"Autopsy - A Chilling Slab of Unspeakable Horror"
Or so we read on the box of this DVD. Of Italian origin and first released in 1973 as "Macchie Solari", Autopsy has not aged well as a horror movie. Interestingly, I believe the original title referred to suns spots, which are a recurring theme in the movie.
Autopsy starts brilliantly depicting a number of suicides that invariably end up in the autopsy room, where we meet the protagonist played by Mimsy Farmer. Mimsy is studying forensic medicine and writing a thesis on how to distinguish between real and fake suicides. Something happens and Mimsy begins to see the cadavers moving around.
After this promising opening, the movie strays away from the moving cadavers and turns into a murder mystery. A young woman that Mimsy briefly meets in her apartment is found dead in what appears to be a suicide. However, dead woman's brother (played by Barry Primus) is convinced that it was murder.
Eventually, Mimsy realizes that the dead woman's brother, who is also a priest, is correct. By then, other suicides/murders start occurring around her, and even she becomes the target of one attempt. Suddenly, she doesn't know if she can trust the priest, her father, her father's business associate, her boyfriend (who also is a target of a murder attempt) or even herself.
By now, this movie is no longer a horror film. Instead, it has become a classic who-dunnit film, with occasional sunspot flare- ups depicted a certain intervals. Surprisingly, the mystery is actually well-done. Agatha Christie couldn't have written a better murder mystery.
Why the movie was titled Autopsy in English is beyond me. Scully and Mulder (X-Files) spend more time in the morgue than do Mimsy and Barry. Furthermore, the autopsies in the X-Files are sometimes even more graphic than in this movie. I can only speculate that the studios felt that "Autopsy" would draw more movie-goers than "Sun Spots". On the subject of sun spots, the movie tries to suggest a relationship between sun spots and suicides, which doesn't really fit into the murder mystery.
Overall, it is an excellent movie-if you like mysteries. But a horror movie it is not, certainly not one of "unspeakable horror".