3 May 2009 | lazarillo
Superior Spanish giallo effort from the director of "Week of the Killer"
I actually would classify this as a Spanish giallo, even it doesn't slavishly imitate the stereotypical Italian model like some of the Paul Naschy efforts (i.e. "Seven Murders for Scotland Yard"). This film by Eloy de Inglesias and a couple films by the equally talented Spaniard Jose Maria Forque are superior to any of Naschy's attempts at a Spanish giallo and make for interesting variations on the standard giallo formula. Of course, this movie is also somewhat inspired by Hitchcocks's "Rear Window", the Hollywood paranoia classic "Gaslight", and the director's own "Week of the Killer" (released under the absurd and inappropriate English title "Cannibal Man").
Carmen Sevilla is an attractive wife living in an apartment building. After her husband leaves town on a business trip, she hears noises in the apartment above her and comes to believe the woman living there (Patty Shepherd) has murdered her own invalid husband. Adding to her suspicions, the woman keeps asking to put stuff in her fridge, even though her own fridge is clearly working, and someone is secretly feeding something to the landlord's dogs. Of course, there are other strange characters that might be involved, starting with the handsome bachelor landlord, who seems to another of the director's closeted gay protagonists since he rebuffs most of the beautiful women who throw themselves at him, but he also seems to have a stalker-ish thing for Sevilla's character. There's also a nubile young milkmaid (Emma Cohen)who keeps coming around with her jugs (and occasionally a few bottles of milk too).
It becomes increasingly unclear whether there really has been a murder, whether the protagonist is going crazy, or whether someone is trying to drive her crazy--and it might be more the one of these. The ending is different, although maybe a little too different for its own good. This movie doesn't seem to have quite the visual style of one of your better gialli (but it's kind of hard to tell given the substandard presentation of the bootleg I saw). It is generally a pretty effective film though, however, you want to categorize it.