Director: Renato Polselli
Cast: Mickey Hargitay, Rita Calderoni, Raul Lovecchio, Carmen Young, Christa Barrymore
Blue Underground / Color / Unrated / NTSC R1 / Widescreen 1.85:1 (Anamorphic) / ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Mono / ITALIAN: Dolby Digital Mono / Subtitles: English / 102 mins / Purchase from DiabolikDVD.com
Criminal psychologist, Dr. Herbert Lyutak is a violent sexual deviant who has been killing young women and is now under suspicion by the authorities. His gorgeous wife begins to also suspect something when she finds a bloody dress in his hiding spot in their home. Herbert is tortured by his “illness” so much so that it has rendered him impotent. But his wife loves him so much that she wants only for him to “love her” and do with her whatever he wants (including playing rough). But he will not let himself harm the woman he loves. In fact, he wants to divorce her to keep her safe but she will not allow it. She begs him to stay and act out his aggressions on her.
So the good doctor sets himself up to get caught in the act of murder in order to stop himself from hurting his wife. As he is about to kill the beautiful decoy right in front of the police, another murderer using the same modus operandi kills a girl mere feet from where the cops are staked out. It seems that the doctor isn’t the only serial sexual deviant in the mix. Meanwhile, Herbert’s wife begins having bizarre and sadistic dreams of sexual torture and perversion. But why is Herbert in her dreams? Why is she in the midst of the sexual depravity in her nightmares? With both the doctor and his wife falling deeper into psycho-sexual delirium, how will the police catch the new copycat killer who is seemingly mocking Dr. Lyutak?
Writer/director Renato Polselli (The Reincarnation of Isabel) has spun an appropriately named yarn packed with stunning visuals and twisted, unconventional storytelling. The level of sleazy violence against women shown here is on the level of the other debauched Italian slashers like Fulci’s New York Ripper. It isn’t incredibly gory, but the almost illogical way it is presented makes it effectively graphic. Lulls in the action throughout, like the happy couple telling each other how much they are in love, set up sex and violence that comes seemingly out of the blue. Polselli is an artist behind the camera giving us rich colors and moody lighting throughout and Gianfranco Reverberi’s pulse pounding score sets the table for every trashy kill.
Mickey Hargitay (Bloody Pit of Horror) plays the violently perverted doctor with a stoic, seething madness that only he and his crazy eyes could play. The level of absolutely gorgeous and sexy women on display here is awesome. From the doe-eyed victims to the doctor’s wife played by Rita Calderoni (Nude for Satan) there is Grade-A flesh covering your screen for much of the run time. Christa Barrymore who plays “Joaquine” is an odd beauty who chews up the last 20 minutes of the movie with her wonderfully feverish over-acting. Overall the casting was great. Even the bungling “Inspector Edwards” played by Raul Lovecchio (aka “Raoul”) and the perverted peeping tom (I don’t recall his name) were interesting.
The exploitation heroes over at Blue Underground have given us this odd entry into the Italian giallo genre in the most complete package ever presented in the U.S (albeit the exact same as the out of print Anchor Bay disk). The perfect 35mm transfer looks fantastic and really shows Poselli’s vision and the mono soundtrack sounds amazing. This disk contains both the “Uncut, Uncensored International Version” and the “Alternate American Version” that tells a very different story that some say may even be better than the original uncut piece. Other than having both versions of the movie, which I think is the best supplement you could have, the disk is pretty short on extras. The only one is a feature called, “The Theorem Of Delirium” that includes interviews with Renato Polselli and Mickey Hargitay.