Gianfranco Giagni is a wasted talent. He made this classic Giallo back inn ’88 and has hardly made a film since. It’s a crime as this little movie is full of creativity and vision and could easily be mistaken as the final part of the Three Mothers Trilogy. Saying that, although he has emulated Argento in style and distinct use of colour lighting, the film is left looking shockingly 80’s which is always a bad thing.
Our protagonist, Alan (Roland Wybenga) is a translator of ancient languages. He also has a phobia of spiders. After being assigned to a project in Hungary, to investigate an old inscribed tablet, he encounters a host of weird characters and a secret cult of the spider. It’s slow building movie as various characters reveal themselves as friend or foe which leaves the view intrigued and expectant and is rewarded by a mighty climax which really has to be seen to be believed, care of Italian effects god, Sergio Stivaletti.
Wybenga, although talented and obviously would have looked the part in his day, for me does not do this film justice. The rest of the cast are unquestionably good. It’s a tribute to the crafted movie that it’s possible to see past the 80’s vibe and enjoy this lesser known masterpiece.