Devil in the Brain (1972)
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I was delighted to find that this movie is now available on VHS or DVD, by a company called "Video Search of Miami". Quality of the DVD I received was only OK, but I was still pleased to add this film to my Keir Dullea collection.
"Devil in the Brain" is a tense Italian-made thriller directed by Sergio Solima; starring Tino Buazzelli Keir Dullea Stefania Sandrelli and Maurice Ronet; a young boy saw the killer but a shock-induced trauma keeps him from remembering the details-- however the killer doesn't feel safe.
The original Italian title was "IL DIAVOLO NEL CERVELLO". Beautiful score by Ennio Morricone.
Kier Dullea has just returned to Milan after some time working in South America, when he spots old flame Sandra walking down the street. She ignores his shouting and when he attempts to follow her he finds that she lives in a huge mansion owned by her mother. Not showing any obsessive tendencies at all, Keir rents a flat overlooking Sandra's estate and starts spying on her with binoculars.
He also starts following her mother around and discovers that Sandra's son is staying at a children's home run by some nuns, and is only let out by his grandmother to go and pray at his father's grave. Of course, his father 'accidentally shot himself while cleaning a gun'. To add to all this, Sandra doesn't recognise Keir, has somehow mentally reverted back to being ten years old, doesn't remember being married and having a kid, and worst of all, has taken to drawing circles over and over and over again.
Of course Keir starts meddling in order to find out what happened and gets his doctor friend involved. It looks like the kid was evil, killed his father and drove his mother insane, but as this happens halfway through the film, and this is a giallo, how much of that do you is true?
The doctor was the best character in the film by far. He has no personal interest in the case and is genuinely concerned for both the welfare of the child and his mother. Keir on the other hand is hung up on the fact that Sandra dumped him to marry the rich dead guy. There's a disturbing scene where Sandra comes on to him and he reciprocates, just realising in time that she's got the mind of a child. Blech!
Good acting all round and a zig-zag storyline keep things afloat for the duration so it never gets boring. I can't really comment on the look of the film however as the version I watched was recorded off RAIDUE. The RAI kids channel was better by the way it used to show the Karate Warrior films, just as proof that Italian do watch the crap films they also produce.