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Pier Paolo Capponi,
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Pier Paolo Capponi
A woman searches for her missing lover, a psychiatrist who has suddenly vanished for no apparent reason. She ends up at a villa populated by a group of eccentric individuals. A string of murders commence immediately.
This is nasty stuff. Surprisingly strong for a 1972 movie, Polselli's over-complex and contrived giallo happily depicts what other people would only dare hint to in a number of jaw-droppingly misogynistic scenes of sexual violence. In one remarkably unpleasant scene, a black gloved killer masturbates a female victim as he strangles her. I find it surprising that movies like NEW YORK RIPPER are so infamous when extreme stuff like this and GIALLO A VENEZIA exist. It's quite amazing that these films were made at all, let alone had a cinema release!
Focusing away from the violence, this is actually a pretty well made and tight giallo. Whilst a lot more sleazy than some of the classy entries into the genre, Polselli hits the viewer with some relatively innovative scenes and camera-work. The plot is hilariously winding- I won't give too much away, but fans of the more ridiculous giallos will not be disappointed. There is also a definite undercurrent of black humour, particularly in some of the scenes of violence. I think it is safe to say that the misogynistic humour will be left misunderstood by most.
Unfortunately, DELIRIUM fell victim to distributor re-cutting in a big way. The American version is hugely different to the original Italian release, losing a lot of violence, gaining some new footage, and asa result suffering quite marked changes to the plot itself! The different versions are really quite different, and I'd advise any giallo collector to check out both. By all accounts, the French print of the movie is the most complete "uncut" form. Definitely worth a look for fans of giallos and of good, honest cinematic scum.
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