Umberto Lenzi passed away today at the ripe old age of 86. A sad day for sure. I figured I'd revisit one of my faves from him today in honor. The awesome and odd...SPASMO!
Again, we have the classic giallo trope of a man and woman getting caught up in a plot - stumbling into it by accident, then having to solve the mystery to clear their names.
Christian Bauman (Robert Hoffmann) meets Barbara (Suzy Kendall) and the two hit it off. Hit it off so well that they get romantic and ole Babs gets him to shave off his beard. While Christian is shaving at her place, a man breaks in with a gun and a fight ensues. The gunman is killed. Barbara's OTHER man shows up and they all head back to this harbor. Christian goes back for something he left at Barbara's home...and the body is gone! hehehe Barbara reappears and the two of them start off on their journey trying to sort things out.
Chris says, "I'm telling you for the last time, I want you out of this mess."
Barbara says, "I'm telling you that we'll get out of it together."
Love it. :)
There are these fun moments of people popping up and being woven into the complex and odd little plot line as things roll along. The plot thickens, thickens some more, then gets even thicker as things progress until we have this beautiful, stew-like mixture of beautiful women, mental illness, and a wild little mystery.
Those mystery elements abound including a series of very disturbing mannequins found all over the place. Homes, the woods... All creepy.
We also have that "are they good or bad?" aspect that I love. Some things are so convenient that it makes you think, "Heeeeey...are they really a bad guy?" hehehe
I love the way Lenzi shoots things in here. We get several cool gialli camera moments. Floating, hand helds. Zoom in on eyes. Sweeping camera pans.
I don't want to say much more about this film. Suffice it to say that it's one of my favorite giallo films. It has all the tropes I love!
Farewell, Mr. Lenzi!