Chainsaw Massacre meets La Cage Aux Folles!
Italian title: GRAN BOLLITO
[The Grand Stew]
alternative Italian title: LA SIGNORA DEGLI ORRORI [Lady of the
starring Shelly Winters · Laura Antonelli · Max Von Sydow
· Rita Tushingham · Renato Pozzetto · Maria Monti
is the unconventional story (both in subject matter and style) of Leonarda
Cianciulli, a housewife who became one of Italy's most notorious serial
killers. She slaughtered women and boiled down their bodies to soap,
crushed their bones into cake-mix powder and sold it to restaurant clients.
Lea was pregnant more than a dozen of times, but lost all her children
to miscarriage or abortion. When her only son Michele survived and matured
(she bathed him even as an adult, see pic below left), Lea made a pact
with the devil - which included human sacrifices - to ensure his safety.
Her world begins to self-destruct when Michele falls in love with a
the pure mania of the narrative, director Bolognini takes the entire
production a step further. All her victims - middle-aged spinsters -
are played by men (these characters are not supposed to be transsexuals,
but females) including Ingmar Bergman's stalwart award-winning
actor Max von Sydow. Italian superstar Laura Antonelli replaced Ornella
Muti after she reportedly ran from the studio in dismay). Shelly Winters
was hired after director Bolognini saw her in Roger Corman's Bloody
Mama; she is perfect for the role of killer Cianciulli. Another
noteworthy aspect is the excellent time period recreation (pre-WW2 war
Italy) done by Danilo Donati, best known for his work on CALIGULA.
Mauro Bolognini - relatively unknown in the United States - is considered
one of Italy's foremost filmmakers. After graduating from the University
of Florence with a degree in Architecture [Design], he was hired by
Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome where he worked as assistant
director to neo-realist Luigi Zampa (1948 to 1952). Mr Bolognini began
making his own films in 1953, a successful collection of box- office
hits. By the '60s, he concentrated more on short projects which were
designed for omnibus-style feature films, culminating with the big-budget
Silvana Mangano/Clint Eastwood WITCHES
in 1968. BLACK JOURNAL in 1979 was one of his last theatrical films
before a decade of television work. Mr Bolognini died from a heart attack
at age 78 in May 2001.
Italian film with English subtitles; widescreen format, fully uncut
version (107 minutes), DVD encoded for ALL REGION NTSC; extras include