Adrian Luther Smith, writer of the 'Giallo Bible' Blood and Black Lace describes this film as a "trash masterpiece" - and I pretty much agree with him! The film is sometimes labelled as a Giallo, although for me it fits more into the exploitation genre as although there is some murder mystery, it's clear that director Sergio Bergonzelli was much keen on delivering as much sleaze as possible! The director also ensures that the film feels rather arty, and this makes In the Folds of Flesh even more of a gem, as the locations offset the frankly ridiculous story brilliantly! The plot is overly convoluted (to say the least), and focuses on the residents of an old castle. An escaped convict witnesses a woman burying her husband by a statue in the back garden. We then move to thirteen years later. A couple of unwelcome visitors stop by and are promptly killed by two of the younger castle residents. Then the escaped convict turns up and begins demanding money to stop him going to the police and reporting the body in the garden...another murder and a police investigation ensue.
The film can be described as a hodgepodge of popular Italian exports. We've got a light Giallo tone, as well as an exploitation theme; and then there are also mentions of Nazi's and ancient skeletons. Naturally, all the women are very nice to look at; and while the acting from Eleonora Rossi Drago and Pier Angeli isn't great; it hardly matters as they deliver the performances required of them. The best thing about this film is the way that Sergio Bergonzelli constantly chucks in another twist to make the already questionable plot more ridiculous at every opportunity. The film is also rather nasty, and features a whole host of gruesome morsels - including the aforementioned murders, an acid bath and a plethora of decapitations! (The director obviously loves them...). It has to be said that In the Folds of Flesh falls down in some areas - there's no sex or nudity, and by the time you get to the end; it all feels rather pointless as it's impossible to care about the fates of any of the characters. Still, this is certainly a film worth seeing and I don't regret wasting ninety minutes of my life on it!
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