The Editor

The Editor
The Editor

Directors: Adam Brooks, Matthew Kennedy

Writers: Adam Brooks, Matthew Kennedy, Conor Sweeney

Cast: Adam Brooks, Matthew Kennedy, Paz de le Huerta, Udo Kier, Laurence R. Harvey

Canada 2014

102 mins

***** out of *****

The Editor is not Italian, it is Canadian, the Empire’s Dominion of Official Multi-Culturalism. Better yet, it’s from Winnipeg and produced by the crazed post-modernist prairie collective Astron-6 (Manborg, Father’s Day). Here’s a film in which you’ll relive, beyond your wildest dreams, those works that scorched silver screens the world over during those lazy, hazy, summer days of giallo.

But, be prepared! The Editor is no mere copycat, homage and/or parody – well, it is all three, but more than that, directors Adam Brooks and Matthew Kennedy have done the impossible by creating a film that holds its own with the greatest gialli of all time. It’s laugh-out-loud funny, grotesquely gory and viciously violent. Though it draws inspiration from Argento, Fulci, Bava, et al, the movie is so original, you’ll be weeping buckets of joy because finally someone has managed to mix-master the giallo elements and serve up a delicious platter of post-modern pasta du cinema that harkens back to simpler, bloodier and nastier times in a contemporary package.

Bear witness to the following exchange:

BLONDE STUD: So where were you on the night of the murder?

BLONDE BABE: I was at home washing my hair and shaving my pussy.

This should be enough to rest my case, but read on.

The picture’s deceptively simple plot involves Rey Ciso (Adam Brooks, with the greatest Franco Nero moustache since Franco Nero), a once prominent film editor who accidentally chopped four fingers off and is now forced to cut with one hand. Working on a giallo, our title hero becomes the prime suspect in a series of brutal murders perpetrated upon the film’s cast wherein all the victims have had four of their fingers chopped off. To complicate matters, Rey has fallen head over heels for his beautiful, young assistant editor whilst locked into an unhappy marriage with a sexy, but spiteful has-been actress (Paz de le Huerta), a harping shrew openly cuckolding Rey. When she admits to having eyes for one of the lead actors in the film Rey is editing, our hero quips, ‘What would you do if he died?’ Wifey is outraged and responds:

‘I would cry. I would cry. I would cry, cry, cry, cry, cry, cry, cry, cry,’ and then adds, ‘I would cry. I would. I would never, ever, ever stop crying, you stupid cripple!’

Again, this should be enough to rest my case, but read on.

Detective Peter Porfiry (Matthew Kennedy, also sporting a Nero ‘stache) is hell-bent on finding the killer. He’s a lusty swordsman with a penchant for slapping his eager women on the face when they talk back. He dogs poor Rey at every step, which is not the ideal situation since he has to keep editing around all the actors who keep getting murdered. As bodies pile up, Porfiry slaps together a brilliant undercover idea and gets his junior detective (Brent Neale, star of Guy Maddin’s Careful) onto the film as the editor. Hapless Rey is replaced by an Italian version of The Beverly Hillbillies’ Jethro Beaudine. The producer tries to let Rey go graciously. ‘Honestly Ray,’ he says, ‘I thought it would be fun to have a cripple around, but I was dead wrong.’

The Editor has all the makings of a horror classic. The writing is delightfully mordant, the cinematography captures all the near-fluorescent colours of gialli, the special effects are outstanding (and wonderfully over-the-top), and the musical score is a marvel of aurally rapturous 70s/80s-styled sleaze. Amongst a great cast of astonishing thespians delivering spot-on work (including the gorgeous Tristan Risk from American Mary), Udo Kier pops in for a hilarious ‘howdy-doo’ as a demented psychiatrist.

The Editor is probably the coolest film you’ll see this year and one you’ll want to partake of again and again and yet again. Cult classics never die. They just get better and better.

This review is part of our TIFF 2014 coverage.

Greg Klymkiw

Watch the trailer: