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What we have here is a sort of crossover between a spy thriller and a Giallo. Both the film's titles - 'A Taste of Excitement' and the over the top 'Who Would Want to Kill a Girl Like You' would lend themselves excellently to a stylish Italian thriller, so it's not surprising that the film is a lot like a Giallo. The main influence for A Taste of Fear would seem to be the Hammer Horror classic 'A Taste of Fear', as the films have similarities both in plotting and execution. I went into this film expecting more of a horror movie, but the film couldn't be much further away from what I was expecting; this is pretty much just a spy thriller. The film focuses on Jane Kerell; a young woman who decides to spend her holiday in France. It's not long before she has become the victim of a series of attacks, and after becoming involved with a local man; it turns out that she is unwittingly carrying around evidence of an international crime network. Naturally, representatives from the network want to get their hands on this evidence, and so do Scotland Yard.
Had this film have been tackled by someone like Alfred Hitchcock, I don't doubt that it would have been great. Hitchcock excelled with films like this, and indeed all the elements needed for a top quality thriller are present. Not that I'm putting a slur on the name of Don Sharp; Sharp went on to direct the criminally underrated supernatural thriller 'Psychomania' as well as a couple of Hammer Horror's best films; Kiss of the Vampire of Rasputin: The Mad Monk before this, but he's not so great at working with this sort of material. The characters presented aren't all that interesting anyway, and Sharp doesn't succeed in putting any meat on them. Furthermore, the action is never thoroughly interesting and I have to admit that I found myself getting a bit bored on numerous occasions. The film really just plods along without a great deal of direction for the most part, and there isn't a great deal of standout moments. Discovering a forgotten film like this is always a treat, and so it is with great disappointment that I say that A Taste of Excitement isn't really worth tracking down.
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