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1971, AGFA, 112 min, Italy/France/West Germany, Dir: Dario Argento

This second entry in Dario Argento’s “Animal Trilogy” found the young talent further refining his distinctive style and cementing his reputation as master of the giallo. When a break-in occurs at a secretive genetics institute, a blind puzzle-maker (Karl Malden) overhears an attempt to blackmail an institute scientist shortly before the robbery; he teams up with intrepid reporter Carlo (James Franciscus) to crack the case. Soon the bodies pile up, and the two amateur sleuths find their own lives at risk. Worse still, the puzzle-maker’s niece (Cinzia De Carolis) is in the killer’s sights. Featuring another nerve-jangling score by the great Ennio Morricone, THE CAT O’ NINE TAILS remains one of Argento’s most suspenseful and underrated films.

1989, 88 min, Dir: Luigi Cozzi

The devil isn’t fiddling around with this one! Director Luigi Cozzi (CONTAMINATION, HERCULES) opens the gates of hell with this blast of supernatural heavy-metal horror. When an all-girl rock group uses an infamous piece of sheet music written by Paganini for their new album, they unknowingly activate a portal to the underworld and find themselves trapped. Co-written by and starring Daria Nicolodi (DEEP RED) and featuring a guest appearance by Donald Pleasance.

1983, Park Circus/MGM, 101 min, USA/Italy, Dir: Luigi Cozzi

This way-out Italian-made take on Greek mythology stars Lou Ferrigno, aka TV’s “The Incredible Hulk,” as the strongest man on Earth. To save his beloved princess, Hercules must defeat a wizard (William Berger) bent on world conquest. Among the obstacles thrown in his path are bears and stop-motion animated robots. Sybil Danning costars in this Golan-Globus cult favorite.

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