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Old 4th April 2011, 09:41 PM
NUTS4R2 NUTS4R2 is offline
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Default Part 2


And the more this movie plays out... the better it gets. After a bizarre “dress ripping” party scene very early on in the picture... where two naked women end up wrestling... we are treated to another flashback scene between Edwige and Ivan where Mrs. Wardh’s particular brand of BDSM (that’s the modern politically correct terminology for what a lot of us would simply call good old, plain S & M) is made clear when, after Jean has done pouring a bottle of some kind of alcoholic substance over Mrs. Wardh’s naked body, he smashes the bottle over her and the shower of glass on her body is used by Jean to cut her body as he has sex with her, to highlight her blood fetish to the audience in what is actually a really beautifully shot scene (I’d expect nothing less of Martino). It’s all handled in loving slow motion... this in direct contrast to the way in which this character is presented in the present/non-flashback level of the story in the previous party scene, pulled to our attention in a crashing and arresting three quarter to close up shot which is in some ways a little reminiscent of the way Sergei Eisenstein would pull out stray “characters” from a crowd rather than just zoom in on them (which he possibly wouldn’t have been able to do anyway when he was making such famous movies such as Strike and Battleship Potemkin). To be fair, Martino does use a zoom here and in a lot of places in the movie, but the way he uses it is with an intensity and passion that never once makes its use feel overused. This is all good stuff.

Even the more familiar trappings of the giallo format are exquisitely mastered and rendered almost super-real by Martino’s techniques. The shiny, black gloved hands of the killer and the glint of a highly polished razor blade are done so stylishly that one can’t help but wonder if the original US title of this movie, Blade of the Ripper, wasn’t inspired purely by the visual style of the movie.

Now I’ve never really appreciated George Hilton much but my friend really likes him (well he kind of looks like him actually so maybe that explains it) and he certainly seems to appear in some good gialli... and here he’s yet another possible suspect as the killer... along with Ivan Rassimov and... oh, no. I’m not giving away all the suspects because, even though at times this particular giallo looks like it’s given up all it’s secrets... it owes a little more than just a shower scene to Alfred Hitchcock and it has a few little tricks up its sleeve towards the end of the picture which you might not quite see coming... and I don’t want to spoil those for you here. But these are all par for the course for the giallo fan and the solution and reveal of the solution to this movie is bound to make most fans of the genre smile.

Another thing that will make fans of the genre smile is one of a series of threatening notes Mrs. Wardh is sent throughout the course of the movie. It ends with a phrase which was to become the title of another great Sergio Martino directed giallo starring both Fenech and Rassimov... Your Vice Is A Locked Room And Only I Have The Key! Perfect.

And to top it off, naturally, we have Nora Orlandi’s incredible score which ranges from bubbly exuberance to deeply haunting (such as the leitmotif lead melody structure I suggested earlier for the flashback sequences) and this really deserves a more commercial release than the extremely limited (double figures?) release by Hexachord... a release, I heard through the grapevine, that was so limited because it wasn’t known at the time who owned the rights to the music. I have a bootleg of this a record producer gave me once but someone like Digitmovies really needs to do a proper commercial run on it because this score is so brilliant and would sell well... especially after some of it was included in Tarantino’s Kill Bill Vol. 2.

The Shameless edition of this movie boasts a beautiful print and an excellent transfer and I have to say, although I’ve seen this movie before, I don’t think I’ve ever seen this movie looking any better than it does here. The preview copy I was sent is one of the “check discs” for the company but... if the final release is anything like the quality on here then fans of this particular giallo are really in for a treat.

There’s also a fistful of great little extras which include pre-menu trailers for some of Shameless up-and-coming releases (which I won’t spoil by revealing here), a new interview with director Sergio Martino, a brief but well put together mini-history on Edwige Fenech and a “trailer park” featuring the promo trailers for the first 30 movies in the Shameless stable.

As usual, Shameless have done a phenomenal job here which I’m sure their loyal fanbase will appreciate.
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