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The Red Headed Corpse (1972)

La rossa dalla pelle che scotta (original title)
R | | Crime, Thriller | 1976 (USA)
Gonzales, a Spaniard living in Istanbul, reports the disappearance of La Rossa, a beautiful woman living with a mad painter, John Ward. Convinced that Ward has killed her, Gonzales sets out to trap him.




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In the 13th century there existed a legion of evil knights known as the Templars, who quested for eternal life by drinking human blood and committing sacrifices. Executed for their unholy ... See full summary »

Director: Amando de Ossorio
Stars: César Burner, Lone Fleming, María Elena Arpón


Cast overview:
John Ward
The Sensuous Doll
Krista Nell ...
The Subservient Doll
Ivana Novak ...
Aydin Terzel
Umberto Di Grazia
Giorgio Dolfin
Fatma Karanfil
Filippo Perrone
Erol Keskin

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A sickly-looking Farley Granger stars as an alcoholic artist struggling to live off his paintings.He eventually acquires a faceless woman's mannequin, which after he decides to paint it transforms into a beautiful, apparently living woman. At first the woman is mute, but eventually she talks just enough that Farley's painter gets abusive with her, while she embarks on a promiscuous lifestyle. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Bizarre Story of a Man Possessed by Two Women, One Real and One...?


Crime | Thriller


R | See all certifications »





Release Date:

1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sweet Spirits  »

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User Reviews

Confusing; but stylish and interesting
1 September 2009 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

I saw The Red-Headed Corpse because somewhere down the line I'd heard it was a Giallo. Well, it's Italian and could be described as a thriller; although for me it certainly doesn't tick many of the 'Giallo' boxes. However, it's an interesting and surreal film that I would certainly rate as worth a look. The film plays up the surreal atmosphere as much as possible - and it's one of those where you're never really sure exactly what's going on, and whether what we're seeing is actually happening or just a figment of the lead character's imagination. Luckily, it's all rather interesting. The plot focuses on troubled artist John Ward. He's an alcoholic and suffering in the wallet department because nobody will buy his paintings. He meets a drifter in a park one night who gives him a mannequin (err...naturally?). John takes the mannequin home, and it promptly takes on a life of its own; in the sexy form of Erika Blanc, who proceeds to take over John's meagre life.

Erika Blanc is clearly the best thing about the film. The actress takes on the seductive central role and does really well with it. She's at her best when getting her claws into the various male members of the cast, and that happens often. However, I'm not sure if the version I saw was cut because I didn't see so much as a naked breast from her! (Other than the ones featured in her likeness on canvas). She is joined by Farley Granger, who is at home in his role as an alcoholic artist. The pair shares a good on screen chemistry, and it's their interactions with one another that provide the film with its most interesting moments. It's lucky they are so good too, because the film would have fallen flat on its face if it were forced to rely only on the central plot! It soon becomes clear with regards to the plot that it's easier just to sit back and let the film get on with it, rather than giving yourself a headache trying to work it out. In spite of that, however, this is still a stylish Italian film and I'm sure fans of this stuff will appreciate it.

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