Umorismo in nero (1965)

aka Death Travels Too Much
Article 3226 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-18-2010
Posting Date: 6-14-2010
Directed by Claude Autant-Lara, Jose Maria Forque, Giancarlo Zagni
Country: Italy / France / Spain
What it is: Black comedy anthology

Three comic tales involving death are told. In the first, an old woman believes the pain in her head is caused by a bug in her ear, and she visits a healer. In the second, a circus performer attempts to frame her assistant for the murder of a romantic rival. In the third, a hunter believes the beautiful woman he has encountered is actually Death.

This anthology film features three separate stories directed by three different directors in three different languages; in whichever country you saw it, at least two-thirds of the dialogue was dubbed. This was the one released in Spain, and since I saw it without subtitles, it was a bit difficult to follow. However, I could tell it was lightly comic more than darkly satirical, and it looks like a lot of fun. The first tale does feature a healer who dresses up like a personification of Death at one point, and this gives it a certain fantastic content. The second story climaxes with scenes involving a magician’s act, which adds a bit of fantastic content to that one as well. However, the massive amount of fantastic content is in the third story. This one is the most difficult to follow, but it looks fun; there’s a scene in a crypt involving a man coming out of a burial place with a skull strapped to his head, various attempts to murder Death (who survives and reappears with ease), and some other horror imagery; nonetheless, it’s played for laughs. This is one I wish I could see with subtitles.

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