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Simona Sana is a young pathologist who works in a morgue in Rome, Italy which suddenly gets hit with a wave of violent suicides that are attributed to a summer heat wave. Driven to exhaustion from the intense heat and the long hours worked, Simona struggles to complete her college thesis about natural deaths- when one "suicide" victim is brought into the morgue identified by a young Catholic priest named Paul Lenox as being his sister. He claims she did not commit suicide but was murdered. Simona teams up with Father Lenox to solve the mystery and stay one step ahead of a mysterious killer who now begins to stalk her when she gets a little too close to the truth of the suicides.
Better than I expected and not as gruesome as the rather ungainly title might suggest, "Autopsy" is a rugged Giallo showcasing lots and lots of Mimsy Farmer sans wardrobe, plus some typical genre plot twists and red herrings.
Whilst the initial scenes imply something almost supernatural (corpse copulation?), this well paced little shocker quickly finds its familiar Giallo groove as morgue physician Farmer begins to emotionally unravel under the pressures of documenting a burgeoning spate of apparent suicides. Anglo-Italian Lovelock is Farmer's care-free (and somewhat perverted) BF, whilst fellow Americano Barry Primus plays a priest with a tumultuous past. Special mention too for Ernesto Colli as a creepy morgue attendant and Angela Goodwin and her wicked sense of dark humour.
Like most of its ilk, the real story doesn't emerge for some time and the characters flirt with danger as they get closer to the culprit; there's also enough nudity to make a peeping Tom blush, and some occasional gore (which you'd expect in a movie entitled "Autopsy" though as aforesaid, it's not a butcher's shop nor meat market for gore).
The title is likely to offend most punters, which is a shame because it's not a bad movie, probably attracting an unwarranted notoriety it doesn't deserve. But that's their loss - if you enjoy Giallo, you should be quite satisfied with this offering (which despite various published release dates, appears to have been made in 1973 according to the opening titles).
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