Paganini Horror (1989 film)

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When a female rock band use an infamous old piece of sheet music to record their new album and music video in an old mansion, they accidentally open a portal to hell.


Music Video filming scene from Paganini Horror (1989 film)...
  • Release Date: 1989
  • Country/Language: Italy, English
  • Genres/Technical: Horror, Music
  • Setting: 1980s Italy
  • Runtime: 1 hr 22 min
  • Starring: Daria Nicolodi, Jasmine Maimone, Pascal Persiano, Maria Cristina Mastrangeli, Michel Klippstein, Pietro Genuardi, Luana Ravegnini, Donald Pleasence
  • Director: Luigi Cozzi
  • Writer: Luigi Cozzi (screenplay), Raimondo Del Balzo (story), Daria Nicolodi
  • Producer/Production Co: Fabrizio De Angelis, Fulvia Film
  • View Trailer: (link)
  • Wikipedia: (link)
  • IMDB Page: (link)


MPAA Ratings

  • Rated: not rated (roughly equivalent to a PG-13 for Violence, mild Nudity, Profanity and Sexual Situations)

Tentacle Ratings

A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:

  • Ss___ (One and a Half Tentacles: Debateably Lovecraftian; has almost no direct connection to Lovecraft's work)

The sinister pact by which strange, otherworldly music is obtained in an atmospheric, Gothic horror setting, resulting in characters being haunted by a strangely-masked and bizarrely-dressed lich could be fun to adapt to a Call of Cthulhu RPG scenario context by the addition of just a little Yog-Sothothry (perhaps references to Erich Zann, for example); the scenario could be used with little effort at alteration as a way to refluff "The Haunting (aka The Haunted House) (Scenario)".... Apparently, the "director's cut" would have been 8 minutes longer, and would have had a few "Weird" sci-fi elements, such as visions of other galaxies and alternate dimensions....

Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.


Review Links:

  • Review by Fred Anderson at Ninja Dixon (link)
  • Review by Ian Jane at Rock! Shock! Pop! (link)
  • Review by Rod Lott at Flick Attack (link)

Synopsis (SPOILERS)

 Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)

A pop band and their producer decided to exploit an original score by Paganini and set out to make a song and a video, set in the ancient home of the musician. As soon as the boys begin to play, they awaken the spirit of the deceased composer, who, having made a pact with Satan, begins to kill the characters off, one by one. In an unusual twist for a slasher movie, the "final girl" seems to escape the killer, only to find herself doomed by her own Satanic pact by which the music was obtained....


Comments, Trivia, Dedication

  • Luigi Cozzi's original cut was about 8 minutes longer with scenes of planets, galaxies and parallel dimensions that were supposed to give the movie a stronger science fiction touch. Also: more background on Paganini's life and a longer ending in which Donald Pleasence's character put on Paganini's mask and clothes. Cozzi had to cut the scenes on behalf of the producer who wanted the movie to be more simple, more horror.
  • The movie's title and plot elements refer to eccentric Italian composer Niccolò (or Nicolò) Paganini (27 October 1782 – 27 May 1840), an Italian violinist, violist, guitarist, and composer. He was the most celebrated violin virtuoso of his time, and vicious rumors spread among his critics and rivals that he had made a pact with the devil to write and play such unearthly music with such unequaled talent and weirdly Gothic presence. The references to a secret society are apparently to the Carbonari, a liberal Italian secret society opposed to tyranny which could be loosely compared to the Freemasons, and which was similarly often cast by its opponents in a satanic light: Paganini had sometimes been accused of association with the group due to his sympathies with revolutionary and anti-government movements, though there is no actual evidence that Paganini was ever actually a member of the Carbonari, or that the Carbonari really had any occult or satanic connections.

Associated Mythos Elements

Keeper Notes