26 February 2013 | Bezenby
Prog rock giallo!
Is this film the lost classic that people have been harping on about? Well, that's all subjective I guess. I do like my gialli cheesy and groovy, and this film certainly has that – although it does feel slightly lacking in the 'investigative' side of things. Never mind though, as Argento goes for crazy imagery and comes up trumps in that respect.
A drummer for a prog-rock band finds himself being followed by a mysterious figure for an entire day. Losing his rag, he turns pursuer and ends up chasing the guy into a disused theatre, where he ends up stabbing the guy in a brief struggle. That's bad enough, but the person wearing the creepy mask and taking photos during the struggle is going to cause our guy all sorts of problems, as pictures start turning up in our hero's home, and someone is stalking around his house at night.
Who did our man kill? How does the cleaner know who the blackmailer is? And who keeps having flashbacks to an abusive father? A private investigator steps in to help, but I'm saying nothing more, except to say the bodies start piling up before our drummer can discover who's really behind the killings, and nothing is as it seems.
Like Bird with the Crystal Plumage and Cat O' Nine Tails, this early Argento giallo has a healthy dose of humour thrown to the proceedings, what with legend Bud Spencer playing God(frey), a tramp who helps out our drummer guy, a postman who keeps being berated and beaten, and the ultra-camp performance of the PI (a recurring theme in Argento's early films). The crazy visuals are brilliant throughout, and although I wouldn't say it's an outright classic (like Cat O Nine Tails, there's a lot of messing around), it's still a really good giallo.
Also like Cat O Nine Tails, there's a fairly dodgy scientific explanation for things that some people may find a bit hard to swallow, and instead of the killer being discovered through an earlier clue, they're kind of stumbled upon instead (and quite easy to guess). However, you've got to check it out.