

Press

1967
Kinematograph Weekly 25 November 1967 p.17
This is rather a second-rate thriller with a touch of the horrific in the final reel. A fairly successful effort has been made to lay a few red herrings to hold interest. […] This is, in all respects, an unpretentious thriller. The idea of a woman investigating a dungeon by candlelight where known horrors exist is quite preposterous, as are the simple efforts of the man who is styled an embalmer. The man’s wearing of a skull-like mask and the kidnapping of the girls are the sum total of its modest thrills. Acting is adequate, the photography fair and the dubbing good. – from a review by Graham Clarke

1972
Monthly Film Bulletin no.457 (February 1972) pp.33-34
It’s hard to tell from this dubbed and extensively mutilated print (less than two thirds the length of the original) just how director Dino Tavella treated this macabre murder mystery. There are hints in what is left of the script that the killer was intended rather more as an extreme species of aesthete than as a classic, sex-obsessed, horror-film psychopath; and despite the gothic horror of the finale, which has the mad embalmer cavorting round the underwater crypt in monk’s habit and skull mask, one gets the impression that the overall treatment was probably quite downbeat. Certainly the emphasis of the embalming sequences is far from surgical, with the female corpses all demurely draped. In the circumstances, it’s intriguing but particularly futile to wonder what Mario Bava might have made of such material. – from a review by Kenneth Thompson

References

Periodicals

  • The Daily Cinema no.9452 (27 November 1967) p.4 – review
  • Kine Weekly no.3137 (25 November 1967) p.17 – credits, synopsis, review (by Graham Clarke)
  • Monthly Film Bulletin no.457 (February 1972) (UK) pp.33-34 – credits, synopsis, review (by Kenneth Thompson)

Books

  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.172
  • Euro Gothic: Classics of Continental Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.159, 160
  • Feature Films, 1960-1969: A Filmography of English-language and Major Foreign-language United States Releases by Harris M. Lentz III p.123
  • Italian Horror Films of the 1960s: A Critical Catalog of 62 Chillers by Lawrence McCallum pp.68-71 – illustrated synopsis, credits, review
  • Reference Guide to Fantastic Films by Walt Lee p.121 – credits
  • Serial Killer Cinema: An Analytical Filmography by Robert Cetti pp.145-146
  • Trashfiend: Disposable Horror Fare of the 1960s & 1970s Volume One by Scott Stine pp.38-40 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review