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Amando de Ossorio
This is one of the few entirely Spanish gialli and probably the only one that doesn't feature Spanish horror icon/werewolf Paul Naschy. It does have the doomed leftist American actress Jean Seaberg (a few years before she was driven to suicide by FBI harassment)and former Spanish child actress Marisol, all grown up here in all the right places. It has a very nasty murder committed by a guy dressed like Charlie Chaplin (I wonder what the late actor's estate thought of that?)and even more unbelievable scene where an entire family is wiped out by a mysterious figure in a rain slicker wielding a scythe. There is also a strange subplot where Chris Miller (the Marisol character) is traumatized by the sound of rain as the result of having been raped in a shower by a weight lifter (which would have made a great cameo for ex-weight lifter Naschy). Her stepmother (the Jean Seaberg character)is taking care of her but is also bent on "corrupting" her to get back at the girl's father for abandoning them (which might explain why she's relocated them to Spain where it seems to rain constantly).
The weak link in the movie is British pretty-boy Barry Stokes (it should have been Ray Lovelock)playing a drifter who insinuates his way into the lives and the beds of the two women and who they begin to suspect might be the mysterious killer. Stokes gives pretty much the same performance as when he portrayed an emotionless alien in "Prey", he is not the least bit menacing or believable as a potential killer, and, to top it all off, he provides the film's only nudity by shoving his bare butt into the camera (oh boy!). On the other hand, the end is pretty satisfying with some nice ironic twists.
This is by no means a perfect movie, but it certainly merits a DVD resurrection (the copy I saw looked like hell and may have been edited). It would probably be best to wait for that, but do check this one out if you like these kind of films.
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