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"A pretty girl is never ridiculous.",
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This review is from: Case of the Bloody Iris [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
A beautiful young woman enters a high-rise apartment and gets on the lift, she doesn't leave the lift alive as she's stabbed several times before having her throat slashed. One day later, a model called Mizar is knocked unconscious and then drowned in her bath tub. An architect called Andrea had wanted to use Mizar to sell apartments, after her death he makes the apartment available to two models, Jennifer and Marilyn. Jennifer soon starts a relationship with Andrea, and she becomes the latest target for the killer. Commissioner Enci and his assistant Redi are on the case and have several suspects that include Andrea, Jennifer's ex-husband who is the head of some type of sex cult, a predatory lesbian neighbour and the deformed son of a strange old woman who reads horror comics.
Giallo legends Edwige Fenech and George Hilton both gave excellent performances as Jennifer and Andrea, there's a lot of chemistry between them. The Case Of The Bloody Iris was the third giallo in just two years in which the two starred opposite one another, The Strange Vice Of Mrs. Wardh is a brilliant giallo from 1971, they then appeared in All The Colors Of The Dark in '72, the same year this film was made. Annabella Incontrera gives a feisty performance as Sheila, the lesbian that lives next door to Jennifer and Marilyn, she earlier appeared in an excellent giallo in '71 called The Black Belly Of The Tarantula. Paola Quattrini puts in a very playful performance as Marilyn, she's very likeable and always fun to watch. The most memorable performances come from Oreste Lionello who plays a gay photographer called Arthur, his campy, over the top performance is hilarious. Giampiero Albertini and Franco Agostino are really funny as the Commissioner and his assistant, they're so inept at their jobs it's brilliant. Enci goes around taking police evidence, flirting with all the women and punching club owners in the face. Redi can't even handle the simplest of tasks, and always has something funny to say. Ben Carra is suitably creepy as Jennifer's ex-husband, and Carla Brait who later showed up in Torso, is convincing as Mizar.
The Case Of The Bloody Iris is beautifully shot by Giuliano Carnimeo, aka Anthony Ascott. I'm not quite sure what happened to Carnimeo, but he went from making this classy giallo, to making the sleazy Rat Man in 1988. The quality between the two films is huge, and despite the fact I enjoy Rat Man for what it is, it's awful compared to this. The screenplay was from the prolific Ernesto Gastaldi, some of his other writing credits are The Strange Vice Of Mrs. Wardh, Case Of The Scorpion's Tail, All The Colors Of The Dark, Your Vice Is A Locked Room And Only I Have The Key, Torso, Almost Human and many, many more classic Italian films. Bruno Nicolai, another giallo veteran, composed a wonderful soundtrack. There's quite a bit of nudity in the film, the beautiful Edwige Fenech is the main supplier of such scenes. There's one or two bloody scenes but this isn't one of the bloodier and nasty gialli, the film concentrates more on atmosphere than violence. The film has a lot more comedy than what i'm used to when watching a giallo, but it all works and doesn't ruin the flow or feel of the film.
The picture quality on the US Blue Underground dvd is great, very little print damage and the colours are very strong. Certain scenes are a little soft, but that's no fault of the transfer. Even though I haven't seen it, the old Vipco dvd was supposedly one of the better looking transfers from them, so presumably the Cornerstone Media dvd has the same excellent print. There's no subtitles. The Blue Underground dvd is region 0 so plays on any machine. There's a few extras including an alternate stabbing scene, a trailer and an Anthony Ascott filmography. While it's not one of the very best gialli, it's another very well made and entertaining one that would enhance anyone's giallo collection.