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Murder Syndrome (1981)

Murder Obsession (original title)
Not Rated | | Horror, Mystery | 24 February 1981 (Italy)
An actor brings his acting pals to the eerie villa where his aging mothers lives. Horrible murders begin to occur as a black-gloved killer stalks the property. One great sequence has a woman stalked by the killer during a thunderstorm.


Riccardo Freda (as Robert Hampton)


Antonio Cesare Corti (screenplay), Antonio Cesare Corti (story) | 4 more credits »




Complete credited cast:
Stefano Patrizi ... Michael
Martine Brochard ... Shirley
Henri Garcin Henri Garcin ... Hans
Laura Gemser ... Beryl
John Richardson ... Oliver
Anita Strindberg ... Glenda
Silvia Dionisio ... Debora


Michael is a successful actor, but he has a scandal in his past: at a tender age he knifed his father to death. He and his girlfriend Deborah go to his mother's for the weekend, and are joined by the director and others from a recent film project. But they are given a rather cool reception by the superstitious housekeeper Oliver. Soon rude things begin happening to some of the guests, and Michael fears a repeat of his nightmare past is in progress. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Horror | Mystery


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


[All trivia items for this title are spoilers.] See more »


When Beryl is found dead, she is clearly seen breathing. See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits appear on a still photograph of the black magic book used for the black mass. See more »


Featured in Zombiethon (1986) See more »


Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Franco Mannino
See more »

User Reviews

More horror fodder from Riccardo Freda
1 January 2005 | by lazarilloSee all my reviews

Riccardo Freda is considered one of the maestros of Italian horror based on the strength of three films in the late 50's and early 60's--"I, Vampiri" (which we now know was mostly directed by Mario Bava), "The Horrible Dr. Hitchcock", and the sequel to the latter, "The Ghost". Unfortunately, everything he did after that pretty much ranges from awful to disappointing. This one falls more into the latter category.

An actor nearly strangles his female co-star during the filming of the scene. Everyone seems strange unperturbed about this including the actress herself, who later has sex with him(of course, it helps that this character is played by Laura "Emanuelle" Gemser who pretty much has sex with everybody in her movies). They all repair to the troubled actor's eerie, decrepit estate complete with a creepy butler named Oliver and a mother who is "not well". Actually, she looks pretty good for someone who is supposedly the mother of a grown man and, not surprisingly, she has a close, Oedipal relationship with her son who looks EXACTLY like his musical conductor father, "the Maestro", who was mysteriously murdered years earlier (and you can pretty much bet it was by one of two people). The actor's girlfriend is also along for the ride and she suspects something is up between the two of them when the son introduces her to his a mother as his secretary and insists that they sleep in separate rooms. Meanwhile, someone is dispatching the various guests with the usual over-elaborate giallo methods--a bathtub drowning, a chainsaw, etc.

Freda brings an interesting Gothic sensibility to the giallo genre here, even though his main focus is obviously on the gory murders. At least he is somewhat in his element, unlike with the abysmal "Iguana with a Tongue of Fire" he did earlier. The acting is awful and the special effects during the murder scene are laughable, but fans of Freda and Laura Gemser could do a lot worse I guess.

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Italy | France



Release Date:

24 February 1981 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Murder Syndrome See more »

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Color (Telecolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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