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Tragic Ceremony

1 rating: 5.0
A movie directed by Riccardo Freda

Studio: Mpi Home Video Release Date: 01/29/2008 Run time: 87 minutes Rating: Nr

Tags: Movie
Director: Riccardo Freda
1 review about Tragic Ceremony

The pearl necklace, a dune buggy & hippies. Enter: Tragic Ceremony

  • Aug 3, 2009
This is one interesting little piece of cinema. Made in 1972 (I believe) "Tragic Ceremony" is quite a disturbing film. The movie is about four young adults in the 1970s or as they were formerly labeled "hippies". The lone female of group is Camille Keaton of the cult classic "I Spit on Your Grave".

The movie opens with the quartet on rather large sailboat enjoying a lovely summer afternoon. Then these four young adults end up riding around in a dune buggy that just can't seem to hold a tank of gas. As soon as an ominous rain storm comes (aren't all rain storms ominous in these types of movies?) our youngsters take shelter in an old mansion.

Once in the mansion, Camille Keaton's character Jane is separated from the boys, via the dubious proprietors. The fellows are given their own area to dwell in, since the proprietors are being so kind to let these "kids" spend the night out of the rain. However, after a while these fellows feel something isn't right and search for Jane. Once they find Jane they detect she is part of a "Tragic Ceremony", hence the title of the film. Well I don't want to give the entire plot of this movie away, albeit it isn't the most complex story in the world and my description thus far as been paraphrased. Not to mention my omission of the McGuffin that is the pearl necklace.

This movie appears that it would be a standard Giallo (Italian mystery/thriller), yet "Tragic Ceremony" is a gothic horror movie at its best. I must confess that some of the angles, lighting and situations in this movie were very eerie and creepy. The scene where Jane is walking down a staircase with only candlelight guiding her was a very spooky occurrence. Even when the movie was over, I was mulling over what I had witnessed.

In contrast, there were some parts that I found rather, dare I say humorous. Aspects of the "Tragic Ceremony" were sort of funny. Things like body parts and large quantities of blood flying around induced and enticed my warped sense of humor. Nevertheless, this gave the movie much charm.

Dark Sky has done a good job bringing this movie to DVD. The picture is clear, as is the sound. However, it must be appreciated that this is an Italian horror movie. Therefore, the original dialect has been left. What does that mean? It translates that this movie must be watched with English subtitles. There is no dubbing in this movie. So unless you understand Italian, the subtitles are your only way to watch this film. I have watched my fair share of subtitled films and watching this flick with subtitles didn't bother me. Again, it added charm to the film.

The DVD also features the trailer/preview for "Tragic Ceremony", which I suggest watching AFTER you watch the movie. The trailer/preview pretty much shows all the best parts of the film while it simultaneously gives much of the story away. There is also an interview with Camille Keaton that was done rather recently. She speaks about some of her acting history and shares some stories about her days making movies. I found this to be really interesting and I must confess that Ms. Keaton is still a very attractive woman.

So if you are in the mood for an obscure and uncanny foreign horror film that is saturated with 70s ethos, then do yourself a favor and watch "Tragic Ceremony".

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