There comes a time in life where it seems you have seen every single damn giallo ever made. It might not be the truth, because so many of them was made during the 70’s - not including every pseudo-giallo made for TV, part of TV-series or half-giallos mixing with other genres during this time and later on. In reality they never end. But when it comes to the Italian murder mystery on film it’s almost a must with a good, uncut print - subtitled of course in a language you can understand (if you’re not Italian of course) - and suddenly the titles out there ends quickly. So when The Killer Reserved Nine Seats finally arrived on DVD and blu-ray from Camera Obscura it wasn’t only me who felt that tingling sensation of finally being able to watch something I haven’t seen before.
Rick fucker Patrick Davenport (Chris Avram, a Romanian actor who left his country during a film shoot in France and never came back) celebrates his birthday and someone gets the genius idea to walk over a property he owns, a big abandoned theater, to continue the party. BAD IDEA! It doesn’t take long until all of them is grabbing each other by the throat, and the melodrama reach new heights. Everyone wants everyone else something bad, including Patrick’s young wife who just wants to have wild sex with the hunky, cynic painter (played by future sleazebag Howard Ross - if you’ve seen The New York Ripper you know what I mean!). And who is that mysterious man who no one else seems to know? And suddenly the killing starts, one by one - one creative murder after another…
I really liked this one. It belongs to the string of visually very traditional giallos from this time, so don’t expect an extravaganza like the works of Dario Argento, Sergio Martino or Lucio Fulci. The Killer Reserved Nine Seats is pretty standard when it comes to the kills and characters, but manages to create a very cozy atmosphere. The theater itself brings a lot of this, but the script takes some very standard things and makes them quite fun. The drama between the characters is interesting and there’s a few fun twists along the way, especially during the end where I think there’s three of them in a row! That’s a giallo for me!
Don’t expect so much gore or graphic violence either, but except a drawn out sequence when a character gets a nail in the hand, most of the stuff is right outside the frame, but don’t worry, it’s very sadistic and violent, so much at least one of the kills borders to really, really extreme. I like graphic violence in giallos, but it’s not the most important thing. The story, the mystery itself is a lot more important. This one has a good story and some very interesting ideas, toying with clichés and expectations.
There’s so much I would love to discuss with this semi-original giallo, but as you know, everything in this genre is a spoiler if you talk about it - and I don’t want to destroy the experience for you. This is a good, fun, cozy and sleazy giallo and it’s nice to finally see it out on blu in such a wonderful release!