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Vittorio De Sisti
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The Fourth Victim is a film very much in the style of Umberto Lenzi's late sixties Giallo's (including Orgasmo and So Sweet...So Perverse). The film is very tame and relies on its story, rather than brutal and bloody murders, for its thrills; and that, unfortunately, is its downfall. While the storytelling is not particularly bad for the most part; it's just not exciting enough and by the time the film takes a turn for the final third, many audience members will already be switched off; and that's a shame because the basic story here is stronger than that of a lot of other genre films. The film takes place in Britain and the plot focuses on Arthur Anderson. We begin with a wordless sequence that sees Anderson find his wife dead in the swimming pool. He and his housekeeper drag her body from the pool and call a doctor, who gives a death certificate. However, it transpires that Anderson has already had two wives die on him; but an insurance investigation leads to there being no wrong-doing on his part. Shortly thereafter Anderson meets Julie and marries her...but will Julie become 'the fourth victim', and is there more to her than meets the eye?
The film stars American actress and Umberto Lenzi favourite Carroll Baker alongside Michael Craig. The male lead is good and provides just the right tone for his slightly sinister character; while Baker just goes through the motions in what is a rather lightweight part in the movie. The script is the film's downfall as it is rather dull and not very realistic. Most of the film is just soap opera stuff that fails to fascinate, and it's not very realistic either. The dialogue is poor and the film rushes headlong into its first major plot point - a wedding - all too quickly and unrealistically. The film does deliver a twist around the start of the final third, and it does serve in making things more interesting...although it's a rather strange twist that comes in almost from nowhere and pretty much undermines the main plot of the film. This is made worse by the fact that the ending doesn't give any credibility to the main plot, and it's all just kind of brushed away, almost like the filmmakers got bored and just wanted to end things early. Overall, this is just an average Giallo and I wouldn't recommend anyone goes out of their way to see it.
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