Blu-ray Review: Abrakadabra (2018)

July 22, 2020

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

A magician (German Baudino) finds himself at the mercy of a sadistic killer in Luciano Onetti and Nicolás Onetti’s (aided and abetted by co-writer/cinematographer Carlos Goitia) love letter to ’70s giallo flicks; Abrakadabra… one of the debut offerings from Cauldron Films, and what a debut it is cats n’ creeps!

Now if the names of those two dudes up yonder sound familiar, they are the ones responsible for two other giallo-style flicks; 2013’s Sonno Profondo and 2015’s Francesca… and as they did with those flicks, they attempt to not merely homage the genre, the seek to replicate it 110% in Abrakadabra!

To that end the screen is filled to bursting with what a giallo fan would expect, namely: bizarre fashions, outre set dressing (dolls, puppets, and more seek to unnerve the viewer), strange camera placement, a dash of kinky sex and gore, a painterly use of color and shadow… hell, they even make the film look as though the film stock has degraded over the decades.

Additionally the score, courtesy of maestro Luciano Onetti… yup, this dude is a truly hands on type, is absolutely pitch perfect and filled with cues that are both funky and freaky, just like we love ’em! I should also interject that the soundtrack is included with this release on a separate CD!

But while all of the aforementioned ghoulish goodness goes a long way to making this fright flick faux-authentic, the real sticking of the landing comes in the form of the actors themselves. Instead of taking your normal everyday model-lookin’ types and giving them some bellbottoms and shitty wigs, the Onetti’s have assembled actors that naturally look like they’d be in a giallo; all interesting faces and unconventional beauty, and that is a wickedly wonderful thing indeed boils n’ ghouls!

One area the film differs from giallo’s is in it’s mega-lean runtime. Abrakadabra runs a tight sixty-nine minutes which keeps the grizzly goings-on movin’ at a breakneck pace, and creates a rather breathless ambiance that I lapped up with a sinister spoon!

Along with all of the awesome provided by the feature presentation, there are a few bonuses on this Blu-ray as well including a look behind-the-scenes (which after viewing the feature is almost jarring to see how modern things looked on set as opposed to the final result), the film’s trailer, and that soundtrack I mentioned up yonder. Also for you collector cats, this baby comes in one of those nice slipcovers that I know folks like to hold onto.

If you adore giallo pics, this one is a must own, and one hell of a strong start to Cauldron Film’s catalog!




You can pick up your own copy of Abrakadabra right here!


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