Wednesday, February 29, 2012

PERVERSION STORY aka One On Top Of The Other

(Lucio Fulci, 1969)
Dr George Dumurrier's (Jean Sorel) asthmatic wife Susan (Marisa Mell) is found dead, and to complicate matters, he's been named sole beneficiary of her will. Having a mistress and lying about the operations performed in his clinic don't really add to the Dr's credibilty, and he soon finds himself under the scrutiny of the police.
The stress really starts to sink in on the newly liberated George when, at a topless go-go bar with his girlfriend, he meets a stripper, Monica (Marisa Mell again), who looks uncannily like a blonde version of his deceased wife. The freakish resemblance leads the police to believe it's an elaborate case of insurance fraud, which doesn't bode well for poor George.
I was not prepared to enjoy this as much as I did, knowing what I thought I did about Fulci. Here he's at the top of his game, at his arty best. This was early in his career, well before he became disillusioned and bitter with the film industry, and it really shows. True to the time it came out, Perversion Story is a 60's experimental experience with sharp editing, creative compositions and opticals, split-screen effects, and ,of course, nudity. To top it all off, it has a fan-funkin-tastic jazz score by Riz Ortolani.
There's little violence and gore in this early giallo, two post-Bird With The Crystal Plumage genre requirements, but the story's compelling enough to maintain interest. And there's the sex scenes too. Lots of 'em. Once again though, they're done quite tastefully and artistically. Oh Lucio, why couldn't you have maintained this standard with all of your films?

1 comment:

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