|release date||November 30 1975|
|starring||Lino Capolicchi, Francesca Marciano, Gianni Cavina, Giulio Pizzirani, Vanna Busoni, Andrea Matteuzzi|
SynopsisA remote Italian village harbors unspeakable secrets, as young Stefano ("The Garden of the Finzi-Continis'" Lino Capolicchio) discovers when he arrives to restore a local church's decaying, painted fresco depicting the slaughter of St. Sebastian. Townspeople whisper that the original artist painted directly from real life, with models tortured and murdered all in the name of art. Suddenly a new, terrifying chain of murders begins, and Stefano finds himself caught in a chilling web of madness and unspeakable horror from which he may never escape! This exquisite masterpiece of Italian horror seethes with menacing atmosphere and diabolical plot twists guaranteed to haunt your dreams. Never before released in America, "The House with Laughing Windows" (La casa dalle finestre che ridono) is the crowning achievement of internationally hailed director Pupi Avati (The Story of Boys and Girls, Zeder) and has been restored to its full gothic glory from the original camera negative.
This disturbing, unnerving and little-seen Italian horror film is not your typical Giallo/slasher. Opening with a graphic depiction of a bound man being stabbed to death by unseen figures while a voice hisses “My colors they run hot in my veins…they transcend me into darkness…they erase everything else. My colors will paint death clearly” this film is clearly not from the Fulci/Bava school of Italian horror movies. With more of a Gothic feel to it, “The House with Laughing Windows” tells the story of a young art historian, Stefano (Lino Capolicchio) who is summoned to a small village to restore a macabre painting of the death of St. Sebastian done by the famous local artist, Bruno Legnani, within the village church. Legnani, who has apparently disappeared years ago, is also known as “The Painter of Agonies”, an ominous title. At first, all seems well although some of the villagers are a bit strange: the dwarf businessman who hired Stefano, a woman who has a collection of other bizarre works by Legnani, the trampy schoolteacher, the alcoholic chauffeur, a mysterious veiled woman who goes around collecting wildflowers and a priest who seems too eager to share the church’s history. And add to that Stefano’s friend, Antonio (Giulio Pizzirani), who recommended him for the job but tries to warn him of things and wants to take him to a “house with odd windows” although he says he may still be suffering from a recent nervous breakdown. Also a series of mysterious phone calls warning Stefano to leave the painting alone and the puzzle is magnified. …Read More