Astron-6’s latest offering is an uneven but often hilarious mess that lovingly throws back to the golden-age of Giallo films in the best way possible – The Editor, despite its flaws, perfectly totes the fine line between homage and parody, a balanced lacked by many modern throwbacks to classic films and television which arguably satirize their source material in a disrespectful fashion (see: pretty much every 70s/80s TV-to-movie adaptation since Starsky and Hutch).
The Editor follows a formerly respected editor, Rey Ciso (Adam Brooks), who has been relegated to working on cheap, trashy Giallo flicks following an accident that led to the loss of his fingers. When his latest production is plagued by a series of murders he becomes the prime suspect, and then some crazy 70s/80s throwback horror stuff occurs.
The opening section of the film is fantastic – it’s very Giallo and very, very Astron-6. There is an abundance of mindless T&A (and even a scene that, weirdly enough, throws back to Eric Prydz’s controversial video for Call On Me) with naked women hidden in the background of nearly every shot, there are visual illusions galore drenched in lighting straight out of an Argento flick and, of course, there is some hilariously poorly dubbed and out of sync audio. I was sure that if the film retained this level of quality throughout it’d be a surprise candidate for one of the best films of the year.
Unfortunately after its strong opening third The Editor begins to run out of steam and never quite recovers. That’s not to say that the final two-thirds are terrible, in fact the film gets a second wind towards the end and shows renewed glimmers of genius, but overall The Editor descends from a streak of brilliance down into a consistent stream of decent-ness – which is a shame as its beginnings had the potential to become a modern cult masterpiece.
The major problem occurs when our lead enters a nether-realm (in a visual throwback to Cronenberg’s Videodrome); I understand the necessity of such a plot point, and it fits in nicely with the magic, witchcraft and other occulty bullshit that usually pops up in classic Giallo films but the whole thing feels a little out-of-place, and undermines all the hard work the Astron-6 boys put into building mood and tone in the first half of the film. Ironically, it is at this point that it becomes apparent that The Editor needed some tighter editing.
It was also around this point that I began to question when parody of the oversexualisation of women crosses that fine line into the realm of misogyny. The wall to wall T&A scenes keep on coming long after the joke has fulfilled its purpose and this will make some uncomfortable, although I’m sure that Astron-6 have only good intentions so it’s hard for me to get too het up about it.
There’s a lot of good things I can say about The Editor, a fun and joyfully goofy romp that pays loving tribute to one of the most influential and (often) fundamentally silly subgenres of Horror cinema. I also can’t fault the Astron-6 boys; it’s a clever concept, its execution is quite funny, and the film has so much damn heart. Unfortunately the film isn’t without its flaws, and while its still worth checking out (especially for Astron-6 fans), the final two-thirds or so of the film exemplify nearly all of the issues with some of their weaker output. If you’re an Astron-6 virgin, and you’re not a big fan of old Giallo flicks, I urge you to check out their previous outing Father’s Day before delving into the weird world of The Editor.
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