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Cross of Seven Jewels, The Print E-mail
User Rating: / 17
Written by Chris Mayo   
Friday, 11 January 2008

The Cross of Seven Jewels - "Cover"

AKA: The Cross of the Seven Jewels, La Croce dalle sette pietre, Talisman
Directed by: Marco Antonio Andolfi
Written by: Marco Antonio Andolfi
Cinematography by: Carlo Poletti
Editing by: Marco Antonio Andolfi
Special Effects by: Marco Antonio Andolfi
Music by: Paolo Rustichelli
Cast: Marco Antonio Andolfi (Eddy Endolf), Annie Belle, Gordon Mitchell, Paolo Fiorino, Zaira Zoccheddu, Gino Serra
Year: 1987
Country: Italy
Language: Italian (English)
Color: Color
Runtime: 88 Minutes

The Cross of Seven Jewels” is an astoundingly bizarre little film directed by multitasking Marco Antonio Andolfi, whose directorial style and storytelling skills are as equally ham-fisted as the film is absurd.  Marco Antonio Andolfi, not only directs the film, but is its writer, editor, special effects man and star.

The purpose of the movie is to showcase a sympathetic character who’s struggling with a curse fraught upon him, which forces his transformation into a werewolf-like creature.  Only “The Cross of  Seven Jewels” around his neck can prevent his ogreish outbursts.  The problem with this function for the film is that its surrounding subplots serve no real purpose at all other than imagery and fruitless exposition merely allowing for a feature length film.  This inevitably does not pose a problem since the film's unabashed lack of competent moviemaking makes this indiscriminate mess all the more enjoyable.

Marco (Marco Antonio Andolfi, credited as Eddy Endolf) takes a train to Naples from Rome after his long lost “dark ‘n chunky” cousin Carmella sends him a letter.  He is greeted at the station by a hot chick who claims to be Carmella, who he hasn’t seen in 20 years.  Shortly thereafter a biker duo steals Marco’s cross from around his neck, allowing the film’s plot to be exploited.  Now he must get it back by midnight before he breaks out his beastly weremullet, unleashing hairy havoc on all.

This is when the “The Cross of Seven Jewels” becomes confusing and explores further plots of pointlessness.  He later returns to his cousin’s home and finds out the woman that met him at the station was not Carmella, but in fact her friend Elena who apparently must have just been playing a trick on him.  Carmella tells Marco that she also urgently left for Milan.  Knowing this, and thinking there is a connection with Elena and the cross he goes to a random dance bar and asks around for her, the reasoning unbeknownst to the viewer.  While inside he meets Maria -- a whore -- who tries unsuccessfully to sell her body and weed to him.  Some goons take him out back to meet some bigwig, and the film delves further into futility.  The bigwig seems to know Marco works at a bank (once again alien to the viewer) and wants to hire him as an informant to get the names of known millionaire clients.  I guess the purpose of this scene is to let us know he works at a bank, but his profession never holds profitable for the film.  After a good roughing up, Maria-the-whore comes to the rescue and somehow knows his name even though no introduction was ever given.  Pure filmmaking greatness!

Maria tells him of a man fencing goods, so he takes a visit to hopefully find his salvation cross of seven jewels.  Just before midnight, Marco appears a little edgy to the fence who says one of the best lines in the film, “Calm down little friend.  You’re makin’ my ulcer do summersaults, Jesus!”  Of course Marco is too late and is sent on a further wild goose chase to the man who apparently now has the cross, Camorra Boss (a secret society in Naples notorious for violence and blackmail) Don Haffaelo Esposito.

Once at the Camorra Bosses abode Marco is beaten into compliance of telling them his real purpose for meeting Mr. Esposito.  He sticks to his guns, and wants his cross.  After a bunch of crap, we find out that Esposito sent the cross to his mistress in Rome, Madam Amnesia, a fortune teller.  People are killed at the hands of wolfy, and another subplot thickens into eventual oblivion, between detectives investigating the beastial murders.

Several more subplots are explored in the film as well.  One of which commences from the get-go with nifty satanic orgy footage of women being ravaged and whipped in throws of satanic bliss, intercut with the rest of the movie.  Italian genre figure, the late Gordon Mitchell (“End Game”) plays the cult leader summoning the devil, called both Lucifer and “Aborin”.  In director Andolfi’s eyes the devil is apparently Chewbacca, but unlike “Star Wars”, he isn’t afraid of a little bestiality with attractive females.  Throughout Marco’s journey to find the everlasting cross he is followed from afar by the cult leader, which was very troubling to me.  Not troubling in a way of duress, but troubling in the fact, that I was forever wondering why the fuck he was following Marco in the first place!  Also, what the hell was the connection between the fucking orgy footage and the rest of the film?  Following the tradition of the film’s senselessness in explanation, I could only surmise after a second viewing that the orgy footage is from the past, and when we see Mr. Gordon’s character, it is in the present.  How do I know this?  Well, it sure as hell isn’t explained, but while I compiled screenshots for this review, the character of Marco’s mother is also the woman fucked by Chewbacca.  Hence, the purpose of the included orgy footage is to further showcase Marco’s mother’s involvement in the occult.

A relationship between Maria, the now rehabilitated whore and Marco becomes apparent practically overnight, and they both share a mutual love for one another.  Marco confides his dark secret to her, which goes something like this: The cross once belonged to a Bishop turned Saint.  Marco’s mother, who practiced black magic got hold of it and found it was an antidote for evil.  It became too late for her, but Marco was saved, if he wore the cross around his neck.  So once again they are on the move to now find a woman named Amnesia on the hunt for his jeweled deliverance. 

So, what ever happened to Marco’s cousin Carmella, or her misleading friend Elena?  Well, they are never spoken of again.  It is as if the character of Marco was designed as a dog with an incredibly low attention span, and once another name is mentioned, he sniffs out another path.  Elena took a train to Milan.  Oh, she must have taken the cross.  The local Fence might have it.  Nope he doesn’t either, it’s Don Haffaelo Esposito.  Nope.  Not him either, it has to be Madam Amnesia.  Maybe with this rationale, this could be why every time Marco transforms, a German Shepard dog is shown in a cut scene.

The Cross of Seven Jewels” is meant to play like a traditional linear movie, but shows many signs of non-linear storytelling with its lack of skilled filmmaking, as well as other bizarre choices of scenes.  One nightmare sequence drags past 3 minutes and is a testament at how messed up the film really is.  These types of sequences and a lack of continuity add a surreal element to the film as well.  Even though Marisa Agostini was in charge of “Continuity”, the movie still shows scenes of the wolfman, naked, retransforming back into a clothed Marco.  As well as the cross appearing wherever the script sees fit, whether it’s in one room or another.  Most noteworthy is a machinegun toting guy at the end of the film adorned in a “Back to the Future” vest.  Neither the man nor vest appear with forewarning.

The movie blends a lack of storyline coherence with sleaze, bad makeup FX, and a bit o’ gore for good merit.  Italian cinema from the 70’s and 80’s seems to be the best at successfully achieving such inventively dreadful cinema.  The transformation scenes are atrocious, yes, with the cross fading of gradual shots, but one couldn’t ask for it any different.  Everything this film exhibits is done haphazardly in a mound of sleaze and cheese.

So, the film is one of the most poorly constructed films in existence.  That still didn’t stop this viewer from holding “Blood Freak” with top accolades, and “The Cross of Seven Jewels” is no exception.  This needs a remastered DVD release pronto!  Besides, any film with a lead actor embellishing a weremullet while raping a woman to bloody death is a film not easily excused!

The Cross of Seven Jewels - "Japanese Cover Art"

The Cross of Seven Jewels - "Titles"

The Cross of Seven Jewels - "Gordon Mitchell as the Cult Leader"

The Cross of Seven Jewels - "Marco stuffing his face"

The Cross of Seven Jewels - "The Fence"

The Cross of Seven Jewels - "Weremullet!"

The Cross of Seven Jewels - "Marco the wolfman"

The Cross of Seven Jewels - "Facial Gore"

The Cross of Seven Jewels - The Cross of Seven Jewels

The Cross of Seven Jewels - "Nifty satanic orgy"

The Cross of Seven Jewels - "Chewbacca"

The Cross of Seven Jewels - "Chewbacca rape"

The Cross of Seven Jewels - "Beastial ecstacy"

The Cross of Seven Jewels - "Satanic orgy, Aborin"

The Cross of Seven Jewels - "Marco's mother, and Aborin"

The Cross of Seven Jewels - "Fuck me"

The Cross of Seven Jewels - "Oh Jesus, weremullet!"

The Cross of Seven Jewels - "wererape"

The Cross of Seven Jewels - "Back to the Future vest"


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3.22 Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

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