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A Lizard in a Woman's Skin (1971)
"Una lucertola con la pelle di donna" (original title)

R  |   |  Mystery, Thriller  |  20 March 1973 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 2,348 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 80 critic

A young woman is accused of murdering her debauched neighbor after dreaming it. Was she set up, or did she really do it?

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Writers:

(screenplay), (story), 5 more credits »
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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Carol Hammond
...
Inspector Corvin
Jean Sorel ...
Frank Hammond
Silvia Monti ...
Deborah
Alberto de Mendoza ...
Sgt. Brandon
Penny Brown ...
Jenny (hippie girl)
Mike Kennedy ...
Hubert (hippie guy)
Ely Galleani ...
Joan Hammond (as Edy Gall)
George Rigaud ...
Dr. Kerr
Ezio Marano ...
Lowell (scientific squad)
Franco Balducci ...
McKenna
Luigi Antonio Guerra ...
Policeman
Erzsi Paál ...
Mrs. Gordon (as Ersi Pond)
Gaetano Imbró ...
Policeman
...
Edmond Brighton
Edit

Storyline

Florinda Bolkan plays the daughter of a prominant English politician who keeps having recurring "nightmares" in which she makes love to a bisexual nympho who lives downstairs and conducts all-night LSD orgies. When the nocturnal wet dreams become murderous, the neighbor turns up dead, and Florinda is the main suspect. Did she actually commit the murder she dreamt about? Is she being framed by her philandering husband? Did Florinda actually make nightly visits downstairs aside from borrowing the occasional cup of sugar? How DID Florinda's letter opener end up stuck in the dead neighbor's chest anyway? The complex plot unfolds amidst red herrings, outlandish dream sequences, lesbian hanky panky, and ominous close-ups of Florinda Bolkan's guilt-ridden facial expressions every time someone mentions the murder. All this takes place in swinging late-1960's London. Written by Mike Justice <Fergus21@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Biting, Gnawing Terror Claws at Your Brain! See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

20 March 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Lizard in a Woman's Skin  »

Box Office

Gross:

ESP 24,160,712 (Spain)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene in which Carol encounters the disemboweled dogs in the clinic became quite controversial because of the startlingly realistic (and graphic) appearance of the fake prop dogs. Director Lucio Fulci was nearly sent to prison because it was believed that the dogs were real and Fulci had allowed animal cruelty on the film. However crew members were able to testify in court that the "dogs" were indeed fake and no animals had ever been harmed. Special effects artist Carlo Rambaldi even presented the dog props in court to convince the jury. This was the first time that an effects artist had to testify in court that their work was fake. See more »

Goofs

Guide wires clearly visible on all three of the knives Jenny throws. See more »

Connections

Referenced in No Telling (1991) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
An acid trip by a much maligned director
5 January 2008 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

Even though Lucio Fulci's name is usually uttered in the same breath as those of Mario Bava and Dario Argento in "who's the best Italian horror director?" discussions, he's just as likely to be dismissed as an incompetent hack that couldn't direct traffic. "A Lizard in a Woman's Skin", like the rest of his gialli efforts from the 70's is solid proof of the opposite. Unlike other genre efforts that leave the viewer baffled with ludicrous plot twists and impossible endings, "Lizard...", convoluted as it may be, ranks among the most solid crime mysteries the Italian scene produced.

Of course that doesn't mean the final 20 minutes aren't bound to give you a headache as the plot unfolds its myriad twists and turns. Every character is a suspect. In turns Carrol, her husband, two hippies, Carrol's step daughter and her father. Yet all the loose ends are tied very neatly in the end. Beautifully staged gore, great cinematography and hot European babes shedding their clothes are other genre staples and "Lizard.." doesn't dissappoint, even though it's gore-lite. It certainly doesn't live up to Fulci's rep (a rep not entirely representative of his vast work, spanning many different genres from westerns to crime action and comedies), but I have no problem when the overall quality is so good. Coupled with a languid jazzy score by the maestro, Ennio Morricone, solid performances, intriguing set pieces and delirious dream sequences, Fulci here weaves a beautiful tappestry that will leave no fan of bizarre Italo-horror disappointed. And if anything, it just goes to prove that Fulci was a great director, even if his post New York Ripper catalogue may suggest the opposite.

Apart from the final 20 minutes, where the labyrinthine plot unfolds through remarkable detective work, the first sequence is great. It's Carrol's dream. She's pushing her way through a narrow (train?) corridor full of people, in slo mo, with an anguished look on her face. Suddenly the corridor is full of naked people (also known as hippies). Then she's falling into the void with darkness surrounding her. She lands on a lavish velvet bed, dressed in a grey fur, and makes out with the gorgeous Annita Strindberg. I haven't been thrown off so much by an opening scene since Martino's "The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh" (another great sleazy psychedelic opening). The rest of the dream scenes, including the murder, are all dizzying and off-beat.

Overall, this is a must see for giallo fans, Fulci fans that want to discover his other side and all the nay sayers. If possible, try and find the uncut Italian version. It might be full-screen but you get 5 minutes of additional gore and nudity.


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