If there's one thing I hate when reading a film review its when someone says something to the effect of "this film was so sleazy I felt like having a shower straight after watching it"-what the hell does that mean?
However, if any of those lazy critics watched Landi's "Giallo a Venezia" they would probably have to spend at least three days soaking in their bathtub.
This film is the most notorious and violent giallo ever made and as such is only for those with strong stomachs.
Two bodies, a man and a woman, are found on a venetian pier. The woman has been drowned, the man has been stabbed. They are soon named as Flavia and Fabio, a young married couple who were known to be involved in a debauched series of sexual games and fantasies. Flavia was unwilling, but is seemingly under the control of her husband who beats and rapes her, and arranges for her to have sex with various unsavoury individuals during the course of the movies flashbacks. The police interview Flavia's friend, Marzia, about the deaths, but she is unable, or unwilling to reveal too much information about the incident.
A policeman (who has the charming habit of eating hardboiled eggs throughout the film) becomes interested in the case, but his interest seemingly sets off a terrible trail of murder, death and destruction.
So begins a catalogue of mayhem, which includes a prostitute being stabbed in the crotch by a bizarre man wearing sunglasses, Marzia's husband is knee-capped and set alight, another main(male)character is gruesomely stabbed in the groin, but all this is the prelude to one of the most grueling scenes ever laid on film.
Marzia (Maria Angela Giordano) is assaulted by the killer. He strips her naked and ties her to a table. He then proceeds to cut her to pieces, and begins by sawing her leg off graphically on camera. When the poor woman faints, he appears to be annoyed and slaps her face until she regains consciousness. This scene seems to go on for a ages, and is most distressing-Marzia's screams of agony are reflected in the killers sunglasses, and he seems to be genuinely enjoying his work.
Before my review makes all you gorehounds rush out to buy this film, there are some things you need to know. Mario Landi couldn't direct traffic, never mind a film. The film is badly edited, badly lit, badly framed and badly shot.
The only saving graces are the numerous shocking scenes of sexual violence, the very realistic special effects during the gore sequences, a great performance(as ever)from Giordano who deserves far better than what she receives both in this film and Patrick still Lives, and the excellent musical score from Berto Pisano which is thoroughly wasted on this piece of irredeemable trash.
The film is currently unavailable officially in English, or even with subtitles, but the version on review is the one available from LFVW who have subtitled the film themselves.
The most commonly viewed version is the Italian full screen release on the Star Video label, but there have been whispers for a while about a DVD release so I would wait a while before tracking down Giallo a Venezia.
Anyway, I'm off for a shower..............................