Editor, The (Blu-ray)


The EditorStarring Adam Brooks, Matthew Kennedy, Udo Kier, Paz de la Huerta

Directed by Adam Brooks & Matthew Kennedy

Distributed by Scream Factory

After beginning in the early ‘60s, exploding in the ‘70s, and coasting through the ‘80s, there was a precipitous drop in the number of Italian giallo pictures being released thereafter. The only director keeping the movement afloat was Dario Argento, the man responsible for some of the greatest Italian horror films ever made, and if you’re familiar with his output post-‘90s then you are likely aware his efforts did little to bolster the sagging subgenre. Recently, however, filmmakers have begun to produce pictures heavily influenced by those seminal works of the ‘70s. While some have made attempts to slavishly replicate their influences – for example, Amer (2009) and The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears (2013) – one film has chosen to veer off into parody territory: The Editor (2014). Put together by a trio of guys from Canada, The Editor is a faithful production that employs all of the trademark techniques and trappings of giallo, while at the same time skewering some of the more outlandish aspects of those pictures. The film perfectly imitates the directorial flourishes of Argento, Mario Bava, and Lucio Fulci to such a fantastic degree that it made me wish the humor had been dialed down a bit; it prevents a good film from being great.

Rey Ciso (Adam Brooks) used to be a giant in the world of film editing, but when an accident left his right hand minus four fingers the only work he’s now able to get is cutting low-budget horror pictures. Any respect he once commanded is now gone, including from his wife, Josephine (Paz de la Huerta), who has fallen on equally hard times. She used to be one of the hottest actresses in Italy, now she’s just a chain-smoking has-been. Rey finds himself at the center of controversy when a murderer begins gruesomely dispatching those involved with the film he’s currently editing, with the killer leaving a damning calling card: cutting the fingers off his victims’ right hands. On the case is Detective Porfiry (Matthew Kennedy), a wily cop who sees Rey as the prime suspect, although with this being a giallo, viewers should be aware that nearly everyone is a suspect; red herrings are a staple of these films, after all. As the bodies bloodily pile up, and the overt eroticism reaches incredible heights, Rey finds himself in a game of cat-and-mouse with a killer who delights in taunting the disrespected editing legend.

There’s a very fine line to stride when making a parody that also works as an actual film because, should the comedy be too absurd, the quality of the film suffers. So much of what Brooks and Kennedy – who in addition to starring in the film also wrote and directed it – have done here is perfect – the Bava-esque lighting choices, the gloved killer POV shots ripped directly from Argento, the ocular torture and blinded-white eyes of Fulci. “The Editor” is a wonderful amalgamation of all the giallo staples, done to perfection.

Then there’s the comedy. Some of it – like the woman whose eyes go white with blindness after seeing a victim; or the actors whose mouths frequently don’t match their words (a love letter to bad dubbing) – works well. But there are ridiculous moments that go too far over the top, and those took me out of the movie. Without nitpicking specifics, it’s simply an overall tone that permeates certain moments and turns them into something more akin to a Zucker & Abrams picture. Had the film toned down these moments, the movie could have stood on its own as a legit giallo while also slyly lampooning some of the subgenres more ludicrous facets.

There is a hesitation to condemn some of the film’s deficiencies because, being that this is a parody, anything that is “wrong” can simply be chalked up to giallo adherence. The dubbing is often poor. The story is convoluted. Editing is sometimes choppy. The second act drags. And the ending is confounding. These “problems” are, of course, endemic to nearly every giallo out there – even the celebrated ones. In the spirit of authenticity everything must be intentional, even if it comes at the expense of tightening up the film. What Brooks and Kennedy were able to accomplish with $150,000 and a truckload of ambition is impressive, and while not everything in “The Editor” worked for me enough of it is done so damn well it’s impossible not to recommend it to giallo fans.

In keeping with the retro aesthetic, the film’s 2.35:1 1080p picture is not entirely pristine and slick; however, for the majority of the runtime the image is exceedingly crisp and detailed. Colors are richly saturated, sometimes too much so (intentionally), and there are lots of scenes using blue or red gels. There are some minor compression issues in regard to black levels, which sometimes look a little hazy. Flashback and film-within-the-film footage usually looks scratchy and rough. As a whole, though, this is a beautiful image, replete with wild colors and practically dripping off the screen.

The lossless English DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround sound track capably handles the film’s moody, synth-driven score composed by a roster of acclaimed talent that includes Claudio Simonetti. Dialogue is delivered clearly, even when the mouths are intentionally out of synch with the words. Rear speaker assistance is minimal, though the front end pumps out enough of a dynamic experience that can be overlooked. An English DTS-HD MA 2.0 stereo track is also included. Subtitles are available in English.

The audio commentary features Adam Brooks, Conor Sweeney and Matt Kennedy (all of whom wear multiple hats here) delivering a lively, energetic track full of actor backgrounds, production history, location shooting and just about anything else you might want to know.

“Making Movies Used to be Fun” – This incredibly comprehensive making-of features interviews with all of the film’s principals and shows off lots of behind-the-scenes footage including much of the glorious FX work.

“Hook Lab Interview”, “Brett Parson Poster Interview” and an “Astron-6 Film Festival Introduction” are all tongue in cheek pieces poking fun at the film’s retro vibe.

A handful of deleted scenes (in HD) are also included, as well as a DVD copy of the film.

Special Features:

  • Audio Commentary with Adam Brooks, Conor Sweeney and Matt Kennedy
  • ”Making Movies Used To Be Fun” Documentary
  • Music and Poster Featurettes
  • Astron-6 Film Festival Introduction
  • Deleted Scenes

  • The Editor
  • Special Features
User Rating 2.78 (9 votes)


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