NINA: CRAZY SUICIDE GIRL gets an early vote as being the best titled film of 2012 (so far). When I first came across this one I assumed it was an Asian import. You know; the crazy, over-the-top Asian films that are full of comic book-like violence and gore? Well I was wrong. This is actually an Italian import (presented in Italian with English subtitles) from writer-director Christian Arioli (this can’t be his real name). Combining the exploitation and 1970’s occult “shockers” genres and throwing in some giallo elements just to be safe, Arioli ends up with a crazy and at times muddled, bizarre debut feature. NINA: CRAZY SUICIDE GIRL will be hitting the streets on June 26, 2012 from Chemical Burn Entertainment.
The story begins with two young, pretty girls, (Anna and Greta) who’ve been abducted. A strange occult/satanist guy dressed in a red robe comes into their holding cell and chooses Anna for some bizarre ritual that begins in gratuitous nudity, slides into a bizarre sex scene, and ends in sacrifice. After the credits role we meet Nina (Irene Giordano), who’s been hired by Anna’s mother to find out where she disappeared too. Nina is a bounty hunter who dresses in a combination of black leather, high heels (perfect for kicking ass), and a schoolgirl-like skirt. Nina’s investigation leads her to an underground porn ring which kidnaps girls and forces them to “star” in the films (because it’s so hard to find willing young girls to be in porn), corrupt cops, and ultimately to the pre-credit satanic cult that is taking some of the kidnapped girls as “The Chosen Few” to sacrifice to their dark god. Wrap your head around this one, people!!
What I really enjoyed about NINA: CRAZY SUICIDE GIRL is that old-school Italian exploitation-giallo feel that Arioli tries to capture. For most of the film he succeeds. There are parts of the film that go off on tangents that will remind you of some of the good old days during the height of Italian exploitation. Other times the film rambles on a bit, almost as if it lost it’s footing. The majority of the film moves along at a nice pace but there are two or three places where the dialogue becomes a little too long and it brings the entire film to a screeching halt. But Arioli takes advantage of these slower parts of the film and creates some nice giallo-like homages.
One of the more confusing and frustrating parts of the film had to do with Nina herself. During the film we keep getting flashes to Nina’s past where something obviously traumatic happened to her … concerning her ex-partner? Ex-lover? We really never know. Her traumatic past then ends up playing a huge roll at the end of the film, but we’re really not sure how. You’ll know what I mean after you see it. Nina being a “crazy suicide girl” seems to have played a large role in an earlier draft of the script, which they forgot to change in the version we saw. What we’re left with is the feeling that we really missed something pivotal in the film or that this is the second film in a series. But through my research I couldn’t find anything to suggest this was the second film in a franchise.
The only other slightly disappointing thing here is that we really don’t get to see Nina kick all that much ass. She comes alive during the climax of the film, but other than that there’s really only one other scene, about half way through, where she’s a bad ass. She tracks down and really fucks up the main pornographer, Cesare (Gabriele Guerra). But with a title like NINA: CRAZY SUICIDE GIRL, I was expecting some epic, HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN-like mayhem. The ending was good but I felt it could have been a little more violent and kick ass. When she goes after the satanic cult, their compound is guarded by a ton of them. One moment she’s outside and the next she’s inside, face-to-face with the head satanist, Marcus (more on “him” in a second). But we don’t get to see her cut a bloody and violent path through them with her katana. The one’s we see her cut down, she does with garrote wire or ninja throwing stars. I’m assuming the carnage was kept to a limit due to the micro-budget.
What’s the most bizarre aspect of NINA: CRAZY SUICIDE GIRL? Hands down, it’s the cult leader, Marcus (Stefania Visconti). ‘Marcus’ is clearly a male name, no? I think so too, but I don’t know; maybe in Italy, ‘Marcus’ is also a female name. Besides the name, other character’s when referring to Marcus always say, “he,” “him,” “his,” etc. But the character is clearly being played by a woman. Lots of curly hair, curvy hips, and t*****s tell me it’s a female playing Marcus. Was this an intentional and deliberate move on Arioli’s part to f**k with us? I think it’s pretty hilarious that everyone in the film refers to this ‘Marcus’ character as a male, yet it’s clearly a woman acting in the role. No explanation is ever offered. I think this is simply Arioli playing up to the exploitive elements of the film.
NINA: CRAZY SUICIDE GIRL won’t be for everyone. The film is paced oddly with slow parts sprinkled among the quicker parts, and has some truly bizarre moments where it seems to become an entirely different film altogether. But there’s also a really fun energy about this one that had me from the opening scenes. Plus the completely gratuitous t*****s thrown all over the place helps (and don’t worry; there’s also some full-frontal male nudity for the ladies)!! The only aspect of the film I’d like more explanation on is Nina’s past trauma. It was obviously significant to writer-director Arioli, but it was never made clear to us, the viewers. Overall this is a fun little 80 minute slice of old-school Italian exploitation. Check it out. NINA: CRAZY SUICIDE GIRL will be available June 26, 2012.
Director: Christian Arioli (& writer)
Plot: 3 out of 5 stars
Gore: 5 out of 10 skulls
Zombie Mayhem: 0 out of 5 brains
Reviewed by Scott Shoyer