Friday, November 4, 2016

Aimilia, i diestrammeni (1974)

... aka: Aimilia, the Psychopath
... aka: Bloody Emily
... aka: Emily the Pervert
... aka: Emily, the Psychopath

Directed by:
Pavlos Parashakis

Conservative middle-aged music teacher, wealthy widow and philanthropist Aimilia (Gisela Dali) is giving lessons to a few orphan children when three older folks arrive at her home. They're there because they want money to keep an institute open and to suggest she sell one of her many estates to help them with funding. Against Aimilia's wishes, one of her guests sees an armed man breaking into a home next door and immediately calls the cops. The burglar, Nikos (Dimitri Aronis), happens to already be well acquainted with the homeowner but he's there to collect money owed to his boss. After getting him to confess he has the money and getting him to open his safe, there's a fight and Nikos shoots both the guy and his girlfriend dead. Just then, the police arrive and Nikos flees into the night. He manages to duck into another home to hide out... Aimilia's home. He then overhears her and her guests having a conversation with one of the cops.

After the guests and cop leave, Nikos decides to hide out there until the police finish scouring the neighborhood. To kill time, he spies on Aimilia and watches as the woman he had seen all buttoned up doing the repressed, uptight act is living a dual life. Aimilia strips off her dress, showers and then changes her appearance, throwing on a sexy, short dress, heavy makeup and a blonde wig. She then leaves (giving Nikos a brief chance to use her phone to call his boss to tell him what's up), goes to a seedy area of town, picks up a guy and brings him home. After calling him a “male hooker” and slapping him in the face, he slaps her back and then the two jump into bed. She whips out a knife hidden under a pillow and then stabs the guy to death in a murderous frenzy that also puts the camera guy into a frenzy because it's impossible to see anything. Uh oh, Nikos has wandered into the home of schizo. Frequent flashbacks show that as a child Aimilia saw her hooker mother (also played by Dali in a black wig) get stabbed to death by one of her male acquaintances.

Aimilia soon run across the intruder and unsuccessfully attempts to kill him but, before you know it, she's crying on his sympathetic shoulder. Well, maybe she's not such a bad lady after all (other than the occasionally liking to stab horny men to death bit). Nikos manages to get home the following morning in one piece and learns from his girlfriend Kaiti (Lyn Fotopoulou) that his boss has been apprehended by the authorities. She begs him to run away with her but he has other things he needs to take care of first. Kaiti's mother Helen (Jenny Stefanakou) is heavily embroiled in the criminal lifestyle herself. Her husband and son are both in jail and she wants the money to hire lawyers to help get them out. She also warns Nikos that if he tries to do something foolish like split with all the money (which he hid behind some books at psycho woman's home) before delivering her cut then there will be hell to pay.

Nikos runs into many problems trying to retrieve the cash. For starters, Aimilia found it and hid it some place else. Second, Aimilia is an unpredictable, unreliable psycho so who knows what'll happen if he goes back. Third, police already have their eye on Aimilia and have posted guard outside her home. Four, his girlfriend's backstabbing mother cuts a deal with thug Joseph (“George Pliver” / Giorgos Plivouris) to split the cash 50/50 and cut Nikos out of the deal (by killing him). Kaiti overhears them making plans and pleads with Joseph to leave them alone, but he says he only will if she'll sleep with him. After they have sex, he instead goes right over to Nikos' and attempts to shoot him.

While out trying to find another victim, Aimilia stumbles across Mr. Paris (Manos Destounis), one of the guys who was begging for money earlier. Mr. Paris was also acquainted with her mother, who used him, teased him and mocked him. After she gets him home, he confesses to being the man who murdered her mother but is still willing to have sex if she'll have him. I'm sure you can guess what happens to Mr. Paris. Nikos is dragged into the police station and put in a lineup but Aimilia refuses to identify him as the shooter. It all leads to “tragic” consequences for pretty much all concerned after Aimilia clubs Joseph over the head with a candlestick and then puts on her seductress charms for Nikos when he finally shows up to get the money.

I only had the chance to view an old VHS release of this one, which is in pretty awful condition and also appears to have been cut at certain points to reduce nudity. That said, I don't believe the current running time of 95 minutes as given by IMDb. The cut I watched ran 77 minutes and the story didn't appear to be missing any key plot points plus the only abrupt soundtrack jumps occurred during sex scenes. Even so, this is a rather poorly made film. The camerawork is bad, the acting is bad, the story is all over the place, some cheap kaleidoscopic effects pass for style and there are loads of zooms in and zooms out used in place of proper editing cuts. I also found myself only really interested in what Aimilia was up to (at least at first) and not the dull crime stuff with Nikos and his lowlife friends or the dull scenes with the cops poking their noses around.

As far as Greek remedies for psycho-sexual problems are concerned, I'm not sure what's worse: The nut cured of his impotency by finally being given the chance to anally rape a woman in HOSTAGES OF LUST (1973) or a frigid female's murderous psychosis being cured by finally getting laid properly as in this film. Sheesh. Despite being from two different directors, both this and Hostages are filled with tinted flashbacks explaining how someone was turned psycho by the antics of a heartless female sexual tease. That's right, ladies. Always put up or shut up or else you'll end up with blood on your hands!

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