A pharmacist is murdered, and a woman happens to see the culprit leave the scene. She soon finds herself being stalked by the killer, and when her boyfriend tries to discover who the ... See full summary »
A psychotic small-time criminal realizes that the everyday robberies, rapes and murders he commits aren't making him all that much money, so he figures to hit the "big time" by kidnapping the daughter of a rich man.
A superstitious, illiterate young gypsy servant girl comes to live with a solitary female artist at her country chateau. The girl has recurring nightmares of a naked man on horseback ... See full summary »
José Ramón Larraz
From his youth, Paolo Castorini, a Sicilian baron, is as attracted to women as they to him. Giovanna, a servant girl, Lillian, a serious girlfriend in Rome, a hostess at a post-war party, ... See full summary »
In Dublin, a young woman is brutally murdered in her home by a maniac that throws acid in her face and then slits her throat with a razor. Her mangled body is later discovered in the boot ... See full summary »
The widow Alexandra and her schoolgirl daughter Sandra live together in a luxurious villa in Spain. When Fernando, an old love of Alexandra's, appears in town the two rekindle their love ... See full summary »
Umberto Lenzi, undoubtedly one of Italy's most diverse directors, directed a handful of Giallo's in his career, which ranged in quality from absolutely superb (Seven Blood-Stained Orchids) to rather silly (Eyeball), but Oasis of Fear was made while Lenzi still had a lot of respect for the genre, and as such it stands tall as one of his very best films. The first thing that struck me about the film was the happy pop soundtrack, and this ends up offsetting the nihilistic tone of the film beautifully once the first big twist hits. The film starts out by introducing us to two amiable British hippies, who travel to a foreign country to buy pornography. After spending all their money, the pair decides to begin making their own pornography, and it's not long before they find themselves on the run from the local coppers. After breaking down outside a lavish manor house, they decide to enter and steal some petrol. However, the lady of the house catches them and after initially wanting them to leave, she changes her mind and invites the pair in for a little three-way party...
This film doesn't adhere to the usual Giallo rules and traditions, and at first it's difficult to see where it's going. Lenzi does a good job with creating his characters, however, and although the first half of the movie is all about setting up the second half, it's interesting thanks to the handling and decent performances from all concerned. When the twist in the tale comes about, it's amazingly shocking because it appears to come out of nowhere, although Lenzi does a good job of ensuring that it doesn't feel superfluous to the plot, and the change of direction certainly suits the film. Oasis of Fear benefits from a good cast, which includes prolific Italian cult film star Ray Lovelock and future Italian beauty Ornella Muti. The pair interacts well, and provide good impressions of their characters; even though they're clearly not British. The real standout, however, is Irene Papas who is handed the meatiest role in the film (the one usually given to Carol Baker), and gets to have fun with a character who is anything but what she seems. The standout sequence of the film takes place in an aviary full of owls, and the nihilistic conclusion manages to be sad despite the lightweight nature of the movie, and overall; this is a Giallo definitely worth tracking down.
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