Tuesday, June 19, 2007



When a fashion model dies during an abortion, it sparks a series of murders that are all connected to the modeling agency she worked for. As the models drop like flies in grisly deaths by a mysterious killer dressed in a leather jumpsuit and motorcycle helmet, those remaining alive become the key suspects by the police who are unable to crack the clues left behind. The key suspect becomes Carlo, a hot-tempered photographer who would rather keep vital information to himself and try to solve the case himself, even if it means putting his lover Magda and his boss in mortal danger of becoming the next nude body to be found.

Director Andrea Bianchi, who would later gain horror notoriety as the director of the zombie shocker THE NIGHTS OF TERROR, sets the mood right away for the sleaze-drenched giallo. His opening credit sequence, a grainy night time drive through Italy's neon lit sex and crime riddled streets (think TAXI DRIVER's opening) with a soft and jazzy score, instantly gets you in the right frame of mind. The film's title doesn't hurt either. He takes full advantage of the giallo cliches and themes that had been established during the past five years or so - utilizing killer POV shots, a swirling and baffling plotline that will remain a mystery until the final reel, and of course copious amounts of gratuitous nudity from practically the entire cast.

Bianchi, who also wrote the story, sets up his murder sequences with a relishing delight using false scares and shocks before getting to the true blood-spraying final blow. The effect is a great success, keeping a high level of suspense for the viewer, who never knows if the next swoosh of the camera lenses will bring the relieving view of an innocent face or a close up of a shiny black helmet as a blade plunges into flesh. Bianchi doesn't shy away from the red stuff here. He know what his core audience wants and delivers in spades. Though the blood is brightly colored (and obviously fake) it doesn't take away from the demise of the victims, and the over abundance of arterial sprays helps to make up for the inaccurate color.

At the other end of the spectrum of murder sequences in a picture like this is the aforementioned gratuitous nude and borderline soft/hardcore sex scenes. Italian sexpot Edwige Fenech leads the fray here, showing off what she has in practically every scene she's in. This is classic Euro-sex trash - the women are curvy, natural, and sexy, and sporting the undeniable 70's burning bush, while the men are tanned, greasy, and showing off a suave sex appeal that is both repulsive and irresistible at the same time, which can only be properly obtained by Europeans. Set decoration, which will put you in a time warp to a distant world of high contrast colors, impractical lighting, and impossibly impractical furniture adds to the world the film takes place in. Ikea would be wise to take a few pointers from this era of cinema.

This film is definitely not for everyone to say the least, but if you've made it this far in the review, it may be something you need to at least rent and witness for yourself. Hell, after a set up like that you may even be compelled to seek this out! Although in poor taste bordering on trash, the film never submits itself to being nasty or vicious, and never once takes itself seriously. And while the victims in death may be the female characters, the male characters are equally victims of the women in life. Plus with the over-the-top style and ludicrous storyline, it even slips into the realm of camp (especially when dealing with the English dubbing) when compared to today's quite grisly flicks. Packaging gore, sex, mystery thrills, red herrings, and lowbrow comedy, it is a sampler platter of all that the genre had to offer and what was regularly on display in the heyday of 42nd Street's less-then-upscale theatres.

Pick it up on Amazon today!


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