(1975, It, 83 min) Dir Paolo Andreotti. Cast Toni Forte, Luca Ferrari, Franco Fantasia.
Much like notorious gross-master Lucio Fulci following Don’t Torture a Duckling with a production of White Fang, fellow horror director Andreotti produced this adaptation of the popular Italian children’s book Milo e la Marmotta the same year as his Exorcist rip-off The Night the Devil Came for Sandy. High in the Dolomites is the village of Tyluno where young Milo lives. One day he’s out in the alpine meadows when he happens upon a Marmot who has become caught in a trapper’s snare. Milo frees it and takes it home to nurse back to health. This marmot can talk by the way but nobody seems to react to this revelation with any surprise so one can only presume that talking rodents are just a part of life in the Italian Alps. Once back to full health Milo and the Marmot plot to get revenge on the trapper who had been laying his snares illegally. It doesn’t go typically Andreotti at that point though, there’s no dismemberment or anything, and on the whole Milo e la Marmotta displays a more peace and animal loving side to the man that would be completely unknown to his English-language fans. While I’m a fan of Vendetta di Zombie and Coffin Orbit and all that, it would have been interesting to see more of this Paolo Andreotti. A pleasant film, only let down by an unconvincing mix of real marmot and puppet.