I mean really Who gets off on amazingly thin plotted gore-fests filled with cardboard characters like this? Fulci is renowned Italian – known as the Italian giallo genre this basically means he makes blood filled movies and that si all they are filled with. His fans swear blind that his films have more than this and actually some redeeming qualities, but I’ll be jiggered if I can find any in NYR.
Some ever faithful fans of Fulci point to his sense of humor. Indeed, the killer does speaks in a hokey Donald Duck voice, while the policy hired psychologist police spouts some incredible bullshit that “He couldn’t admit to himself what he had done so he had to put the onus on the duck!” WTF. The problem here is i don’t think Fulci meant for these moments to be humorous at all. The rest of the production work – from soundtrack to cinematography seems to suggest that Luciano intended us to be terrified by this quacking killer he has dreamed up. And somehow the dumb in theory psychological portrait that the shrink paints of him is meant to intrigue us Please, I have been more intrigued watching Bert and Ernie
I think what Fulci was trying to pull of was some kind of cross over movie between the same old slasher genre and the investigating mystery that folks like Agatha Christie provides us with. However, the movie only makes a token gesture attempt to get inside the killer’s mind, so the film’s gory and excessive brutal death scenes, quickly overwhelm any weak and pathetic attempt by the movie at psychological insight.
The film does contain, as with most of Fulci’s work some clever camera work –the reflective terror of a would be victim and anguish of expression towards a slowing turning door knob comes to mind at developing some decent suspense. The constant shifting of subjective point of view, particular during graphic assaults, which leads to the viewer to make inaccurate accusations as to who the killer is. also gives the movie some technical merits.
However, when one studies the nature of the film, it is impossible not to conclude that this as with most of the giallo movies is a misdirected, heartless and pointless exercise. All the victims are female, and there is little or no attempt to place the crimes in an relative social, political or cultural context. The murders exist simply to shock and entertain the lesser demanding film goers.
The movie also suffers tremendously from a post production dubbing job that make no attempt to match voiced or lip synch. The soundtrack is straight from 70’s TV shows and overall only takes away from what movie there is left.
To sum up is some blood and violence is all that it takes to entertain you then, yes go ahead and give this a go you will probably like this. Me, I like a little more from my horror and weak plots, wooden characters, Disney impersonating killers and weak direction. 4 out of 10.