To Die for Tano | Chicago Reader

To Die for Tano

Amateur actors from a tough Palermo neighborhood populate this weird and unsettling Italian musical comedy (1997). Tano, a butcher and small-time mob boss, is obsessed with protecting the virginity of his teenage daughter and four spinster sisters; after he's gunned down, the ladies mourn copiously, then look for husbands. Cheap sets and garish costumes add to the surrealism of musical numbers that riff on John Waters, gangster rap, West Side Story, and Saturday Night Fever, with puppets, rubber chickens, and swirling skulls with glow-in-the-dark eyes tossed in for extra cheesiness. Few of the performers can actually sing or dance, and even fewer have camera-friendly faces. Roberta Torre directed. In Italian with subtitles.

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