When it comes to cult Italian horror films, a few notorious names instantly spring to mind. From Lucio Fulci to Ruggero Deodato, Dario Argento and Mario Bava; there’s no doubt that these directors are some of the best names in cult Italian cinema. But with Shameless Screen Entertainment’s upcoming release of one of the greatest and most atmospheric gialli, The House With Laughing Windows, what better time than now, to look at the man responsible for this eerie thriller; Pupi Avati. Having directed over 40 films and television show, his career has spanned many genres from buddy comedies and even a musical, but he’ll always be best-known for his gripping horror films!

His film career kicked off instantly with a  little horror film titled Balsamus l’uomo di Satana (AKA. Blood Relations – The Man Of Satan). With the tagline ‘Grotesque ‘Bordello’ of Nightmares!’ and it’s surreal, twisted nature, you’d be mistaken for thinking Pupi Avati’s future would be gushing with blood, gore and gruel. However, his entries in the horror genre have been low on guts, but high on tension!

In 1976, Avati created his masterpiece. The House With The Laughing Windows takes the giallo genre (which was beginning to fade) into frightening new lands. What can be described as Don’t Look Now meets Fulci’s Don’t Torture A Duckling, this giallo  is set away from the hussle-bustle swinging cities and deliberately subverts the gratuitous nudity and violence that this ‘genre’ had become known for. Instead, we’re treated to a Gothically stylistic rural thriller, drenched and entombed in an eerie atmosphere, taking reference from the best of Mario Bava.

His next cult success came six years later with the bizarre zombie film, Zeder. Dipping his toes into the genre, Avati’s surreal, mesmeric fingerprints can be seen stamped all over this movie. While Italian cinema was bombarded with throat-rippings, flesh-eating and shotgun blasts to the face in the hugely popular zombie boom, once again Avati gives us something much more refined. This chiller ditches the gore for a moody, dark and, again, atmospheric classic.

Since these two incredible movies, Pupi Avati has dabbled with the horror genre with very successful results. In the mid-90s, his film The Arcane Encounter proved once again his talent, with Guillermo del Toro being one of it’s biggest fans!

But don’t be fooled into thinking that Avati doesn’t have a sleazy side. Whilst his directed films may be classy, some of the screenplays he’s written are anything but! Helping to pen Lamberto Bava’s first movie, Macabre, Avati is also responsible for writing the super controversial Salo!

Shameless Screen Entertainment’s THE HOUSE WITH LAUGHING WINDOWS is out Monday 19th November. Pre-order yours here!


Pre-order this sleazy cult throwback to the 80's and beyond here!

Come with us now on a journey back through time and space…to the world of the format wars!

There’s not long left until the release of  Shameless Screen Entertainment’s Pop Erotica Fest box set (containing such sleaze-tastic films as Venus In Furs, The Frightened Woman and Baba Yaga) which is designed as a throwback to the ‘good’ (?) old days of home video. So, what better time than now to take a look at the story behind the obsolete format that hinders on the edges of fading memories in a fleeting moment of time, never to be relived again; the V2000.

Back in a time not too long ago, when shoulder pads and big hair ruled the earth, there was a furious battle taking place across the land. A vicious combat that pited several teams against one another, fighting to the death. Very much like the recent DVD vs. Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD, a bloody battleground was fought, placing such formats as the VHS, Videodisc, BETA, VCR and the V2000 head to head.  It was a very crowded scene!

Ad from the Daily Mirror, July 13, 1981

Back in early 1980, two leaders of home entertainment, Phillips and Grundig joined together to create the ultimate movie recording machine…or so they thought. Also known as the Video 2000, VCC and, to give it it’s full name, Video Compact Cassette, the V2000 blew the other formats clean out of the water with its impressive recording space. Very much like an audio cassette, the V2000 boasted the ability of recording up to 4 hours on each side! Over the following years, this increased to a whopping 8 hours per side . This was a huge advantage over the (much more attractive) videodisc which could only hold up to an hour, meaning you’d have to manually turn it over half way through the film!  Unfortunately, the V2000′s power quickly disappeared after being pummeled into the ground of no return by the popular VHS and Betamax which ruled the roost of 80s entertainment.

Although these are now a forgotten casualty of the great format wars of the 1980s, they are still fondly remembered off… in a rose-tinted and rather nerdy sort of way.

Check out this great advertisement for the V2000 below for a flashback in time -

“The time has come for a company to create a more sophisticated system. The time is now” Or maybe not….

Celebrate the nostalgic with the super trashy and oh so sleazy, Pop Erotica Fest Box Set by pre-ordering your copy today. Head here for the DVD’s specs.

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