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Touch of Death (1988)

Quando Alice ruppe lo specchio (original title)
Unrated | | Horror | Video 1988
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1:44 | Trailer
A moody, middle-aged gigolo kills off women after he gets bored with dating them and uses their body parts for trophies and for consumption.

Director:

Lucio Fulci

Writers:

Lucio Fulci (story), Lucio Fulci (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Brett Halsey ... Lester Parson
Ria De Simone ... Alice Shogun
Al Cliver ... Randy (as Pier Luigi Conti)
Sacha Darwin Sacha Darwin ... Margie MacDonald (as Sasha Darwin)
Zora Kerova ... Virginia Field (as Zora Ulla Kesler)
Marco Di Stefano ... The Tramp
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Storyline

Lester Parson is a lonely gigolo who dates and kills off middle-aged women in ultra-gory fashion just for the pleasure of watching them die, as well as to take their money and jewelery as well as cook and eat their remains for his dinner. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

1988 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Touch of Death See more »

Filming Locations:

Rome, Lazio, Italy

Company Credits

Production Co:

Alpha Cinematografica See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

3 Channel Stereo

Color:

Color (Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of six films that director Lucio Fulci edited into his very own feature A Cat in the Brain (1990). The other ones are Bloody Psycho (1989), Hansel e Gretel (1990), Massacre (1989), Non aver paura della zia Marta (1988) and Il fantasma di Sodoma (1988). See more »

Connections

Featured in Brain Food: Analysing Late Day Fulci (2018) See more »

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User Reviews

 
This ain't good Fulci.
4 June 2006 | by BloomerSee all my reviews

Hailing from 1988, Touch Of Death is probably the most frustrating Fulci film I've seen to date, prompting me to join the chorus of horror fans who generalise that his films get worse as you get later into his career. Considering the plot synopsis, I was expecting some bloody bad-natured fun with this one, but for all its bizarre flourishes, it feels tedious even at a running time of just 80 minutes, and suffers from nauseatingly shabby production values and film-making craft (or lack thereof).

El Story: A gambling addict widower wines and dines rich (and strange) women he finds via lonely hearts columns before offing them in gruesome fashion - sometimes eating them or feeding them to animals - and stealing their money to keep his debtors at bay. Sure, it's unlikely that just one man would be the host for so much screwed-up pathology all at once (addict, psycho/sociopath, cannibal), but this is Fulci!

Touch is actually the cheapest and sparsest looking Fulci film I've seen. There's almost nobody in it, even in the background of shots out on the street, for instance. A newsreader who keeps appearing on the film's televisions to warn the non-existent cast about the maniac's latest doings operates out of the most pathetic TV studio on the planet. He never even gets to look at the camera because has to read all the headlines off misaligned sheets of paper.

Some scenes just go on and on with the protagonist muttering to himself about what he's done or what he's about to do, but the acting is nowhere near good enough to sustain this kind of thing, so the main outcome is viewer boredom. The film also looks bland and ugly in general. I've read that it was intended to be an Italian telemovie (did it ever screen in that venue? With the amount of gore involved, it seems unlikely), and it does reek of crappy old telemovie production values.

This is also Fulci's first foray into outright black humour, but he's just too graceless a director to make it work. Sometimes conspicuously cheerful or 'wacky' music is used to play against a gruesome scene, for instance while the hero/villain is carving up a dead body in his basement. The effect isn't really chilling or funny or ironic anything that you'd like it to be - it's mostly just hamfisted and crappy.

There are of course some redeeming moments of gore (that you'll be waiting for while trying to stay awake), including the eventual murder by oven(!) of a woman who just won't quit life, even after her face has been totally bashed apart with a bloody great club, and a homeless guy who gets a car run back and forth over him about five times. The most outrageous element of Touch, however, is all the physical deformation on the widows courted by the crazy guy. Beards, hairy moles, messy harelips - it's not like he sought out women with these features, it's just the way all lonely hearts widows are, apparently. There are plenty of shots of Mr Crazy secretly grimacing while he's smooching up these women. The black humour of such garish misogyny might have some staying power or resonance if the film wasn't so poorly executed in general. In the end, Touch Of Death just seems like a really lazy, inarticulate mess.


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