Sometimes it’s nice to not rush things and just enjoy them in the right moment. I had the 3-disc version of this movie (containing the original Italian version and also AIP American version under the title “Evil Eye”) from Arrow Video for some time now, but I haven’t had the opportunity to watch it.
But reading the great giallo reference book So Deadly, So Perverse (volume 1) by Troy Howarth (and it certainly deserves its own review once I am finished with it), I’ve developed the urge to start watching some nice giallo movies.
Good thing is, I haven’t formed any firm opinion about the genre, I’ve seen a few giallos already and while I was not completely blown away, they were good (especially when one appreciates movies as they are, not expecting Hollywood candy production), so with this open minded approach I’ve set to enjoy this – according to many – first giallo movie.
Directed by famous Mario Bava, which is a reason on its own to watch it, the movie centers on Nora Davis (Letícia Román), an American girl in Rome, who might witness a murder. Actually, her trip to Rome to visit her elderly aunt hasn’t started on a good side at all. First, on the plane she was unknowingly smoking (yes, those were the times you could smoke on a plane) a marijuana-laced cigarette offered to her by her fellow passenger (who’s turned to be a drug smuggler), then her aunt has died and poor Nora got mugged on the way to the hospital. And when she was recovering from her unconsciousness, she’s seen a woman being murdered. Or has she just hallucinated it?
I guess I’ve said just enough not to spoil the movie, but I can tell you without any hesitation – I haven’t seen a thrilling, gripping movie like this for quite a long time. Shot in black and white, with a fantastic work with shadows and light, and with great performance by Letícia Román and my favourite John Saxon as young doctor Marcello Bassi, who became Nora’s fiance, not to mention really catchy score (and “Furore”, a title song by Adriano Celentano, is really nice, I really haven’t thought I would enjoy listening to old Italian song) I have enjoyed watching the movie and I am getting ready to watch the US version, as it has a different footage and music.
I, for one, didn’t like the light comedy thrown in (John Saxon getting trapped in the trap prepared by Nora), not because it wasn’t good, it was, just it disturbs the flow of otherwise noir-like giallo movie. But Latícia Román is a reason enough to watch it, so, in the words of an immortal Eurythmics song – Who am I to disagree…right?
And now, damn, I want to re-watch Black Sunday again!