Add a Review

  • On a dark and stormy night an escaped convict on the run witnesses a beautiful woman burying a body while a young boy looks on. He is captured by the authorities and returned to jail. Flash forward to several years later where the boy, now a young man, lives in a villa with his Mother and a girl who is either his lover or his sister, it's hard to say. His Mother was the mistress of a criminal who disappeared years before. Or is that "disappeared"? Is everything as simple and straightforward as it first appears? A guest arrives claiming to be a long lost relative. Are they telling the truth or do they suspect something about a hidden secret? So begins 'In The Folds Of The Flesh' an almost forgotten Spanish exploitation thriller that continually twists and turns. Full of surprises, trippy imagery, and an unexpected Nazi flashback, this is recommended to fans of Jess Franco's classic 'Succubus' and similar 60s/70s European sexploitation. It may not reach Franco's over the top absurdity and sheer strangeness, but it has a lot of fun trying, and I enjoyed it a great deal.
  • This movie is completely over the top! Why and how it escaped getting played around the world, on the midnight circuit, is beyond me. It's like someone made a soup out of a Spanish Soap Opera, a Giallo, Gothic Thriller, and a Film Noir... It's loaded with ridiculous double crosses, kinky incest (is it incest?), countless decapitations, pet vultures, plot twists that make little to no sense, random Freudian Psychology, and extraneous WWII Concentration Camp flashbacks! The score is over-dramatic, as is the acting, and just about everything else. It certainly can't be taken seriously, but that's what's so appealing. Don't be fooled though, if it's the Classic Bava, Martino or Argento-esque formula you're looking for, that's not what you'll get. Despite that it is often listed and cited as a Giallo. This movie came out in 1970, when the genre was just beginning to take root, so while it's certainly got all of the necessary elements to be classified as 'Gialli', the elements are scattered, appearing in different places in the plot than is common to the traditional Giallo formula. That said, it could be of interest to hardcore fans in that respect. That's how I came upon it, and I'm not upset. Think something along the lines of Luciano Ercoli's "Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion" or even Lucio Fulci's "Perversion Story," only much more ridiculous! Wonderfully ridiculous, psychedelic and melodramatic. Wow.
  • Italian gialli are famous for their ridiculously complicated (and frequently absurd plots)and their "pop", late 60's pseudo-Freudian psychology. This movie though pushes both of these to the most extreme limits. The basic plot here involves a rather dysfunctional family consisting of a trouble woman (Pier Angeli), her governess, and her governess' equally troubled son all of whom may have been involved in the murder/disappearance of the family patriarch. Several different people show up and try to blackmail them for money and sex and wind up being killed in ways that are both gruesome (lots of decapitations)and increasingly ridiculous (there's a rather tasteless subplot involving Nazi gas chambers). The finale involves several sudden twists, each more preposterous than the last. There are several quotes from Freud in intertitles (complete with English-language misspellings) and the usual liberal sprinkling of sexual psychopathology--incest, Elektra and Oedipal complexes, borderline pedophilia, etc. This movie will probably confound newcomers to the giallo film, but people more familiar with the genre will no doubt appreciate it.

    Pier Angeli is especially good in a dual role, or actually a triple role considering that she plays one of the characters as both an adult woman and an adolescent girl (the latter no mean feat considering the actress was in her late 30's at the time). Tragically, she would commit suicide not longer after this movie came out. The co-writer Mario Caiano would direct the very similar "Eye in the Labyrinth" and, not surprisingly, some of the other people behind the camera were later involved in the indefensibly trash Italian Nazi sexploitation cycle.

    Oh, and by the way, the title "In the Folds of Flesh" actually refers to the folds in the brain, not what some of you dirty-minded folks out there might think.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Absurdly convoluted thriller with an insane amount of twists(..the rug gets pulled out from under you so many times you'll suffer a skull fracture)regarding a family of misfits, a troubled mother and her equally warped son and daughter. Lucille(Eleonora Rossi Drago)is burying the body of her husband supposedly while an escaped convict, Pascal(Fernando Sancho)is being sought after by the authorities. Pascal catches her in the act and is caught, but will return with an idea of blackmail. Falesse(Pier Angeli)is a deeply psychologically damaged young woman who believes she decapitated her father, after he had raped her. We watch a series of men stop off at the villa where these three live, attempting to seduce and ravage Falesse as her brother achingly watches from afar, trying to stop the act before it escalates. Those men all fall victim to Falesse who always hearkens back to that decapitation of her "father" before stabbing a back with a dagger or lopping off the head of another with a sword. Once Pascal arrives, the film spends the center section devoted to his terrorizing the trio, ordering them around with a gun waving at them, demanding for blackmail money, forcing the son to dig up the surrounding area for the remains of the decapitated father. We watch as Lucille concocts a scheme to end Pascal's interference in their lives(..in a bizarre turn of events, Falesse actually is drawn to Pascal, a foul, blubbery brute who rapes both her and Lucille). When Pascal is dealt with(..his departure is inspired by a startling episode that occurred to Lucille in a Nazi concentration camp as she watched her family suffocate in the gas chamber), yet another man, claiming to be Andre, the actual father of Lucille's children, returns, throwing their lives in turmoil. This is when we learn of a third child named Esther, and a beautiful blonde patient in an asylum whose relationship to this family is of great importance to the truth regarding the opening scene's decapitation and burial.

    I firmly realize that this film will have many viewers rolling their eyes in disbelief at the events that unravel, a bevy of lies weaved by Lucille, and her constituted effort to deceive over the years is hard to process fully. After a while, I almost threw my hands up at the non-stop revelations which just kept coming..it's incredible that a screenplay could feature so many twists and turns. You read others describing the movie as sleazy, but, in actuality, there's more suggestion than actual action on screen. Such as Pascal's molestation of Lucille and Falesse or the obvious, brother-sister, incest in the family over the years. Kudos to director/co-writer Sergio Bergonzelli's editor,Donatella Baglivo, who had the overwhelming task of establishing the complicated developing story as it unfolds. I mean one wonders how in the world an editor could piece together a film that throws everything at the viewer but the kitchen sink before the screen fades to black. Sergio Bergonzelli parades a number of fake decapitated heads for the viewers over the course of the film. Quite a demented little movie that will cause a lot of head-scratching and aggravation, but I enjoyed it's audacity to throw out all the stops in order to bewilder and surprise. As expected such a film with a lot of material, and so little actual violence or depravity on screen, IN THE FOLDS OF THE FLESH will bore and alienate many who watch it. I didn't think this was a traditional giallo, and wouldn't really consider it one, for the exception of the convoluted story and general bizarre behavior of the characters. The film, before it starts, actually quotes Freud..he'd have quite a challenge with the trio of oddballs in this film.
  • andrabem19 January 2009
    "Nelle pieghe della carne" (In the folds of the flesh) looks like a Mexican soap opera – the story is dramatic and twists are followed by more twists, and the puzzle becomes an enigma, till the conclusion, when everything is "explained". But somehow the answers look more senseless than the story itself. Can the film be called senseless? I don't think so because "In the folds of the flesh" is coherent when regarded inside its fantasy world. Fantasy is a reflection of reality, it portrays our subconscious fears and desires. Seen from this angle "In the folds of the flesh" has a coherent emotional reality, and I think that the best way to see the film is to turn off your brain and use your heart - the brain and logical thinking should function only as secondary tools on seeing "In the folds of the flesh".

    Now to the film:

    The film begins quoting Freud. If I remember well it was something like that – the scars we suffered in our early childhood will be the driving force that will lead us through life...

    In a tower/mansion by the beach something terrible happens. A bloody severed head, a woman and children - statuelike - looking darkly, a train goes by very fast... a shrill whistle. A killer on the run. The police close on his heels. Hiding behind bushes he sees a woman burying somebody. A very dramatic score underlines the scenes. The killer is finally arrested and the policemen go away. The tower is left alone with its dark secrets. Years go by but memories don't die. Mother, Daughter and Son. The father disappeared years ago. Terrible memories haunt them.

    Brother and sister like to indulge in sexual games. In the gardens by the sea, the birds, in their big cages, shriek. Murders happen. Decapitations, strangling. Flashbacks of rape, naked women being led to a Nazi gas chamber!. The tower, the unexpected visitors... the bodies must be disposed off....

    By now you'll be thinking that the film is completely insane and you'll be right, but (as I said before) there's an emotional logic that links everything.

    Like all good gialli, "In the folds of the flesh" has a beautiful visual style - fast and creative editing, bizarre zooms, weird camera angles ... but the orchestral soundtrack is unusual for a giallo - sometimes sad and melancholic and sometimes threatening and full of gloomy forebodings. It's a soundtrack more appropriate for a melodrama, for a soap opera, than for a giallo, but it has hit the nail on the head because "In the folds of the flesh" is in fact a melodrama, or rather, a melodramatic giallo. It has many layers and contradictions. It is superficial, but this superficiality has unknown depths. Freud, rape, incest, murder, Nazi gas chambers, love, betrayal, loneliness, everything mixed together in this crazy giallo. The world is seen through the subconscious (fear, illusions, desires...) in a film that looks like a fantasy soap opera.

    "In the folds of the flesh" features an interesting cast that makes it a must for cinephiles: Eleanora Rossi Drago, one of the great ladies of the Italian cinema, was the main actress of such films as "Le Amiche" by Antonioni and "Estate Violenta" by Zurlini. Anna Maria Pierangeli, another amazing actress, best known for her Hollywood films. Fernando Sancho - the laughing Mexican bandit in many spaghetti westerns (!) and many others.... See them all together in a giallo, well, that's something!

    Those that expect a sleaze fest will be disappointed. This film was made in 1970, in a time when the giallo was about to start off. "The seducers" that was made one year earlier, namely in 1969, had already broken many boundaries, but I guess that, in that time, it was not widely released. So, most of the sex in "In the folds of the flesh" is more implied than directly shown, but anyway the film is filled all over with a highly-charged sexuality – visual sexual innuendos, kisses, games... Innocence, lurking lust, violence.... The story has twists after twists, and then other twists and still more twists, and it looks like the labyrinth of Crete. The images that follow each other and that disclose more and more the horrifying truths (!) are so over-the-top as to be really funny. But there's seriousness and emotion in the storytelling.

    In short, "In the folds of the flesh" could be labeled as a melodramatic giallo, but it is much more than that. The film has many, many layers, but it's not as complicated as it might seem by my description. Forget about logic and let the heart be your guide and you'll see that the film is quite simple. Don't try to understand the film (anyway there's no need to worry, everything is "explained" in the end), just feel it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The family of a mob boss have plenty to hide within the confines of their beachside castle. There's a body or two buried in the garden, the internment of one of these was witnessed by a criminal on the run, but he says nothing when caught by the police. Some years later that same criminal is released and he returns to blackmail the family of oddballs, lunatics and murderers. In the days before his release the family had killed a few people randomly, but now they get rid of the bodies in a vat of acid in an outhouse. Are you still with me, OK stay tuned it gets more and more hard to follow, the family also have a sister who was locked up in an asylum after she murdered her father, except she didn't, as the truth the doctors told them would be worse for her mental state. OK now, the woman we think is the mother is in fact the daughter, except she isn't, she's an imposter, then the father comes back, except it isn't really him, oh and there's rape, incest a hint of paedophilia, oh and there's some Nazi's who gas merkin wearing naked women, oh and one of the family escaped the Nazi's and now she's traumatised by those memories. Now getting back to the random killings, one of these guys rapes the mother, or was it sister, daughter, I don't think even the director knew, but yeah this girl gets raped and then he gets murdered and the sister who sleeps with the same guy after he raped her mother then gets upset because of his demise. The son, now there's a loon, he is a psycho, if only for his dreadful dress sense, in fact everyone seems to wear bad wallpaper inspired clothes. Hello are you still there, for those who are I hope you're following it because I'm pretty lost. Oh I forgot to mention there's a dog strangling too, for those who love such things, yeah this film is just full of ideas, none of them very coherent, just for good measure and to complicate things even more, the director goes for lots of crazy psychedelic camera-work, shot from crazy angles and with lots of headache inducing zooms in and zooms out and zooms in and zooms out and zooms in…I'm dizzy just thinking about it. The saving grace is the fine acting, all the performances are spot on….eh no I'm lying, they're all pretty dire, all these actors went to the Scooby doo bad guy school of acting, lots of sinister looks and eye rolling. The orchestral score is unusual for a Gialloish film and its also pretty mundane and distracting, as is the awful dubbing. So in a film which approaches so many subjects you might think its full of sex and nudity….eh no.

    Oh I forgot to mention the Etruscan skeletons, damn.
  • 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!
  • The Salvation films release of ‘In the Folds of the Flesh' has a very misleading cover, showing a leather clad SS vixen who in fact makes no appearance in the film. What you get is a post 1960's sleaze film that is not even all that sleazy by today's standards. It becomes a bore to sit through and you end up not caring for the characters at all who are involved in some form of incest, nazi gas-chamber, decapitation orgy or a murder mystery. There is little gore or explicit scenes though. Nearly everything is implied. Don't bother with this even if you are a fan of 70's exploitation cinema.
  • an above-average mystery/suspense thriller (almost a 'giallo') by Sergio Bergonzelli, with an engrossing story, dubious characters galore (including a main role played by the late Pier Angeli, credited here as Anna Maria Pierangeli), by turns wacky & stylish direction, and a half trippy/half creepy atmosphere about it. kept me guessing almost till the very end, always coming up with a twist, a revelation, or a grabbing visual up it's sleeve (it's even got a scene with WW2-era featuring Nazis!). gotta love a movie that begins with some Freud psycho-babble text, and immediately cuts to a shot of a severed head on a carpeted floor! somebody needs to release this crazy film on DVD pronto (hello Blue Underground, NoShame, Synapse, etc...). anyone with even a passing interest in this kind of film would be well adviced to check out this little known gem.

    rating: 8/10
  • This is some wild and crazy film. There is some dispute as to whether it is a 'giallo' or not but I'm happy to include it, even if it is the ladies doing the killing. Pretty sleazy too, with very colourful depictions of decapitation, rape and extensive use of an acid bath, not to mention b/w 'flashbacks' to nazi gas scenes including numerous naked girls about to take that final 'shower'. The acting is not the finest but then there are moments in this quite delirious movie where you look around the cast and they seem to be suspended in disbelief as to what they are to do next. Indeed, the cast seems to have even less idea who they are or what has happened than we do. Some super décor though and the costumes, especially the brother and sister who get very friendly quite a lot, are out of this world, which is to say 1968-1970 precisely. Don't expect too much coherence but for a good looking and very quirky giallo, this certainly suites me.
  • dddvvv11 November 2006
    Warning: Spoilers
    This is another case of a movie which seems to have been highly underestimate. This is not the crap the score rate seems to testify. When you approach such a product a minimum of historical perspective should be the norm... we cannot judge a movie filmed in 1971 with standards of today's taste. This is a thriller with a weird plot,a definite stress on turbid sexual themes, some gore scenes, some Gothic and fetish elements that can make the joy of the true Italian b-movie lover. In my opinion this movie has everything a movie should have to let you spend an hour and a half before the screen and even enjoying your time. We are a few and we're happy, please let us dream alone.
  • Sergio Bergonzelli must have gone to a showing of Kill The Fatted Calf and Roast It and noted in his little giallo director book 'Family not weird enough...also...not enough dead dog action' and then went on to make this film, which contains enough twists for a hundred gialli as well as a barrage of weird imagery to boot.

    The films starts right away with a family confronted by a decapitated corpse and the problem of disposing of it, while an escaped convict (Sancho) happens to run by the estate and witness not only the burial of a corpse, but the suspicious sending of an abandoned boat out into the ocean. Apprehended, Sancho heads off thoughtfully for jail, taking in what he's witnessed.

    As far as super rich families who live in isolated huge villas are concerned, this one is by far the worst. There's Colin the artist, who has the hots for his step-sister Falesse, both of whom are kept in check by mother Lucille, who tries to keep them both from humping each other whilst also trying to cover up the horrific murders both of them seem to conduct on any stranger visiting the property.

    Falesse seems to do so because of some childhood trauma about being raped by her dad when she was a kid, plus Colin I guess strangled that dog because it discovered the shallow grave of their murdered dad. Except of course that none of that may be true at all!

    By the point we've established that this is not a family you wish to mess with, what with them killing folk and dissolving them in an acid bath, Fernando Sancho gets out of jail and is determined to extort money out of the family as he witnessed the burial of a murder victim. He doesn't get his way but as he has a gun I guess them chicks gonna have to give up something, especially seeing the grave he saw now contains a dead dog that's waved in his face!

    What I have described so far is only the first forty minutes of this weird, weird film, and from then on twists are thrown into the mix so often that I swear I hade a headache by the end of it. Characters aren't who they are, characters appear from nowhere claiming to be characters you though were dead, and there's a lengthy Holocaust flashback that leads to one of the most bizarre deaths in a giallo film. Worst of all, you get to see Fernando Sancho's arse! Here's comes that chilli I had for lunch!

    This is the first time I've seen Sancho outside of a spaghetti western but to be honest he still plays the same character - a cigar smoking jerk who threatens women, noisily eats food, and gets killed.

    This is one truly mental film with a trippy vibe that takes the weirdos in the mansion vibe to the ultimate extreme.
  • The plot of Sergio Bergonzelli's strange "In the Folds of the Flesh" is extremely convoluted,but basically it's about a family residing in an Italian villa who is involved in a series of bizarre sexual encounters and grisly murders.The inhabitants of the house are strikingly odd:Lucille(Eleonora Rossi Drago),her son,his friend Falesse(Anna Maria Pierangeli)and some pet vultures.Falesse was raped by her own father when she was the child.There are some shades of incest,decapitations and also gloriously exploitative flashback set in Nazi death camp.If you like gialli with bizarre narrative and truly off-beat atmosphere of perversion "In the Folds of the Flesh" is a must-see.7 out of 10.
  • I'll keep this review short, having just wasted the best part of £15 on this "accomplished Giallo" movie.

    Quite simply, the film stinks! This is no more a Giallo, than any of Alfred Hitchcock's films are! IN THE FOLDS OF THE FLESH has been routinely acclaimed and labelled as being a fascinating and innovative mystery drama, in the Gialli-vein. I can assure you, it is not. The premise of the convoluted and inane plot, follows a semi-incestuous family, who may or may not be killing people who may or may not be attempting to blackmail them all. Oh, and one other member of the family may be mentally-challenged/confused! If you love true Gialli, from the likes of Argento, Bava, Fulci, then simply ignore this film, if you are tempted to purchase or rent it. The acting is mediocre at best. The dubbing is reasonable, but clearly little effort's been put into making it fit with any of the cast or their characters' lip-movements. The direction is shoddy, and the photography is full of slap-dash edits/cuts and flashy zoom in's/out's that do the film no justice whatsoever, except to make it "groovy".

    Don't be fooled by the text on the back of the disc, that promises lots of seedy and controversial moments. This film is very tame. The decapitations are hammy, and unbelievably fake, that even Herschell G Lewis and Ed Wood, would turn up their noses at them. The incest, is vaguely provocative and contentious, but it goes nowhere fast. And there's almost no gore, no mystery, no tension, nothing of interest to keep you viewing.

    This is just a badly made film, made by a bad director, with a cast that really doesn't care or have a clue about the film. Although the 2008 "Severin" Region 1 DVD release is bare-bones, it's still not worth buying. Yes, the film is uncut and uncensored, but to be honest, anyone over the age of 15 is likely to have seen much more appalling, violent or contentious material in your average action-movie. (This makes THE DARK KNIGHT look like DIE HARD in terms of violent or adult material!) The print is relatively nice looking, but there are a couple of moments, when the screen goes black for a second, where the original 35mm print is clearly damaged or faulty. Other negative damage is also noticeable, at the very start of the movie, and through most reel-change points. The end of the movie has about 60 seconds of blank footage remaining, where other credits could be inserted for foreign-language prints. Sadly, on a DVD, this is bad quality control, and "Severin" should be more careful in future for this error.

    The only extra, is a whacky trailer, which does the film no favours, but it won't exactly deter you either.

    The cod-Freudian psychology is worthless, and whoever made this film, must have taken substantial amounts of LSD, because it's clearly a film that will be enjoyed more by viewers under-the-influence of alternative substances, than anyone who sits through this stone-cold-sober as I did. No amount of talent can save this movie, only because the movie has no clue about what it's trying to be, where it's gone or where it's going. It's an incoherent mess! Bizarre doesn't even come close to how whacked-out this film is.

    Ultimately, no one is going to be able to improve this film, so a bare-bones disc is probably all we should be expecting, But to release it as a full-price title, is very cheeky. Only buy this film if you absolutely have to own every Giallo movie ever made! Otherwise, bypass it and look for something with more intelligence, whit and sophistication. There are plenty of worthy titles and directors out there. This, though, is not one of them!
  • This is one strange movie - it combines Nazi elements, a police procedural, a giallo, a psychological examining of identity and even comes close to a Last House on the Left vibe.

    Severin released this film several years ago, but it's sadly out of print. It's certainly one of the oddest entries in the genre and one you should track down. I've only barely touched on the many twists and turns of the plot because I believe that you should enjoy them for yourself.
  • After being released from prison, a criminal intending to blackmail the family of a suspected murder he witnessed years earlier only to find the family a far more demented bunch than he expected while a mysterious killer running complicates his quest and forces his plans to change.

    This was quite the interesting yet silly giallo. Part of the film's appeal lies in the dual nature of the film which starts right at the beginning with such a goofy and nonsensical setup. In order to buy into the film in general, the utterly contrived storyline at the heart of the film has to be taken into account and that presents this with a daunting challenge off the bat by being forced to accept this idea. This setup does spring forth plenty of typical giallo fun so it does have a lot of worth with the way it brings this together in order to fulfill the genre requirements which is what makes for a decent enough time here. The constant shadiness and general air of sleaziness usually found in these films is in full effects here, from the madness and paranoia at the beginning over what the body being buried really means, the childhood trauma at the center of the rampage and the remaining scenes of just outright odd behaviors they all indulge in that ranges from the dancing and incest just combines together into one utterly odd effort. This makes what happens in the end when the efforts of the family finally get revealed in a series of utterly ludicrous setups that attempt to explain the actions of the plot which piles on more twists and surprise reveals than an entire season of a regular soap opera. It is clear that these various twists and turns are meant to come as a complete shock which is only because it's downright incredible that anybody would ever see them coming as the material is so haphazardly put together this never comes close to jelling into a whole. That these manage to drive the film away from being a typical giallo with the incredibly overwrought sequences found within that just don't make any sense with all the different revelations being brought out in the endless series of flashbacks that reduce the kill-count significantly by having dispatched of the killer earlier in the film. That this spares us having to watch more of the utterly atrocious special effects is perhaps a blessing with the film running through such a truly atrocious series of special effects work that is completely comical rather than shocking due to the painfully obvious mannequin heads. Although there's some brutality to mention in there with the intent behind it, these here are what hold it down somewhat.

    Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence, Full Nudity, Language, a rape scene and drug use.
  • ferbs5421 January 2011
    Warning: Spoilers
    Viewers who sit down to watch Sergio Bergonzelli's 1970 offering, "In the Folds of the Flesh," expecting some licentious soft-core Eurosleaze may be a tad disappointed. That provocative title, surely fit for some adult fare, rather has as its provenance a quote from Sigmund Freud regarding the effects of experience on the human psyche: "What has been, remains imbedded in the brain, nestled in the folds of the flesh; distorted, it conditions and subconsciously impels." And, as it turns out, although the film does sport the talents of a trio of gorgeous women and some flashes of nudity, those flashes are decidedly de-eroticized, and the picture, although it has been called "one of the most bizarre gialli ever made," strikes this viewer more as a murderous psychological puzzler. In this Italian/Spanish coproduction, beautiful Eleanora Rossi-Drago (who I'd only previously encountered in an early Antonioni film, "Le Amiche") plays the head of a household of three in an ornate villa by the sea. She lives with two others, who we infer must be her son and daughter, although the relationships are not clearly defined and some conduct bordering on incest gives us reason to doubt. Whenever a visitor--be it a cousin, acquaintance or ex-con blackmailer--drops in, he is quickly executed by one of the three, after which Eleanora uses dissolving chemicals to dispose of the corpus. A most unusual household, to be sure, and most of the fun here lies in trying to figure out just what the characters' relationships and motivations might be. My suggestion would be to not even make the attempt, as nobody in the film is what he/she initially appears to be, and each and every character is hiding a secret. Among the assorted bits of weirdness that the film dishes out are a pair of pet vultures, some truly outlandish costumes, unusual camera angles, a disinterment, deaths by cyanide gas, and B&W flashbacks to the Nazi death camps. A repeat viewing of the film is practically mandatory to fully appreciate all its many subtleties and formal brilliance; I for one enjoyed it a lot more the second time around. And hold on to your seats as the film enters its final 20 minutes; this segment contains so many revelations and plot twists that the folds in your own mental flesh may start to unravel!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Strange Convoluted Story. But sometimes it's necessary.

    The story is a mess, and it's a mess till the very end. But, sometimes a story like this is worth checking out. The acting is decent, not great. Eleonora Rossi Drago looks to be an older version of Edwige Fenech, very mysterious look. Some decent scenes, good cinematography. Good music. Editing is done well.

    As mentioned, the story is a mess. I would check it out again. Rating is a C, or 6 stars.

    I'd also like to add that this movie is a masterpiece compared to garbage like Suspiria, or Four Flies, or Plumage. I have not see all Argento films, but what I have I see an amateur film maker with a budget and a great publicity agent. That publicity agent has miraculously elevated Argento into a "CULT" filmmaker. It's incredible how many people love Argento's garbage. Bava is not much better. One has to watch Planet of Vampires to see how much crap exhumes from the visuals. It's all in the publicity. Take a look at What Have you done with Solange, one of the worst acting and stories I have witnessed, but somehow, someway, the publicists have brought about an army of dead heads, Not Grateful Dead Heads, more like brain dead heads to elevate this crap into the realm of art.

    So, venting aside, In the Folds of the Flesh is definitely not a perfect film, but it is professionally done, and most importantly, it is entertaining.