Director: Enzo Milioni
Cast: Stefania D’Amario, Barbara Magnolfi, Marc Porel, Giancarlo Zanetti, Anna Zinneman
Severin Films / Colour / 1.85:1 / 16×9 / 95 mins / Not Rated / Reg 0 (ALL) (NTSC) / Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 / English Subtitles / PURCHASE
Clairvoyant Ursula and her sister check into an Italian seaside villa after their father’s death. Soon after they arrive bizarre murders of the villa’s other occupants begin. The murderer watches couples have sex, knocks the women unconscious, then proceeds to fuck them to death. That’s right, with a HUGE phallus that we only see in shadow. Ursula thinks that her father is haunting her and sees visions of him with women. She also has visions of one of the other guests, Roberto, killing her. What do all of these things have in common? Do they tie together?
There are your usual cast of giallo characters. Some being the obvious red herrings, some just fodder for the sicko fucker. The black-gloved killer has their face all in shadow other than their eyes. All of the giallo elements are there. I haven’t seen a lot of this genre, but this seems to be different from the others. It has loads of sleaze and not much on-screen violence. Yes, there is lots of innuendo and a few after shots of the bloodied bodies, but I was surprised how reserved it was in the gore/violence department.
The direction, cinematography and setting were perfect. The seaside hotel/villa was hanging off of a cliff and made for some beautiful shots. Saturated colors were throughout the production and Severin did a great job with the transfer. It was amazing. Mimi Uva delivered an interesting score of original music. It was an odd ’70s porn and surrealistic mishmash that added to the weirdness of the whole movie.
I was a little disappointed because the movie dragged throughout. Even when there was a murder or one of the scenes with copious amounts of nudity, it was a little boring. As I said, the murders were off-screen and the nudity and sex weren’t all that interesting or sexy. It was a little of style over content in my opinion. But I must say that Barbara Magnolfi (Suspiria) is a striking beauty. She was the only one of the women who stood out to me. She should have been used a little better. I also have to give props for the end because it threw me for a loop when I found out who the killer was. Maybe a more seasoned mystery fan would have figured it out, but I didn’t.
I am not a big giallo fan to start off with because I am often bored with the characterizations of all of the potential suspects. It has to be a damn interesting one to satisfy me (think Fulci’s The New York Ripper). Though filled with nudity and sex, which readers of Cinesploitation know I love, I can’t recommend this to the casual giallo viewer. It’s a little different, but still not very interesting. So go hunt down The New York Ripper and thank me later.