• Medousa



    Released by: Mondo Macabro
    Released on: April 12th, 2015.
    Director: George Lazopoulos
    Cast: Eleni Filini, Thanos Amorginos, Vana Rambota
    Year: 1998
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    The Movie:

    Written and directed by Greek filmmaker George Lazopoulos in 1998, Medousa, clearly inspired by the Medusa story, sets things up by demonstrating how a series of statues of different men have started appearing all over Greece. From here we head to Athens where we meet Percy (Thanos Amorginos), a tough young man who leads a gang of likeminded criminal types. He owns a biker bar where he shows an unusual knack for knife throwing.

    However his past ties into his present – an opening sequence shows us how his mother would have ‘guests’ over late at night, male and female alike, leaving the young Percy to his own devices. Those devices tended to involve sneaking into the bizarre magic show across the street (where we learn how and why he got into knife throwing the way he did as he grew up). When their time in the city ends and they head out into the countryside, Percy then meets a young woman who seems unusually fascinated with her instant camera.

    Back in the present, he’s visited by his friend Spiros (Eleni Felini), a real estate agent who introduces his mysterious dark haired beauty of a client, Mrs. Meda, to our tough talking bar owner. Once she’s off on her own, Percy and Spiros decide to break into the house Meda has been renting and is hoping to buy. They know she’s got some money, but once they make their way into the place they find not only a horde of cash, but also some unusual stone statues…

    Essentially a tale of the battle of the sexes in low budget arthouse form, Medousa is pretty interesting stuff. It’s very nicely shot even if it is clear from the start that it was made with modest funding, so it’s to the credit or writer/director George Lazopoulos that his only feature should succeed more on what it hints at than what it specifically depicts. Don’t got into this one expecting a lot of effects work or gory set pieces, you won’t find that here but if you can appreciate somewhat of a slow burn and don’t mind dealing with some quirks in terms of exposition, you’ll probably appreciate this. It might seem like the storyline is getting lost under its own weight but stick with it, the script is clever enough to properly tie things together.

    The movie doesn’t lack in atmosphere. The statues and masks featured in a few key scenes are creepy enough to work. The performances are a bit uneven but even those that don’t necessarily flow the way the best performances do work here, as it seems to take place in some sort of alternate reality. It all adds up to a genre-bending picture that works in elements of suspense, social commentary, dark humor and twisted supernatural happenings to breathe new life into an old legend.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Medousa arrives on DVD from Mondo Macabro framed at 1.66.1 anamorphic widescreen and while the transfer is pretty clean, colors look a bit flat. Regardless, it’s otherwise a perfectly fine standard definition presentation of the picture. Detail is okay for a standard definition presentation and the image is free of any major problems.

    The Greek language Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track, which includes optional English subtitles, is also fine. The track is properly balanced and there are no problems with any hiss or distortion to note.

    Extras being with a thirty-four minute video interview with director George Lazopoulos who speaks about learning his trade, his influences and the importance of certain filmmakers on his work, what he was going for and what inspired him to make Medousa and his post-Medousa activity. The disc also includes a ten minute video interview with lead actor Thanos Amorginos. He shares some interesting stories about how and why he was cast in the lead, the fact that he had never acted before this opportunity and his thoughts on both his performance in the film and the merits of the feature itself.

    A trailer for the feature is included alongside the omnipresent Mondo Macabro promo-reel, menus and chapter selection.

    The Final Word:

    Medousa is one of those strange, artsy films that doesn’t really play by established genre rules but instead creates something unique and bizarre. This won’t like appeal to mainstream horror fans despite dabbling in elements of the macabre and the supernatural but it you are, like many of us, consistently hunting for something different and don’t mind changing up your viewing habits accordingly, give this one a shot. The DVD debut from Mondo Macabro is a welcome one indeed and if it stops short of reference quality it gives fans of oddball international cinema a chance to enjoy a true cinematic oddity.