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Admittedly this "Nine Guests for a Crime" isn't a great film per sé, but I personally loved it a lot and I'm incredibly biased because director Ferdinando Baldi put many of my favorite genres, themes and narrative styles together in a blender and then served a delicious cocktail of sleaze and violence! "While vacationing on a remote Mediterranean Island, nine guests from bourgeois family are stalked and killed one by one by a mysterious killer" Well, from the one- sentence plot description, it's quite abundantly clear that the film is another umpteenth interpretation of Agatha Christie's legendary story "And then there were none/Ten Little Indians". But I swear that Miss Marple, as well as every other sophisticated and eloquent protagonist that Mrs. Christie ever invented, would instantly die from a heart attack if she saw what a typical Italian makeover of the story looks like! It's a whodunit thriller / giallo full of sleazy characters that shamelessly commit foul adultery, openly hate each other with a passion and desire to exterminate each other even though they are relatives! The pre-credits opening sequences show how a group of men hunt down a white-suited sailor because he was in the middle of making love to a cute girl on the beach. They shoot him at least seven times and his hand still emerges from the sandy grave they buried him in, so that gives you an idea of what good gunmen they are. All this takes place on a tropical Mediterranean island, and several years later the luxurious yacht of an obnoxious family moors here for their annual vacation. The couples are bickering about money and the loathsome personality of the patriarch, the selfish brothers have wild sex affairs with their lurid sisters-in-law and the old father's much younger hot wife does hanky-panky with one of the sons while his wife is allegedly sleeping in the very same room! In fact, these people are screwing around so much that I found it difficult to know how the couples are actually formed! The already unhealthy atmosphere gets ruined even more when they are offed one by one; butchered by a clearly frustrated killer in a black diving outfit. You guessed it; plentiful of gratuitous nudity, provided by a variety of Italian beauties, and a series of grisly murders that are occasionally inventive and occasionally mundane. The mystery aspect here is negligible, as the culprit's identity and the entire family feud sub plot are easy to predict from early on, but this film obviously has other trumps. Due to the similarities in plot, setting and Agatha Christie source material, "Nine guests for a Crime" is very reminiscent to Mario Bava's "5 Dolls for an August Moon". Bava's film is superior and has a far better denouement, but this is definitely one of the better efforts in Baldi's uneven career.
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