*** SPOILERS ***
My flabber is well and truely gast this week! 2 movies worthy of a 'Recommends' tag from me in 2 weeks!! What is the world coming to? I really enjoyed this weeks movie, on pretty much every level. I knew from the opening scene, it was very likely that this was a good 'un. The cinematography in this movie is cracking! I loved how they used the camera, lighting and staging. In the opening scene alone, the filming of our first victims home (from inside and outside) is just stunning.
The first person we see on screen is an elderly Countess who happens to be in a wheelchair. After a view around her beautiful home and a staging of a peaceful if perhaps lonely evening, the peace is disturbed by our first murderer (you'll see why I say that later) as he drapes a noose around her neck and kicks her wheelchair away from under her. Inevitably she chokes... what's it called when someone kills you by hanging? Choking? Strangling? Hmmm I don't know. The acting here is very believable, no need for over dramatics. I also liked how they had her breathe her last at the same time the wheels on her wheelchair stopped spinning, everything stops. The killer also leaves a fake suicide note.
So we're pretty shocked for a murder to happen so fast, even moreso when the camera pans up and shows us the murderer!! What is this I think? While my brain in trying to comprehend what they may be trying to do, an unknown person sneaks in and stabs our murderer to death! A whole can of worms spilleth forth!
So whats going on? Well it seems our Countess has refused to sell her property which has put an end to plans for the bay on which her property sits to be redeveloped. Very early on we are let in on the fact that the Countesses killer is in fact her husband (Donati), who is plotting along with a creepy, sleazy property developer (Frank Ventura) to bump her off so he can pocket the cash and Frank can go ahead with the redeveolpment. He has no idea that Donati has been murdered, so our first whodunnit is presented.
We have numerous characters who have a motive, but as the movie progresses they all seem to be killing one other off narrowing down the possibilities. The Countess has an illegitimate son, Simon who is a rough and ready sort who likes biting live Squid (Yick!), she also has a daughter, Renata who has no knowledge of Simons existence, Renata has a weary willy of a husband Albert. We also have Venturas partner Laura. A local entomologist, Paolo who wants to protect the bay and his very odd wife Anna (who bears more than a passing resemlance to Marc Bolan).
Intermingled within the story 4 teenagers (2 couples) are thrown into the mix. We don't get to know them and they seem to be there purely as murder victims as they all meet their end rather dramatically. One skinny-dipping girl comes across the body of Donati in the bay (A special mention has to go to a later scene of the body with a live octopus squirming around it... HORRID!). As she runs in terror, she is followed and killed rather impressively with a large machete type weapon. This was the least impressive death however as when she was supposed to be dead, you can clearly see her breathing (I hate that). Next her boyfriend is dispatched in the most impressive kill (imho) of the movie by way of the same machete to the face. Great effect here. It even shows the removal of the machete. One thing I was really impressed with in this movie was the quality of the effects and makeup for a movie make in 1971. The blood was a bit off in its colour, but apart from that, the effects were pretty spot on. Lastly for these 4, the other couple who have retired to a bedroom in a house they have broken into, they are victim to a double impaling while enjoying themselves.... Hmmm I wonder where Friday the 13th got the idea. So pretty pointless really, but entertaining I suppose.
So the movie goes on twisting and turning through all the remaining characters doing away with them all and proving an amusing moment when one murderer gets all queasy because some blood splashes onto his hand from a victim who is being impaled on the end of a spear.
I liked how this movie had numerous killers and you knew what people were bound to be guilty but didn't know exactly who did what and who would be left. As we are left with our survivor(s), we are even treated to a last twist (which I won't give away). I'm not sure what I made to this, it seemed a bit daft, maybe it was poorly executed. Interesting and ironic but not perhaps how I would have ended things.
In conclusion, superbly shot, great effects, good acting, solid storyline, held my attention. One of my favourites on the list definately.
Gets my 'Recommended' rating.
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