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A love triangle develops between three people who run a high tech chicken farm. It involves Anna (who owns the farm), her husband Marco (who kills prostitutes in his spare time) and Gabriella (the very beautiful secretary). Marco continues to kill as jealousy becomes more prevalent on the farm.Written by
Playboy poultry in smoking jackets at a poultry party. What do you think?
The first thing you will notice about Death Laid an egg is it's completely ridiculous title, and I've got to say that it's a fitting one because this film is as silly and as convoluted as Giallo get, and considering some entries in the cycle - that really is saying something! Giulio Questi's film takes in ideas of prostitution, adultery and monsters on a chicken farm and blends it all into one less than coherent piece. Normally, this would be the sort of Giallo that annoys me; as aside from its ridiculous plot, it's also short on tension, stylish murders and nudity. However, the film has a certain straight faced ineptness about it that serves in making it all the more compelling, as the lack of tension is masked over with an idea of the unknown - as at no point in this film do you know what the director is going to present us with next! The plot follows a four way relationship between a man, his wife, her assistant and a publicity agent, who witnessed the man apparently committing an act of murder. The plot thickens as the man and his wife own a chicken farm; and a scientist working there manages to create headless and wingless monster chickens!
It's a shame that this film doesn't benefit from competent writing as the direction is superb and the cast do well in their respective roles. It would seem that writer-director Questi had a few ideas to make a film out of, and decided to land them all in the same piece. The idea of the 'monster chickens' wouldn't be out of place in a Sci-Fi film, while the sub-plot revolving around the wife and her assistant is more along the lines of the pseudo-lesbianism in later Italian films such as The Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion. Death Laid an Egg is still an interesting Giallo, however, as it came early on in the cycle and the fact that the director is happy to experiment with so many different and offsetting themes is admirable as the genre was still in it's infancy at the time. The film benefits from a beautiful pair of female performers in Ewa Aulin and Gina Lollobrigida, and all of their scenes are the highlights of the film. The ending is perhaps the worst aspect of the movie, as it just sort of comes out nowhere and gives the film what is possibly the most abrupt conclusion in Giallo history. But even so, this is a brilliantly surreal film and it keeps itself going nicely, even when the plot does become a little too incoherent.
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