Luigi is engaged to Cinzia, he has a good job and his life runs quietly. But unexpectedly his cousin Sonia knocks at his door. She lived in Venezuela with her parents but they have disappeared and she came back to Italy. She is very young and beautiful and once she loved Luigi. What is he to do?
There are three key ingredients that make an excellent giallo production. First, you need a drop-dead-gorgeous starlet that will readily take at least two showers in front of the camera, naked of course, and during the course of the film will not shy away from further revealing her “acting skills”. Second, you need a good amount of red paint, preferably not the Ferrari-red type. And third, you need a relatively good mystery story complimented with a few catchy tunes to bring that extra bit of chill. Now imagine that you throw in the mix one of the sexiest European stars to ever grace the exploitation genre canvas-Edwige Fenech, a legendary Italian director-Sergio Martino, and a script based on a short story by celebrated writer Edgar Alan Poe…and there you have it…Il Tuo vizio e una stanza chiusa e solo ion e ho la chiave a.k.a Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I have the Key (1972), a spectacular giallo production that mixes all the right ingredients with just about the right amount of style we pointed out above.
Very minor spoilers on the second paragraph. All the Colors of the Dark (Tutti i Colori del Buio) is probably the strangest film Sergio Martino ever directed. While not a giallo in the most traditional sense, it seems logical to apply the genre’s framework when discussing it, given that it showcases many of the conventions associate with films of this type, and also because it falls bang in the middle of Martino’s giallo period, produced in the wake of The Strange Vice of Signora Ward and Case Of The Scorpion’s Tale, and preceding Your Vice Is a Closed Room and Only I Have the Key and Torso. A brief glance at the film’s credits reveals a wealth of giallo regulars. Apart from director Martino, we have screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi, composer Bruno Nicolai, and a cast comprised of genre heavyweights, led by Edwige Fenech and George Hilton, often regarded as the giallo’s “Golden Couple”. Continue reading
A fetishistic killer is on the loose, a madman in a balaclava who enjoys murdering young women (and occasionally men, if they happen to get in the way). When two university students drop dead, Jane (Suzy Kendall) and her three friends, Daniela (Tina Aumont), Katia (Angela Covello) and Ursula (Carla Brait), decide to high-tail it to a villa in the countryside until the whole thing blows over. Unbeknownst to them, however, the killer has decided to tag along and proceeds to stalk them before launching into a blood-thirsty orgy of death. It feels great to be a student! Continue reading
Well, it’s not big and it’s not clever – but Sex with a Smile is great fun, and rather funny in places; plus it features performances from five of Italy’s hottest ladies, so what’s not to like? The stories in the film apparently focus on Italian humour, but to me it seemed pretty universal and I think that even people who don’t know anything about Italian humour will find this funny. The film features five separate stories, all involving sex and all ending with a funny and ironic little twist. The stories are all around twenty minutes long, and most of them will raise a smile from the audience. The stories mostly seem to focus on a hot woman bewitching a weak willed man, but when the women in question are Barbara Bouchet, Dayle Haddon, Giovanna Ralli, Edwige Fenech and Sydne Rome – it’s not hard to see things from the male point of view! The film is perhaps not quite as sexy as it thinks it is or wants to be, but there’s no shortage of hot women lolling around in next to nothing and director Sergio Martino manages a lot of nice visuals, which are sure to keep the audience happy. Continue reading