Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Enigma rosso (1977)

...aka: Nemesis
...aka: Orgie des Todes
...aka: Phantom im Mädchenpensionat
...aka: Red Rings of Fear
...aka: Rings of Fear
...aka: Trauma
...aka: Virgin Killer
...aka: Virgin Terror

Directed by:
Alberto Negrin

Watchable giallo (which I saw under the title TRAUMA, even though it was also released under several different titles), starring Fabio Testi as a police inspector who must investigate the murder of a sixteen year old girl whose nude body has been dumped in a river. And she's been "chewed up inside" by a killer with a "really developed sense of perversion." Clues lead to an elite, all-female Catholic school as Testi discovers that four of the students were involved in an underground sex orgy with rich, older men. Then the mystery killer, obviously someone going to extremes in an effort to cover his/her tracks, starts bumping off everyone who was involved. The most shocking scene features a girl having an illegal abortion inter-cut with flashbacks to the first victim being raped to death with a king-size black dildo! Yow. There's gratuitous female nudity (which some may feel discomforting because the actresses playing young schoolgirls certainly look the part), death by curling iron, some footage inside a slaughterhouse (hey, why not?), a roller coaster ride, a guy jumping off a bridge, a dead dog, a kleptomaniac girlfriend (Christine Kaufmann) and other things throw in to help hold your interest. The surprise ending doesn't really work, but you'll never see it coming. The supporting cast includes Tony Isbert as Testi's partner, Ivan Desny as a police chief, Jack Taylor as a pervert who runs a women's clothing boutique, Helga Liné as a mother of a missing girl and Silvia Aguilar as one of the schoolgirls.

The film was pretty difficult to find for quite some time until it became public domain and became a staple of all those cheap DVD packs distributed by companies such as Brentwood and Mill Creek. The print quality on those is pretty lousy.


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