Argento’s Animal Trilogy at Filmrauschpalast Berlin

FilmrauschpalastGoing to the cinema nowadays can be deadly boring, unless you’re a rabid Marvel or Star Wars fan. Thankfully, there’s still a handful of places for non-mainstream film lovers in Berlin. Situated in Berlin-Moabit, Filmrauschpalast cinema has been hosting midnight film marathons under the WIR KINDER VOM BAHNHOFSKINO banner for over a year now, showing everything from 1980s Arnold Schwarzenegger epics to the works of Lucio Fulci, Lamberto Bava and Stuart Gordon. The latest, eighteenth, screening offered the audience a chance to revisit Argento’s classic Animal Trilogy.

Although the Bahnhofskino team are big lovers of analog medium and often screen rare 35mm prints, this time the three films were screened digitally in remastered versions. Still, there was one delightfully grainy trailer projected from celluloid film during the intermission.

Seeing Argento’s early films back-to-back gave one a clear sensation of witnessing three iterations of the same basic narrative. The fact that the same supporting actors (Fulvio Mingozzi, Umberto Raho, Jaques Stany, Tom Felleghy, etc.) pop up in all three films further added to the feeling of watching a seamless whole, one long giallo.

As per Bahnhofskino tradition, complimentary schnapps was served throughout the screening, keeping the audience’s spirits high and prompting more interaction with the screen.filmrauschpalast moabitTHE BIRD WITH CRYSTAL PLUMAGE (1970) Comedy relief scenes with Werner Peters as the camp antiquarian and Mario Adorf as the cat-eating recluse went down great with the audience, with certain awkwardly-dubbed lines having the viewers in stitches.

THE CAT O’NINE TAILS (1971) It was great to revisit this underrated second entry into the trilogy. While the infamous static love scene was met with roaring laughter, the tense rooftop finale left the audience speechless. The viewers also had an opportunity to take home a Bluray of THE CAT O’NINE TAILS at a discount price.

FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET (1971) This gaudy, disjointed and over-indulgent giallo worked surprisingly well at 2 a.m. after another round of schnapps. Jean-Pierre Marielle as the hapless private investigator Arrosio positively steals the show from his younger and prettier co-stars. The overwrought finale with the killer’s redundant babbling monologue provided more chuckles.

Unlike their Tobe Hooper tribute screening, there was no surprise fourth feature to round off this night of kitschy thrills at the Filmrauschpalast. May there be many more such midnight screenings to come.