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Old 26th February 2016, 06:14 PM
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All the Colours of the Dark (1972)

Of all the gialli i own Sergio Martino's All the Colours of the Dark is perhaps the most genre bending. For the most part, indeed right up until the final fifteen minutes, this superb film is purely and simply a horror film without any giallo elements whatsoever.

The story concerns Jane, (Edwige Fenech) a young woman living in London, who following personal tragedy is having recurring nightmares of a man with blue eyes stalking her with a knife. From here the film delves deeper into Janes psyche as she is coerced into taking part in a Black Magic rite as all her dreams seemingly become a nightmarish reality.

I really like Sergio Martino as a director. In films like Your Vice is a Locked Room and only I have the Key, Blade of the Ripper, Torso and The Violent Professionals he epitomizes Italian cinema of the 70's. Sex, violence, crime, name it. In All the Colours of the Dark he seemingly leaves his giallo / crime comfort zone and drags us kicking and screaming into a terrifying dream world of violence and sexually explicit black magic. The film has a disorienting effect the longer it goes on, as Jane's reality becomes lost in her nightmares and gives the viewer a woozy unrelenting confusion as you feel trapped alongside her, seemingly as unhinged as she is. Some of the ritual scenes are genuinely frightening as Fenech is gang raped by the sect members on more than one occasion and the film really gets under your skin due to Martino's eerie surreal camera work and a traumatic score from Bruno Nicolai.

It's only in the final reel that the film sports any resemblance to a giallo thanks to some unconventional plot twists and turns.

The film has a strong cast including a deliciously creepy Julian Ugarte, George Hilton, Nieves Navarro and Ivan Rassimov, but it's the outstanding Fenech, in her best performance from what i've seen, that really holds the film and keeps the viewer on the edge of their seat.

Martino's film is often mesmerizing, extremely gripping and always unpredictable. Quite simply, All the Colours of the Dark is one of my favourite Italian horror films of all time.

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