Someone is killing the homosexuals in the gay milieu. A newspaper sends a journalist to investigate what's happening. The journalist, Marco (Tomas Arana) must go to the place where they meet and also of course to pretend to be one of them. It doesn't take long for the killer to become aware of his presence. Insecurity, phone calls in the middle of the night... and some people in the area feel suspicious about the newcomer. At the same time his investigation is shaking him internally meeting new people, watching new pleasures .... new charms grow on him. Marco is not sure anymore what he wants and/or who he is. Marco continues his investigation, but the killer is on the prowl. The number of victims grows and the police begin to suspect him.....
"Bugie Rosse" is a giallo where the colors blur and the borders seem to fade away. A world of nightclubs, parks with fields and woods (ideal for strolling around and meeting people), lies, hypocrisy and .... murders. And (that's really amazing!), the film doesn't pass judgement! "Bugie Rosse" has that sophisticated visual style usual in many gialli. And the director Pierfrancesco Campanella knows how to extract good performances from the actors. Beautiful women, among them Gioia Scola (she's Adria in the film and when she feels she's losing Marco, she'll fight for him), Natasha Hovey etc., and handsome men (!). Something for everyone.
If you like experiences, see "Bugie Rosse" the film is original and it may surprise you. For some other similar (that is, non-conventional) 80s/90s gialli , try: "The Washing Machine" by Ruggero Deodato, "L'arabella, l'angelo nero" by Stelvio Massi, "A taste for fear" by Piccio Raffanini, "Too beautiful to die" by Dario Piana, and "Dark Bar" by Stelio Fiorenza (more a film noir than a giallo, but with many giallo elements).
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It may be too classy for its own good but RED LIES isn't bad
An investigative reporter, undercover in the gay subculture, becomes the prime suspect in a series of murders when his contacts begin dropping like flies...
RED LIES is kind of a classy (released by "Warner Bros. Italia") cross between CRUISING and ARABELLA THE BLACK ANGEL but without their graphic sex & violence. That's not really a good thing, of course, but the movie's entertaining in its own right. Unlike 70s gialli, homosexuals aren't stereotyped comedy relief and the subject matter is handled matter-of-factly but, typical of Italian film at the time, the "erotic" in this thriller is of the heterosexual variety even though the married protagonist, Marco (Tomas Arana), does begin to question his sexuality at one point when he finds himself attracted to an enigmatic hustler suspect (Lorenzo Flaherty). The two men actually go to bed (even if Marco pretends to be asleep during the encounter) and I'm wondering if the "red lies" of the title have anything to do with the pair of crimson briefs the rent boy leaves behind for Marco's wife to find. Marco uses an internet chat room for hook-ups which seems way ahead of its time for 1993 and the gay world depicted is true-to-life in other ways, too -the pick up parks, porno theaters, discos, and gyms are all typical trysting places and Marco meets a wide variety of gay men (mostly married) ranging from a restroom pervert to a closeted senator, all of whom are handsome and none of whom are effeminate in the slightest. Now that I think of it, that isn't so true to life after all and was no doubt done to titillate. The erotic thriller and the giallo are closely aligned but RED LIES tips the scales in favor of the latter with its black-gloved killer prone to rasping warnings through anonymous telephone calls and the ending sort of reworks DEEP RED's so the killer should be easy for any aficionado to spot early on. Although there's no gore or set piece slaying, the victims are dispatched in a variety of ways (including a Penguin-like umbrella straight out of BATMAN) and the movie ends on an unenlightened note reminiscent of classic gialli: to win her husband back, Marco's wife (sexy Gioia Scola), dressed as a boy, lets him pick her up in the park. The film's adult subject matter was ripe for sleazy treatment and not getting it is a drawback but I'd still recommend this one, nonetheless. Tomas Arana was in another giallo (Lamberto Bava's BODY PUZZLE) that also used closeted homosexuality as a "red herring" motive. Genre mascot Alida Valli's in it, too.
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