Heavy Metal horror films, been there done that. Now violin horror, well that’s a whole different level of insanity. Yes, during the mid to late 80’s there was a rash of horror films with music being the backdrop. Evil demon Satanic music that was fueled by the fire of the Satanic Panic outbreak that gripped that nation at the time. Films like Trick or Treat, Black Roses, Hard Rock Zombies and more came out all featuring the backdrop of that evil heavy metal hairband music. Well over in Italy Luigi Cozzi decided to forgo the Heavy Metal route and use a truly terrifying form of music as his backdrop, the violin.
The Paganini Horror is the tale of a cursed piece of sheet music written by Niccolo Paganini. A violinist who drove the audiences wild with his music. He was the Rolling Stones of violin music. He also murdered his wife and made a deal with the devil to get so popular. Well when the film begins he’s long dead, and we are introduced to Kate, she’s the lead singer for her rock band and they are in desperate need of a hit. Unable to come up with anything her drummer goes to buy an unreleased piece of music from a crazy old man (Donald Pleasance)that was written by Paganini. When there producer learns the backstory about Paganini she gets a great idea to shoot a video at La Casa Di Sol, which is an old murder house where Paganini killed his wife, call the song Paganini Horror and have a horror movie director film it. Turns out this piece is cursed and when the band begins being stalked by golden masked figure complete with a violin switchblade in this old evil haunted house.
Stabbings, electrocutions, satanic references, you name it, this film has got it. Sadly it also had a lot of horrible acting which makes it imposable to care about any character. But that’s ok because I would rather cheer on the Phantom of the Opera guy with the killer violin. If you like blood then you will have it here. If you like Italian Horror you will like this as it tries its hardest to channel Dario Argento.
A long lost film that’s been hard to find in good quality for years has now been given the Severin treatment and let me tell you it looks great. This transfer is as clean as can be. All the colors are crisp and clear and the sound, especially the metal, pop, classic style score just bellows through your speakers. Severin just keeps doing such amazing work they have it down to a sweet science at this point. The cover art is fantastic as well. And like in their other releases they spared no expense in special features.
Play It Again Paganini: Interview with Director Luigi Cozzi
The Devil’s Music: Interview with Actor Pietro Genuardi
Deleted Scenes and Alternate Ending
BONUS: CD Soundtrack
Forget Heavy Metal Horror, Violin Horror is where its at. This is a great film for horror and one I plan on putting on my Halloween rotation. Pick yours up today.
Overall 3 out of 5 Stars!