A triangle of friendship, love, sex, and, perhaps, murder. Minou is newly married to Peter, a businessman in debt as he works to bring a new product to market. They met through Dominique, ... See full summary »
A triangle of friendship, love, sex, and, perhaps, murder. Minou is newly married to Peter, a businessman in debt as he works to bring a new product to market. They met through Dominique, sexually voracious, Minou's best friend, and Peter's former (and possibly still) lover. A stranger accosts Minou one night on the beach while Peter is away. He tells her that Peter has murdered a business associate and blackmails her into sleeping with him. He compounds the blackmail with photos taken of their tryst. To Minou's surprise, this same stranger is in a pornographic photo Dominique has imported from Denmark. Is this all a game, and if so, who's behind it? Written by
THE FORBIDDEN PHOTOS OF A LADY ABOVE SUSPICION (Luciano Ercoli - Italy/Spain 1970).
Luciano Ercoli can be called many things. He might not be the most innovative director, but he definitely is the king of fashion, with all the women dressed up in some truly outrageous '70s outfits. His muse Nieves Navarro in particular parades through the film in some truly skimpy outfits, resulting in unintentional campyness. When talking camp, watch the dancing scene in the club in the beginning of the film with Dagmar Lassander. In God's heaven, this is one tacky dancing scene we're watching. All the men are in suits, the women are outrageously dressed, the music is a hallucinate boggle of easy-listening tunes James Last wouldn't even dare to come up with and the way they dance (how do you even dance to this kind of music?) is truly a perfect showcase of tacky '70s euro-nonsense. Guilty. Case closed. Still, it's a complete riot when watching it now and that's probably why I enjoy these films so much.
In all his three Gialli, FORBIDDEN PHOTOS, DEATH WALKS ON HIGH HEELS and DEATH WALKS AT MIDNIGHT, Ercoli presents his story from a female perspective, but they are presented as utterly helpless when dealing with the various male perpetrators and chauvinist male detectives surrounding them. Even husbands or boyfriends, or any male capable of help turns out to be just as malevolent as all the blackmailers, wife-beaters and murderers. Nudity level and body count are low, but as a mystery it's actually much more effective than most Gialli, stylishly filmed, well acted and permeated with intrigue, blackmail and fetishistic violence, supported by a groovy Ennio Morricone score. Although graphic violence is restricted to a minimum, Dagmar Lassander has to undergo quite the ordeal with a mire of sedatives, alcohol and sleazy sex and strange conversations with the assertive bisexual figure of Nieves Navarro. She repeatedly keeps hearing from all male characters: "Get undressed!"
Just imagine this film, which was extremely obscure and hardly ever seen until its DVD-release in June 2006, sold almost 638,000 tickets in Spain alone according to the IMDb, probably largely due to the appeal of Spanish-born Nieves Navarro (over 2 million admissions in Europe is my guess). Blue Underground presents the film without an Italian audiotrack, but - surprise, surprise - the English dubbing is actually quite good now, which is always a major bonus.
Camera Obscura --- 7/10
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