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Alberto de Mendoza
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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>
When people think of Lucio Fulci, it's always his gorier and largely incoherent efforts that spring to mind. Films like Zombie Flesh-Eaters and The Beyond, which are most definitely good films if you like that sort of thing (as I certainly do!); but they don't adequately portray the man's talent. If you want to see the 'great' Fulci films, you need to go back to his Giallo days with films like Don't Torture a Duckling and indeed this film; A Lizard in Woman's Skin. Fulci's first Giallo is a trippy thriller that excellently captures the laid back style of the swinging sixties and blends it magnificently with the thrilling pace that has gone on to epitomise the Italian thriller. The film follows a young woman (Florinda Bolkan) who dreams that she is having orgies with a hippy woman that lives downstairs. Events take a turn for the worse when the young woman dreams that she's killed the hippy, who then turns up dead; brutally murdered in her apartment, in exactly the way that the woman dreamt...
While this film isn't as brutal as some of the later Giallo efforts, Fulci succeeds in creating a foreboding atmosphere and manages to keep his audience on the edge of their seats. The plot line is rather strange, and Fulci makes best use of this through an excellent Ennio Morricone score, which firmly instills the trippy atmosphere in the viewers mind. The Giallo has come to be synonymous with brutal murders and lots of gore but, ironically, Fulci keeps his murders down a minimum and some of them even happen off screen. This is both a good and a bad thing as I, personally, like seeing brutal murders in Giallo's; but on the other hand it allows Fulci to keep the focus firmly on the central murder and he doesn't get sidetracked with lots of blood and gore, which does the film itself lots of favours. The mystery boils down to an excellent ending, in which the film is tied up nicely and we are treated to a great twist and some first rate detective work from the detective on the case. Highly recommended viewing and a must for Giallo fans!
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