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Spasmo (1974)

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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 »

Director:

Umberto Lenzi

Writers:

Pino Boller (screenplay), Pino Boller (story) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

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

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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Beyond "Psycho" SPASMO!

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

August 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Efialtis See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Rewind Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Italian censorship visa # 64006 delivered on 14-2-1974. See more »

Quotes

Alex: C'mon honey, let's go to the poop deck.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Il mostro (1977) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A strange yet compelling giallo-style thriller.
7 January 2012 | by BA_HarrisonSee 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.


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