Friday, May 6, 2011


(Umberto Lenzi, 1974)
While walking along the beach, the possibly psychotic Christian and his lady friend discover what initially appears to be the corpse of a woman. The woman, Barbara (Suzy Kendall), recovers, but cannot recall how she got there. She thanks them, and departs. Intrigued, Christian tracks down Barbara and a romance blossoms.
The two check into a motel, where Christian is attacked by a mysterious stranger in the bathroom. In the ensuing scuffle, the stranger is shot. Christian and Barbara panic and flee the room, only to discover that they left behind incriminating evidence. When they return to the motel, they are shocked to discover that the corpse is gone.
Barbara suggests they stay at a friend's place by the sea, as her friend is currently away on vacation. They arrive only to find that they are not alone. Someone is spying on them from a motor boat. Someone is calling the house. Most unnervingly of all, Christian and Barbara discover that a father and daughter, Malcolm and Clarinda, have rented the supposedly vacant property. They allow Christian and Barbara to stay, but none are around long as someone begins to bump them off! Who is Barbara, really? What of Christian's industrialist brother, Fritz? And who's leaving around mannequins with knives stuck into them?
Lenzi made a decent giallo here, despite the lack of requisite gore and nudity. The story runs a bit long at times, but the Ennio Morricone soundtrack, the random shots of mutilated mannequins, and the decidedly un-Lenzi-like shot compositions and lighting more than make up for it. Recommended. Buy it here.

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