As many followers of this blog will know, I have spent over five months trying to build a fan DVD of Anima Persa (1977) using firstly the Czech DVD and then the Spanish DVD of the film. DjangoLi, a member of the excellent Lovelockandload forum who built the subtitles used on my previous fan DVD of Pensione Paura (1978), kindly pointed out that there was a fan built subtitle file currently available for Anima Persa. I really do hate building subtitle files. There is no simple way to produce them and it can take forever. Having one to work with obviously makes the job much easier. So my thanks go out to the original subtitler McDuck, whoever you may be, thank you so much for your excellent work! All I had to do with McDuck’s subtitles was resynch them using Subtitle Workshop to fit with the print used for the Spanish DVD and that was that. Like my Pensione Paura DVD, I took the 4×3 letterbox video file and converted it to 16×9 using DVD Rebuilder. The result is not exactly amazing but it is a major step up in quality from the Video Search of Miami bootleg that has been in circulation for a few years. I also decided to use motion menus for the first time rather than just copy the menus from the source DVD. Thanks go to Julian for his work on the logo used on the main menu. I am usually not one for flashy menus but I have to say that I am quite happy with how the motion menu looks. Below are some screenshots taken from the DVD:
And here is the motion menu taken from the DVD:So enough about the DVD, what about the film? Anima Persa (which translates into English as Lost Soul and is also known by title The Forbidden Room) is generally regarded as a giallo even if it does not follow traditional conventions. If anything, Anima Persa, like Pensione Paura, allows to consider the giallo as a movement or a cycle of film rather than a distinct genre (a point I intend to discuss further in a forthcoming article). The basic plot of the film involves Tino, a young man visiting his aunt and uncle’s house in Venice, who finds his uncle’s insane brother locked away in their attic. This discovery leads Tino to find out more about his unusual relatives and the mystery of the man in the attic. This is a tense, well directed Italian thriller that certainly deserves a wider audience. I had intended my next fan DVD to be Murder in an Etruscan Cemetery but the audio needs quite a lot of work and I just don’t have the time for it at the moment. I also have Death Occurred Last Night on my list but apparently there is a nice quality Italian television recording of the film out there which is miles better than the very poor Italian DVD. This might mean that, with help from DjangoLi, my next project will be Illustrious Corpses, another little seen Italian thriller.