A woman searches for her missing lover, a psychiatrist who has suddenly vanished for no apparent reason. She ends up at a villa populated by a group of eccentric individuals. A string of murders commence immediately.
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This thriller by renowned Italian screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi is a very early Giallo - made just shortly after Mario Bava's first modern Italian thriller SEI DONNE PER L'ASSASSINO (1964) that is considered being the first real Giallo at all. But LIBIDO, shot in black and white, is not only one of the earliest Gialli. It is also one of the most accomplished - even though it was made in less than three weeks according to Gastaldi.
Christian (Giancarlo Giannini in his first movie) returns to the house by the sea where he grew up. He's accompanied by his fiancée and a befriended couple. As a child, he witnessed his father killing his mistress before jumping over a cliff. With the return, Christian should finally overcome his childhood trauma that emerged. As soon as he is back in his old home, though, Christian sees strange things that lead him to the assumption his father must still be alive.
Only one location (the house and the immediate environment), only four actors for most of the time - plus plenty of thrills and psychological terror make this one a winner. LIBIDO starts with a quote by Sigmund Freud. It can't get much more appropriate than that, because of all Gialli, this is the most Freudian one (and there are quite a bunch). Towards the climax, the plot twists pile up, of course, and they all do not only work, but are also clever and surprising (and try to do that with only a quartet of characters).
LIBIDO is a classic of its genre - essential viewing for Giallo fans and thus not to be missed.
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