‘Venicephrenia’ – Shit and Go

Álex de la Iglesia is a well-known filmmaker who has been showing signs of sudapollismo for too many years. A highly irregular and unstable filmmaker who often, too often makes it clear that he doesn’t know how to finish what he starts. Not to mention the lack of self-control and his unbridled taste for excesses. And of course, then what happens happens: An eternal promise that since the 90s we have rarely been able to embrace with the pretended enthusiasm. ‘Veneciafrenia’ is Álex de la Iglesia in “take the money and go to sleep” mode. The first installment of what is baptized as ‘The Fear Collection’ begins with feet of clay, powerfully reminiscent of the ‘low cost’ productions of Filmax’s Fantastic Factory. And leaving any name involved on the sidelines, without improving on what was seen in Welcome to the (almost any) Blumhouse. “Exploitative” cinema that in another century would have gone straight to video. A very generic, easy and impersonal work, written lazily and shot with even more disinterest. Little more than a poor and clumsy excuse to visit Venice with all expenses paid, who knows if improvised on the fly. An idea without form that shows no interest in developing a premise, supported and reduced to a generic tribute that even the few deaths provide a foundation. There is no terror, no humor or suspense. There is no atmosphere. And even the city of Venice is shown with the same carefree indifference as if we were in I don’t know, Albacete. ‘Venicephrenia’ could be one of those fake trailers included in Rodriguez & Tarantino’s ‘Grindhouse’. Like the ‘Don’t’ of an Edgar Wright who rightly assured that there was no point in turning it into a film. ‘Venicephrenia’ would be the unnecessary extension of that joke, only for fans blinded by fanaticism in perpetuity and that arises, I bet without further ado, from mere commercial opportunism. Genre cinema served on the plate without processing or cooking. Cura Ángel Berriatúa went to hell for less.

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