I Saw A Film!

Another stylish Italian murder fantasy involving gorgeous lady victims and a distracting soundtrack with loads of strings and pounded pianos. Even the homes of these ladies are fantastic, crazy split levels, with huge open floor plans and lots of art. The killer, as is required, doesn’t just kill but torments as well, so that there’s plenty of adrenaline and room for even more of the discordant soundtrack. The killer wears latex gloves and the filmmaker loves to cut to the police wearing them as they investigate the weird killings which involve the victims being more or less pithed like dissection frogs in a bio-lab. One of our victims is the lovely Barbara Bach who would later end up married to Ringo Star and star herself in Caveman! Who could have known her fate!

Our cop hero is Giancarlo Giannini who has been in recent Bond films. Here he’s a reluctant inspector who feels certain he’s not cut out for the job. At home his cute wife has sold all his furniture to get better stuff. He relaxes into it, giving us his mild personality and his affection for his wife.

Then we get to a biology lesson about wasps and tarantulas, using, hilariously, a bee and orb-weaving spider while a white-coated lab-worker narrates a BS version of what’s supposed to be happening, all this to introduce “very dangerous” tarantulas (Goliath pink-footed tarantulas in the pet trade) being transported in cocaine, and the idea of the murderer’s preferred killing technique which has nothing to do with inserting eggs into bellies but has something to do with paralysis. And in fact, the cocaine angle is a red-herring anyway, which is weird because it’s still used for both title and the killer’s technique. So, yeah, it’s a clumsy set up.

There are plenty of oddball characters at the massage parlor/retreat/health spa prominent in the film and we’re kept guessing as to the probable killer, though our suspicions will rest soundly with a particular character. Said character, as is customary in these old Italian pop-psychological thrillers, will provide a discussion of the reasoning behind the violence as adorable cop wife is drawn into the fracas. And the ending will be exasperating with its blaming of a former wife for inciting the killer. Let this be a warning to you ladies! There are definitely some decisions that we might quibble with in terms of subduing our killer, when a pistol was at hand, but if you’re looking for maximum drama, it’s hard to argue with the might of Italian emotion.

This is running free on prime and looks to have inspired many slashers from the 80s. They should have used the same bright shade of movie blood!

I do appreciate that the victims get top billing in Italian thrillers!

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