Fatal Frames (1996)


Directed by: Al Festa

Written by: Al Festa, Alessandro Monese & Mary Rinaldi


Stefania Stella .... Stefania Stella
Rick Gianasi .... Alex Ritt
Leo Daniel .... Daniel Antonucci
David Warbeck .... Commissioner Bonelli
Ugo Pagliai .... Commissioner Valenti
Alida Valli .... Countess Alessandra Mirafiori
Geoffrey Copleston .... Mr. Fairbrain
Linnea Quigley .... Wendy Williams
Giorgio Albertazzi .... Father
Rossano Brazzi .... Dr. Lucidi
Ciccio Ingrassia .... Beggar
Donald Pleasence .... Professor Robinson

Special Appearance:

Angus Scrimm .... Man in Grey

Release Dates: Fantasporto Film Festival: February, 1996; XVI Fantafestival: June, 1996






A prominent New York music video director named Alex Ritt (Rick Gianasi) travels to Italy to direct a new music video for a pop sensational star named Stefania Stella. However, a blood thristy killer in a dark cloak is killing his women with a machette and videotaping the victims for the police as well as another American named Rebecca (Veronica Logan) in which Alex witnessed with his own eyes but her corpse disappears when he brings the police to the incidents. But the dead bodies keep piling up in the city of Italy.

Alex keeps having nightmares of his victims haunting him as well as when he's awake. He tries to seek help from others to uncover the truth before it's too late as well as detectives and doctors questioning him about the murders making him out to be a suspect and shows arrogant attitude towards this.

Eventually he goes to the aid of another American named Wendy Williams (Linnea Quigley) to help him out on this case but yet she could be the killers next victim and will Alex have to face up to this killer alone???


We have an interesting prologue that involves an older man watching on what looks like a snuff movie done in black and white and a child coming in as it adds some mysterious flavor to the story wthat we see here.
Also we get a nice clear set on an outdoor alleyway with someone ready to be murdered by the killer as this was impressive and entertaining to watch. However the place somewhat looked like a studio but this wasn't poorly set by any means.
We also have an impressive moment with Stefania Stella lowering her sunglasses coming out of a car to introduce herself to people like Alex Ritt at an airport as the moments looked good and strong.
Perfect close up shots on the killers gloves holding a machette as well as preparing on what to do on his next killing spree.
Nicely focused moments on Alex getting aquainted with a dancer named Rebecca and suddenly she acts stand offish until she realises on who he is as this flowed well along with their strong and friendly discussions as the scene was well concentrated while we watch all of this.
Perfectly focused moments on people shooting a music video with Stefania being lifted in the air and some suggested lustful moments occuring while this is happening as this looked great and entertaining like watching an actual music video.
Great moment with a blue light shining on Stefania and Daniel Antonucci discussing about Alex which seemed dark and mysterious to watch this and s=done in a good solid fashion.
There's a perfect dusky lighting set on Alex with a big camera shot on him walking up to a mansion and then great scene's with Rebecca calling after him and running away as well as him chasing after her as this looked strongly powerful and mysterious to watch all of this and colourful too. Certainly very entertaining too and still as well. Great shots on her being slayed with perfect shots on the killer slashing her.
More neat and strange moments when Alex s brought int a mansion so he can try to summon someone up and spot insane moments with what we see on the residents doing there which seems to look artsy and insane too. Plus nice circling shots with him and the others doing a ceremony and perfect settings with candles around them and then we spot what looks like a ghost on someonebut there was no special effects to make this convincing but with the stuff beforehand this was passable.
A great shot with Alex standing at a metal gate calling towards one of the women named Tamara running around the area on the mansion that we spotted the last killing as well as a perfect slaughtering scene on her by the killer in slow motion as well as a good close up shot with the head of the killer revealed wwearing a hat and black silk wrapped around his face which looked cleverly mysterious by not having this maniac revealed.
There's a nice setting involving Professor Robinson, Commissioner Bonelli and Commissioner Valenti having a serious matter in an office about the murders as well as their stern attitudes towards one another which adds great timing to this story.
Another perfect video shoot on Stefania performing her song near a water fall with water being splashed on her and nice slow motion shots on all of this along with good close up shots on her singing. This scene looked superbly done.
A nice dark lustful scene between Alex and Stefania with a navy blue light shining on them and good close up shots.
Perfectly suggestive hauning moment when Alex walks out of his room and into a hallway and then spots some sort of a living dead girl that he spotted murdered creepily claling to him with her hands out at him as this looked quite spooky but not using too much make up or effects which could've done the trick a bit better. Still this was well done. Good lighting shots on all of this.
Greatly intense moment with Alex being pitted against Robinson, Bonelli and Valenti on the unsolved murders and being heavily questioned with peer pressuring moments which looked perfectly intense when he gets aggressive by all of this along with them getting all over him. Adds a nice psychological feel to being a suspect to the murders.
A good shot of Wendy Williams calling down to Alex from a house window telling him some good news. There's also a good echoey sound effect conversation between the two when she explains his hauntings from a book she found about a historical killer as well as a great shot on them looking at the book and talking about it.
Terrific moment with red light shining on Alex going near the water fountain where Stefania did her music video as well as a good slow motion shot on the killer cornering him and stabbing him with the machette as well as good slow motion shots on him falling into the water and then a great close up shot on the killer being revealed as you think to yourself when we watch this that he needs to wake up he's having a nightmare. It was perfectly drawn into the scene!
A great moment on Wendy crying and running up towards Alex in a dark type of room and dying in his arms after being murdered which looked incredibly effective to watch all of this adding more of a murder mystery type of scheme.
Good timing with Stefania and Mr. Fairbrain on an outdoor patio discussing business as this flowed well and looking believeably pleasant.
Perfect aggressions between Mr. Fairbrain and Bonelli with their discussions and negativity towards one another which makes you wonder if a fight will happen that it looked pretty powerful to watch.
Another perfect music video shot involving Stefania in a mansion with lit up torches surrounding her while she's lifted up during her singing as this was perfectly shot.
Great shot on a tower with Alex going to a mansion and perfect cheesy type of thunder and lightning occuring when he enters as well as him running downstairs hearing Stefania evily whispering his name and having a good echoey sound which works in terrifically as it looks very adventureous.
A nice distance shot on a figure that looks like the killer but yet we can tell it's a dummy standing there when we are supposed to be fooled when Alex goes to it and tries to attack.
We spot a perfect vicious scene between Alex and Stefania which looked believeably evil with what goes on between the two of them in the mansion as well as the tauntings towards him on who we may think were the dead victims at first looking like they returned from the dead by making him lose his sanity to tell the truth was extremely superb.
Bottom line is that this is a superb Italian horror flick that works on it's own! Some people that are into our kinds of horror films might not understand an Italian type of horror film as both have different qualities. Made on a good low budget for an independent film and would advise others to check it out as it is also almost like watching a music video at times. A nice plot on someone almost losing it when he tries to know why he's haunted by these murders and trying to escape the madness.

The acting is in fairly good taste. Stefania Stella (Herself) really stood out in her role as an italian superstar singer with nice characteristics and expressions to her part. She drew in nicely with her accent as well as presenting herself in the beginning of the film acting perfectly sharp in her performance as well as showing a nicely mysterious attitude with her seriouness or coldness to her speaking as well as energetic to her aggressions to top it all off. Plus had the perfect moves whenever she was performing in her music videos or singing as she had a great smooth voice for this. Was great at the end of her performance with her evil behavior.
Rick Gianasi (Alex Ritt) as the American music producer was a bit wooden in his part of the film but not terrible. However, he could have picked up the pace a bit. He seemed to just say his lines showing energy but not much characteristics at all. Whenever he goes in a rage or aggressive he seemed to pick it up a bit at times. Also with his crying in the end seemed to look okay as well.
Leo Daniel (Daniel Antonucci) seemed to show off a nice masculine presence into his part of the film as well as having a good clean cut but long haired presence in his role. Shows off a good innocence into his part and seemed to be well alert with how he talks to others and being on the ball. He made his performance worth watching in every aspects as well as doing a great job hollering in pain while being shot and reacting to it believeably too.
David Warbeck (Comissioner Bonelli) played a nice obnoxious one with plenty of energy to his role as he was believeable by acting cocky with his attitude and makes you want to hate him with his dealings towards others. Comes across as a perfect violent or demanding type and has a good loudness to his aggressive motives throughout all that he did here. Defeintely portrayed a perfect bullying type here and had the perfect nasty looks and appeal to his role.
Alida Valli (Countess Alessandra Mirafiori) was a true character actress as the countess of the mansion as she came across very untrustworthy like.
Geoffrey Copleston (Mr. Fairbrain) really knew his stuff portraying the music video director having a good intelligence to his persona as well as a good laid back behavior and nice attitude towards on who he speaks to and was convincing by discussing business which was brought to life. Also shows off a nice sharp attitude as well as acting aggressive whenever he needed to be this way.
Linnea Quigley (Wendy Williams) really delivered in her role here and her best performance in a film (I had to push aside her role as Trash in Return of the Living Dead when I saw her in this) and should've won an award for best supporting actress. She was sharp with her words and comes across strongly when she presents herself. Also does well discussing a historical situation as well as doing a superb job with her painful expressions and reactions when she is supposedly dying after being stabbed with a machette adding great hyped up energy. Plus does well with her creepy and haunting words near the end of her performance acting perfectly cold.
Donald Pleasence (Professor Robinson) in his last role before his death as he shows some nice cringing moments with he=is aggressive attitude and near violent behavior. He for sure shows off a great powerful force of nature within his cold speaking. Didn't let any energy down even if he was ill from dying while doing this flick. However at times you wonder if his voice was overdubbed at times.
Angus Scrimm (Man in Grey) had a cameo in his role but thought I'd mention him as he had a nice gravelly voice within his speaking but however when he reacts crazy or aggressive with his words he seemed a bit cheesy and over the top. His performance seemed to borrow a bit from his Tall Man role in Phantasm while we watch him in his scene.

A man is watching a film of a naked women being tortured with a machette.
There is a topless sex scene by Stefania Stella full breasted but the scene is fairly dusky.

Plenty of graphic violence as a couple of heads are decapitated as well as necks being slashed open and machette's are being sliced through victims' heads as well.
Linnea's ex-husband who is a special effects make up wizard Steve Johnson did the effects for this flick like he did with many other horror films such as A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, Night of the Demons, Pet Semetary II and Brainscan.

The music was composed by who other than writer/director Al Festa with some very interesting keyboard and organ playing plus we hear many chiming sounds as well as good beat type music for some mysterious moments with a near victim occurring while running away and calling for someone as this was incredibly effective and made the scene look dynamic along with some great numbers he wrote for Stefania Stella to perform like "Alibi", "Passion", "Eternal City" and "Desert Flower" as she had lovely vocalising on all of this. Plus alot of good mellow saxophone music on these musical numbers. There's alot of high icy synthesizer music for the terrors unveiling as well as many loud slamming sounds which also sounded suspenseful and effective too. Plus some low budget synthesizer classical playing in many scene's which could've sounded a bit better but not overall terrible.