(Armando Crispino, 1975)
A rash of murders and suicides sweeps through Rome, and pathologist Simona Sana (Mimsy Farmer) has more corpses and workplace harassment on the slab than she can handle. Before being sent home, she nearly has a breakdown and hallucinates that the corpses are coming to life. To add to her stress, her boyfriend Edgar (Ray Lovelock) has been getting a bit pushy with his unwanted advances, and the only solace she has are her father and her thesis on the differences between real and staged suicides.
One morning, the corpse of an unidentified woman is found on the beach with a bullet in her head and a gun in her hand. Simona takes an interest in the case, as it may be valuable to her thesis. She discovers, with the help of a red wig, that not only was the suicide faked, but that she'd met the woman not long before. The corpse is soon identified by the victim's brother, ex-race car driver-turned-priest Paul Lennox, a man with a spotty past and a nasty temper. When those around her start dying under mysterious circumstances, and an attempt is made on her own life, Simona finds she may be better acquainted with the killer than she might have imagined.
Most viewers, gialli fiends included, might find Autopsy a bit draggy. It opens promisingly enough with a montage of suicides, and then some craziness in the morgue, but completely putters out shortly thereafter. It's only the purposely awkward nude scenes and the Crime Museum sequence that might keep one going until the sadly predictable ending.
On the technical side, Autopsy is also a little flat, though there are a number of memorable images and sequences to balance out the bland color palette and uninspired camerawork. The soundtrack by the ubiquitous Ennio Morricone switches from dissonant strings and moaning female voices to some rather cheesy chamber music, and matches Farmer's performance in it's chilliness and paranoia. Not a bad film, but not terribly exciting either. Buy it here.
10 months ago