Christian (Robert Hoffman) and his girlfriend are taking a walk on a deserted beach when they discover a woman's body lying. A closer look proves that she's alive. The next day Christian ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Christian Bauman (as Robert Hoffman)
...
Barbara
Ivan Rassimov ...
Fritz Bauman
Adolfo Lastretti ...
Tatum, the killer
Franco Silva ...
Luca
Mario Erpichini ...
Alex
Maria Pia Conte ...
Xenia
Luigi Antonio Guerra ...
Boy - in the 'incipit'
Rosita Torosh ...
Woman in car
Monica Monet ...
Clorinda
Guido Alberti ...
Malcolm
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Storyline

Christian (Robert Hoffman) and his girlfriend are taking a walk on a deserted beach when they discover a woman's body lying. A closer look proves that she's alive. The next day Christian meets her again at a yacht party and they fall in love. Later at a nearby motel, something weird happens as they prepare to go to bed together: An intruder breaks in and starts beating Christian who accidentally shoots him with his own gun. A few hours later they find out that the corpse is missing and a series of weird incidents takes place. Written by Ørnås

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Beyond "Psycho" SPASMO!

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

August 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Efialtis  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Umberto Lenzi added the doll motif to the story. See more »

Quotes

Christian Bauman: It's all so absurd, meaningless. And what's absurd is dangerous.
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Connections

Referenced in Paura: Lucio Fulci Remembered - Volume 1 (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A strange yet compelling giallo-style thriller.
7 January 2012 | by (Hampshire, England) – See all my reviews

I don't know whether it was director Umberto Lenzi's intention or not, but in Spasmo he created a masterpiece of the absurd, a film so convoluted, disjointed, and bizarre in execution that it becomes strangely hypnotic, forcing the viewer to watch to the very end. I can't say I particularly liked the film enough to recommend it to anyone but avid giallo fans, but one thing I can guarantee... you won't have seen anything else quite like it before.

The film stars Robert Hoffman as Christian, a businessman slowly drawn into a strange and terrifying mystery after finding the enigmatic Barbara (Suzy Kendall) laying unconscious on a beach. To try and adequately explain the plot further would take me well over my IMDb word limit, but suffice to say that it's a disorientating head-scratcher, a psychological thriller that veers wildly from one scene to another, seemingly at random, with characters that repeatedly come and go for no rhyme or reason; the dialogue is equally strange, and yet the cast plays everything with complete sincerity, even when having to utter lines as strange as ""Hey, you remind me of a dying chicken" and "It's all so absurd, meaningless. And what's absurd is dangerous".

In true giallo style, Lenzi attempts to pull all the plot threads together in the film's closing moments, but although the revelations in the finalé do justify Lenzi's strange style of direction to a degree, and clears up why there are frequent shots of female mannequins throughout the film, it doesn't adequately explain why Christian is afraid of the dark, or why Barbara prefers her men without beards.


4 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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