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The Flower with the Deadly Sting (1973)
"Il fiore dai petali d'acciaio" (original title)

 -  Thriller  -  August 1976 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 82 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 2 critic

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Cast overview:
Gianni Garko ...
Dr. Andrea Valenti
Ivano Staccioli ...
Ispettore Garrano
Pilar Velázquez ...
Paola Senatore ...
Umberto Raho ...
Eleonora Morana ...
Female surgeon
Angelo Bassi
Giuseppe Mattei
Alessandro Perrella ...
First young surgeon
Alba Maiolini ...
Female porter


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Release Date:

August 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Flower with the Deadly Sting  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

Very well-made giallo with a strong cast
21 August 2010 | by (Denver, Colorado and Santiago, Chile) – See all my reviews

Gianni Garko plays an amoral, social-climbing surgeon who has had his wealthy wife committed to a mental institution. After he accidentally kills his mistress(Paola Senatore) in a bizarre accident involving the titular "flower with petals of steel" (actually a sculpture),he manages to dispose of the body, but finds himself being pursued by the woman's sister, who is also his vengeful former (Carrol Baker), and a dogged police inspector. Then he begins to be blackmailed by a strange voice on the phone. He also has ANOTHER lover, a nurse (Pilar Velasquez) who may not be what she appears.

This obscure, long unavailable(at least in English) Italian giallo has a central twist that even by the standards of the genre is pretty far-fetched. It generally works though. It is very well-filmed. Piccolo is not one of the acknowledged masters of the genre like Argento or Bava (or Martino, Fulci, or Lenzi), but he definitely does a good job. The movie begins with a beautifully shot, seemingly gratuitous underwater diving scene that doesn't make sense until the end where it turns out to be a (definitely gratuitous) underwater lesbian scene (which gives new meaning to the term "muff diving"), but I would think also the first such scene in cinema history. The rest of the cinematography and editing is impressive too (if sometimes a little dark in the print I saw), but with one rather awkward murder scene.

The acting is very good, the Italian cast much more so than Carroll Baker (who I imagine was getting tired of the genre by this time). Garko manages to make his character a sympathetic Hitchcockian innocent, who only towards the end is revealed to be real cad getting his comeuppance. Paola Senatore doesn't have much screen time, but is very effective (it helps that she's naked in almost every scene). The beautiful Velasquez also provides some sumptuous nudity, but also some good acting as she goes from a seemingly throw-away character to a very important one by the end. The print I saw was a Spanish language fan-sub, but I imagine this would only get better with a more legitimate, re-mastered release.

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