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The wife of a doctor (Jean Sorel) is murdered. He had a mistress a long ago, since his wife (Marisa Mell) always begged herself out of engagements because she is a asthmatic. On the other hand, she enjoyed a part time job as a stripper. Did the doctor kill her? Written by
Lukas Fichtinger <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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No gore this time, but still a great Lucio Fulci film!
It's hard to believe that this thriller was directed by the same man who would go on to create such gory highlights as Zombie Flesh-Eaters and City of the Living Dead, but indeed this is a film from the Lucio Fulci that us gore hounds know and love. His later Giallo, such as A Lizard in Woman's Skin and Don't Torture a Duckling weren't as bloody as Fulci fans are used to, and this one is even less so; in fact, it isn't even a horror movie. Fulci does find time for graphic images, however, but things such as a badly decomposed corpse look out of place in a movie that is much more about mystery and suspense than shocking its audience. Fulci often doesn't get the respect he deserves when it comes to movie-making, and that's unfair as he really does know how to tell a story. One on Top of the Other focuses on themes of love and revenge, and follows the story of a doctor with a wife who suffers from chronic asthma. After her death, he is enticed to a nightclub along with his mistress, where he meets a young woman who is the double of his dead wife. Shortly thereafter, the corpse of his wife is unearthed and traces of poison are found in the body...
The film takes obvious influence from the great Alfred Hitchcock film 'Vertigo', but unlike a lot of Italian films from the sixties and seventies; this one is not merely a retread of its popular American influence. Fulci injects his own style and verve into the plot, and common Giallo elements such as crossed loyalties and compromising situation for the lead victim start to creep in. The acting on display here is superb, with Jean Sorel putting in a fabulous performance in the lead role in which he manages to captivate the audience and be convincing at the same time. The female leads are more striking; however, and both Marisa Mell and Elsa Martinelli get to act as well providing beautiful eye candy for the audience. Unlike a lot of Giallo's, this one takes place outside of Italy and makes San Francisco the central location. The landscapes look great, and the original jazz music by Riz Ortolani helps to ensure that swinging sixties feel comes across. There is a lack of murders in this film, which may disappoint Giallo and Fulci fans; but the intrigue that appears instead offsets this nicely, and overall I don't hesitate to say that One on Top of the Other is one of the great Giallo films!
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