Sunday, March 25, 2007


A few days after watching it, Spasmo (Umberto Lenzi, 1974) leaves the viewer under the crude white light of a burning sun, which prevents you from articulating a rather confusing and somehow unconvincing story, yet triggers haunting images and impressions:
A giallo by the sea, hit by sunstroke, overexposed, at the opposite of the usual dark urban landscapes;
A mysterious killer who oddly looks like Dario Argento - could Lenzi do this unintentionally?
Human size dolls hanging from trees, lying on beaches, hidden in the bushes, scattered across the movie like all-too-obvious symbols of death;
Birdcages in a house by the sea;
And red roses portrayed on an ocean background, that someone suddenly cuts off;
Finally, sweet sounds and distorded melodies by Ennio Morricone.

This is all I can remember from this film, strange feelings and visual impressions from a summer dream that would have turned seriously wrong.

Spasmo, a giallo by Umberto Lenzi which is proof that the director has his own visual style, but is not really at ease with making plots credible. Read on Giallo Fever an interesting article about this movie.
Find the French DVD here and the US release there.
Morricone's haunting score is here.
And read more about Lenzi from this blog here.

1 comment:

The-Iron-Inspector said...

I love Umbero Lenzi's poliziotteschi movies...'Violent Naples' 'Rome armed to the teeth' etc...but I've never seen any of his giallos! I remember seeing the cover to this movie in my local video rental store way, way back in the day...and thinking that it had the most insane cover ever!! Thanks for the review...gonna check it out.