LAS TROMPETAS DEL APOCALIPSIS (1969)
The undeniably groovy ‘Las Trompetas Del Apocalipsis (1969) (aka) Murder by Music is somewhat of a curate’s egg; as with most gialli it is positively agog with labored Mcguffins, and is, again, festooned with an atypically absurd premise; in this case the soggle-headed scribe suggests that a certain piece of esoteric music is able to engender such a profoundly distressing malaise in the listener, that the desperate individual must immediately hurl himself bodily from the nearest window after listening to it. (this is clearly a prototype for Katy Perry’s indigestible, saccharine horrors!) It must be noted that all said victims are fortuitously close to a high enough window that would cause a permanent case of death, should one take the final plunge,as it were. Much of the film has a gloomy, almost Krimi-esque view of London: dingy backstreets; even dingier bars enlivened with heptone, super-frugging psychedelic pop, and primordial-looking opium den lend the film a wildly expressionistic feel, which captures the tale end of the sixties as a rather twee-looking, beatnik apocalypse!
The unbound grooviness is supplied in mammoth doses by Gianni Ferrio’s sublime score, a personal fave of mine, and he certainly doesn’t disappoint with his wall-to-wall psyche-hippie-funk.
For those more jaded gialli fans who require their sleazy cellulioid entertainments to include a plethoric of squeaky, be-gloved, ice-cool razor slashings into hot nubile flesh will be wholly disappointed, as this seems to be more of an anti-drugs polemic than a slinky extravaganza of high-octane misogyny. But it has the requisite hunk (Brett Halsey) and a suitably lissome gaggle of psychedelic euro-starlets that one might expect in such a wonderfully absurd affair! I loved it, but I can imagine it will prove to be a rather divisive affair.