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on June 20, 2011
It's coming....it's coming...it's the Day Of The Maniac! He's coming to get you! I hereby declare April 24th to be an official holiday which horror fans around the world can enjoy. Let's call it the Day of The Maniac, shall we? Go ahead and mark your calendars now if you will and plan to day the day off from work next year. On this special day, you may only partake of films with the word Maniac. Oh, alright. We'll make an exception here. You may also watch Edwige Fenech films or anything with George Hilton and Ivan Rassimov. Does that sound better?

Around Christmas time, I came across a very interesting article in Horror Hound regarding the old VHS tapes from Super Video. Having once collected obscure videotapes myself, I couldn't help but notice some of the titles which I'd seen through the years. Some of them are not missed & have submerged into the great tape oblivion whereas others have resurfaced on DVD under alternate titles. One particular VHS case entitled Day of the Maniac in this issue caught my eye and I had to track this title immediately. Leave it to Horror Hound as they can entice anyone at anytime to go a killer shopping spree with no great results. Little did I know exactly how hard it was going to be when I began my search for the Day of the Maniac.

After browsing the Internet for awhile, I ran across some valuable information which would help me locate the film. Day of the Maniac may be quite rare as VHS tapes are practically non-existent these days but I was fortunate as the film was released by my beloved Shriek Show under the alternate title All The Colors Of The Dark. It was as if the cinematic heavens were rejoicing at my findings and fate had kinda smiled at me. Wrong. It was out of print and I wasn't about to pay some capitalist on Amazon $50 for a used copy so I had to wait until just a few weeks ago to finally see this masterpiece. Thankfully, there are quite a few copies on Amazon and Ebay now which are under $20 and that's affordable in my book. Buyers note: Snatch this one up immediately as it is rumored to be out of circulation and God only knows when or if this will be granted another DVD release.

Please forgive me in advance as I'm not versed with any of Edwige Fenech's catalog though I've heard the name in conversations across the board for many years now. Sadly, the only film I'd seen with this raven-haired goddess was none other than Eli Roth's Hostel 2 and that's merely a cameo appearance. Although Fenech has aged with beauty and grace, her role is brief and one could almost overlook her presence as the Italian art teacher. Sadly, I had no idea just how beautiful the woman truly is nor did I have a clue as to how many films she'd made through the years though admittedly most were before my time of course.

Jane (Fenech) is plagued with nightmares and can't seem to shake herself of some rather unpleasant thoughts. To make matters even worse, she feels as though something from her past is coming to get her although she can't a place a finger on it. Her fiance Richard (George Hilton) seems to think the nightmares will pass and that vitamins are all she really needs. Although he's a busy man, he remains supportive of Jane and even objects to her sister's (Susan Scott) insistence that Jane visit a psychiatrist. Jane, on the other hand, doesn't feel the vitamins are working and visits the psychiatrist.

Although the well-meaning psychiatrist tries to help Jane with her issues, Jane's nightmare seems to materialize before her very eyes and there doesn't seem to be any answer or reason to his seemingly endless pursuit. The blue-eyed maniac (Ivan Rassimov) from her dreams follows Jane around with a knife or anything that could be construed as a weapon and our dear woman spends a great deal of time running from this creep with nowhere to turn. Realizing that her life is taking a turn for the worst, she confides in a neighbor who seems to think that black magic may ward off the maniac.

Jane proceeds to attend a black mass in hopes of that they can ward off the maniac. One small problem: the devil worshiping clan promises Jane complete freedom yet they are murderers themselves and our blue eyes fiend is one of them. Even more terrifying, Jane can't seem to differentiate between dreams and reality anymore although she obviously knows the cult does exist as they marked her with a tattoo. Not knowing who she can trust or turn to now, Jane contact the psychiatrist one last time but even he may be too late. Or could he be involved in the whole deal?

While certainly comparisons to Roman Polanksi's Rosemary's Baby have been made and even acknowledge by members of the cast/crew, All The Colors of The Dark still remains a fresh and inventive giallo that can stand on it's own. In fact, the similarities between the two films end with the occult theme as both films are completely different in plot structure, pacing, etc. Sergio Martino gives a sly nod to the devil worshipers but Polanksi's well known film but doesn't really steal a page from it per se. When it's all said and done, Martino's moody and stylish thriller is still very much a giallo in the same vein as early Argento or Bava without the use of black gloves.

Fans of gialli will certainly be delighted to get their hands on this now out of print classic.
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on May 28, 2005
This is a great Italian giallo movie. In this film Edwidge Fenech is simply stunning as the often scantily dressed or even nude lead. She plays a woman psychologically disturbed and seemingly stalked by an unknown stranger. In her search for a cure she becomes entangled with black magic rituals and a hidden and unknown past comes back to haunt her. The "tall dark and handsome" George Hilton plays her detached and elusive husband and along with the supporting cast this movie is very well acted throughout. The movie is great to look at with a strong artistic streak running below the surface without ever becoming distracting. You will quickly become aware of the great camera work used in this film. Like many giallo movies, there is a touch of the surreal about this - especially in the opening scene. The film has a good soundtrack in parts, and is particularly enjoyable during the black magic rituals. In my opinion, the plot is engaging, the tempo is consistent and the movie is a joy to look at. The DVD is well presented, the film transfer quality is first rate and looks fresh and vivid. The extras on the DVD are well worth having, with a couple of interviews and a number of trailers for other similar genre films. I would have no hesitation in buying this one - it warrants multiple viewing and it contains a decent bag of extras.
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on August 2, 2005
All the Colors of the Dark is an above average giallo from Sergio Martino, rich with cinematography, music and other familiar trademarks from the giallo mold. The story is intersting, somewhat weird, and original and it always keeps you guessing until the climatic finale. That's one thing these Italians do better than Americans; They don't feel the need to explain everything in such details so that even a 5 year old couldn't get confused.

It's not very bloody at all but it has decent suspense and some great surreal moments. The ending comes as a bit of a surprise and overall this is a well written story. Edwige Fenech is always a joy to watch and George Hilton is reliable as always.

One weird thing though; The audio can be either Italian or English and in some instances in the movie there's quite a bit of difference between what characters say in either the English version or the Italian.
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on November 13, 2008
This movie is not about the typical giallo story from the early seventies.
This thriller is not about a killer , it's a about a satanic cult and the plot around a woman who is being targeted by them. This means that it's far less about killings than about the psychological state of the cults victim. The early seventies were a time of lots of drug crazed cults and gurus too. They clearly never listened to eric burden and the animals classic song:
'year of the guru' which reveals how those who follow such leaders are doomed to be slaves. They want to enslave edwig or worse for there is a sinister purpose behind the cult leaders actions. And the wild pulsating scenes of cult worship are as disturbing as anything every filmed. If you love mystery flicks and not just body count death movies with a solid cast and a super rocking soundtrack then this movie is for you.
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on May 31, 2005
ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK is one of the finest giallo efforts ever made. When watching this, one seriously has to wonder why Sergio Martino is not any better regarded than he is. He's right up there with Mario Bava and Dario Argento in terms of serving up effective gialli! This film is an effective hybrid of BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE and ROSEMARY'S BABY!

Jane (the uber-gorgeous Edwidge French) is haunted by recurring nightmares supposedly stemming from a miscarriage and a car accident two years ago. But unbeknownst to her boyfriend Richard (George Hilton), her psychosis stems from the memory of her mother's murder, and she keeps seeing the killer (Ivan Rassimov) with weird blue eyes everywhere she turns. So on the advice of a new neighbor (Marina Malfatti of SEVEN BLOOD-STAINED ORCHIDS), she attends a Black Sabbath ceremony in hopes of curing herself of these delusions.

To examine the movie further would be totally unfair, since this movie requires as very little foreknowledge as possible. However I will add that there is a great twist toward the end, one that could only be conceived in the giallo world. Of course, the hypnotic beauty of French should be sufficient enough to consider a viewing! And don't forget Bruno Nicolai's gorgeous and haunting music score; it prefigures Goblin's finest music scores!

Once again, Shriek Show continues to outdo themselves in presenting obscurities to the digital medium. The anamorphic widescreen transfer on this film is truly a sight to behold (enhancing French's beauty even)! They include U.S. title sequence, trailer, and radio spots (as THEY'RE COMING TO GET YOU), interviews with Martino and Hilton, and a great photo gallery (WARNING! Watch after the movie, for it is kind of spoilerish). Giallo buffs, consider this a priority purchase!
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VINE VOICEon July 2, 2008
From the title alone, one suspects that "All the Colors of the Dark" is going to be a confusing movie. The heroine Jane (played by giallo queen, Edwige Fenech) is very confused; she can't distinguish between what is fantasy and what is reality. Neither can the viewer. During an interview, the director, Sergio Martino, confessed that his transitions from fantasy to reality were rather crude. I totally agree.

"All the Colors of the Dark" is not a traditional giallo. Definitely not the type Dario Argento would direct. There is not a serial killer disguised in black. However, there is Ivan Rassinov who is stalking Jane. He could've killed her at any time but is playing a cat and mouse game with her. We never know exactly why. Also, this film is more of an occult thriller than a giallo. There's a laughable, silly cult; members do a side-stepping motion while a tall, lanky warlock with long silver nails twirls around, falls on top of Jane, and kisses her with his bloody mouth.

Martino says he was highly influenced by "Rosemary's Baby." In deed, there is a conspiracy of cult members who want Jane to belong to their group; later, they want her dead. They can't make up their mind. The plot is very contrived.

In the United States, distributors marketed "All the Colors of the Dark" as an occult thriller and re-titled it as "They're Coming to Get You." The trailer and radio spot make this film sound more exciting and scarier than it really is.

I thought all of Martino's gialli were masterpieces. How wrong I was. Though it has a stellar cast of who's who of Italian giallo actors, "All the Colors of the Dark" didn't fulfill my giallo needs as did Martino's "Your Vice Is A Locked Door," "The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh," "The Case of the Scorpion's Tail," and "Torso." In fact, I found it rather disappointing.

This movie is recommended for diehard fans of Sergio Martino, Edwige Fenech, and/or George Hilton Please rent before purchasing. I wish I had.
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ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK (aka: DAY OF THE MANIAC) stars the incredibly beautiful Edwige Fenech (YOUR VICE IS A LOCKED ROOM AND ONLY I HAVE THE KEY, THE CASE OF THE BLOODY IRIS) as Jane Harrison, a woman plagued by horrific nightmares after losing her unborn child in a car accident. In addition, Jane begins seeing a sadistic, murdering man from her dreams in real life! Wow, this guy is creepy! Is Jane being stalked by this seemingly supernatural madman, or is she losing her mind? She soon finds herself caught in a web of conspiracy, as a group of satanist-types closes in. ***WARNING: NOTHING CAN POSSIBLY PREPARE YOU FOR THE PSYCHEDELIC, CULT SACRIFICE / INITIATION SEQUENCES!*** Her boyfriend, Richard (George Hilton- THE DEVIL HAS SEVEN FACES, THE CASE OF THE BLOODY IRIS) believes that she's just neurotic. ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK has a terrific atmosphere of paranoia and impending doom. For lovers of 70s occult / devil movies. High marks for originality and weirdness...
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HALL OF FAMEon August 30, 2005
Ahhh, Sergio Martino! Just the sound of his name makes this low budget schlock fan's heart sing with joy. "2019: After the Fall of New York," "Torso," "The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh," "Your Vice is a Locked Door and Only I Have the Key," "Case of the Scorpion's Tail," "Slave of the Cannibal God," "Mannaja, A Man Called Blade," and "Gambling City"--these films and many others come to us from the mind of one of the most prolific Italian low budget directors of the 1970s and 1980s. Martino ought to rank right up there with Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci, and Umberto Lenzi as a man who knew how to entertain audiences. He knew no limits in terms of genre. For example, "Mannaja" is a spaghetti western. "2019: After the Fall of New York" is a massively entertaining example of the Italian post-apocalyptic flicks made to cash in on Carpenter's "Escape From New York" and "The Road Warrior." Martino is likely best known for his gialli contributions, those atmospheric thrillers involving an anonymous but often clad in black murderer, red herrings heaped on red herrings, and beautiful Eurobabes. "All the Colors of the Dark" definitely falls in the giallo genre, with a few significant deviations. Let's get started!

Jane Harrison (Edwige Fenech) is a housewife living in London whose problems are starting to overwhelm her tenuous hold on reality. She's having these odd and unsettling dreams, you see, that are beginning to mirror reality in more ways than one. Her significant other, Richard Steele (George Hilton), chalks up her disturbing nighttime visions as a mere symptom of an operation she underwent some time before to repair damage sustained in a car crash. Jane isn't so sure. For one thing, some creepy looking dude with piercing blue eyes in the dreams follows her around town during her waking hours. This man's presence reeks of danger, although initially he doesn't do much more than stare at her from a distance (considering the incredible beauty of Edwige Fenech, this must happen all the time). It's enough to freak her out, though. In fact, she's so distraught that Jane finally takes her sister Barbara's (Nieves Navarro) advice to go visit a shrink. Dr. Burton (Georges Rigaud) insists Jane has nothing to worry about, that the visions she experiences are leftover traumas caused by the car accident. We know that's not true, for if it was there would be no movie. Something far more sinister than Dr. Burton can imagine is going on, and Jane is right in the center of it all.

Our heroine begins to understand the mysterious web around her when an enigmatic neighbor by the name of Mary Weil (Marina Malfatti) offers a cure for Jane's troubles. Mary takes her new friend to a brooding castle out in the countryside where a group of people, a cult if you will, with decidedly unsavory beliefs and practices fulfill their outrageous rituals. It's difficult to see how these activities could help Harrison overcome her dreams, let alone explain the origins of her visions, and it soon becomes apparent that curing psychological problems isn't the focus of this particular sect. After an initial encounter with this group, Jane's dreams continue unabated. And the chap with the piercing blue eyes, who we soon learn is called Mark Cogan (Ivan Rassimov), not only keeps showing up but also makes actual contact with our lovely protagonist. Does this guy have something to do with the disappearance of Mary Weil? Is he using that knife he treats with tender loving care? Whatever the case, his fascination with Jane coupled with increasingly bizarre encounters with the cult at the castle soon reduces her to a frazzled wreck. Harrison doesn't even know if she can trust Richard, her sister Barbara, or Dr. Dugan anymore. Living in a giallo presents myriad difficulties, that's for sure.

And "All the Colors of the Dark" is a giallo even though many of the key elements are missing. No black-gloved killer inhabits the film, and the numerous red herrings we've come to expect of the genre don't really exist here either--at least not in the way "Deep Red," Tenebre," or "Don't Torture a Duckling" defines them. Martino's film does proffer the dreamy atmosphere, the clever camera techniques, and the beautiful women one comes to expect from this type of thriller. And of course it's got Edwige Fenech playing the weeping and fractured protagonist. If you're not familiar with this marvelous European actress, you need to see "All the Colors of the Dark" or one of her other films right away. She's a gorgeous, raven-haired beauty with an ethereal visage one cannot look at without thinking of an angel. Fenech went on to make a bunch of giallo flicks, usually opposite Hilton, and she's the definite draw in this movie. I'm happy to see Fenech as the star because several of the other elements of the movie are weak. There's little gore aside from the occasional splotch of blood, and the plot isn't easy to follow for most of the film's runtime. Martino does wrap up most of the threads during the conclusion, but questions remain. "All the Colors of the Dark" is still a lot of fun, though.

Extras on this Shriek Show disc include three trailers for the film (one of them under the alternate title "They're Coming to Get You"), a lengthy photo and poster gallery, interviews with Martino and Hilton, a couple of radio spots, and alternate opening and closing credit sequences. The usual four pack of Shriek Show trailers--in this case "Slaughter Hotel," "Nightmares Come at Night," "2019: After the Fall of New York," and "Syndicate Sadists"--completes the supplements. I heartily recommend this Martino film to viewers, but I'm personally more excited about seeing his other giallo films on disc in the near future. Those movies have Edwige in them too!
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on November 8, 2004
This is a visually sumptuous Italian thriller that has little in the way of gore, but enough style and cinematic virtuosity that comparisons to the great works of Dario Argento and even Mario Bava could easily be drawn. As with films of this ilk, the plot, dialogue and characterizations are the weak spots, however, the film has enough imagination and grandiose imagery to make up for any shortcomings. That being said, one last minor quibble I had was with the music used during a satanic mass scene - it seemed inappropriate, and for me, it ultimately undermined what was supposed to be a pivotal moment in the film. Thankfully, as a whole, the rest of the score is more than serviceable, and particularly effective in a couple of scenes. The cinematography is georgeous, and probably the one aspect of the film which I enjoyed most. Along with this, the opening dream sequence is a creepy stunner and another highlight in the film. This is easily one of the best films I've seen released by Shriek Show. The overall presentation is quite good, with a nice widescreen transfer and the option of either an English dubbed soundtrack, or an Italiano soundtrack with English subs. So, if you're a fan of Italian horror films "All the Colors of the Dark" is certainly a film worth adding to your collection.
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on December 19, 2004
This is a decent, relatively involving giallo (stylish Italian murder mystery) from 1972 that is somewhat disappointing due to its lack of thrills. And let's face it thrills are what you watch a giallo for. It's fairly well done, has a solid amount of bizarre plot twists but a little more gore would have brought this up another star. As it is, if you're familiar with the genre it's okay but if you're not I'd suggest going with Mario Bava's seminal "Blood and Black Lace" or Dario Argento's "The Bird with the Crystal Plummage".
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