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A Lizard In A Woman's Skin (1971)

DVD Cover (Shriek Show Reissue #2)
Genres:
Giallo, Psychological Thriller, Thriller
Director:
Lucio Fulci Lucio Fulci
Starring:
Florinda Bolkan Florinda Bolkan
Stanley Baker Stanley Baker
Jean Sorel Jean Sorel
Silvia Monti Silvia Monti
Alberto de Mendoza Alberto de Mendoza

7.0 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Tristan
Added: July 18, 2007
Our film begins with Carol (Florinda Bolkan) walking down the aisle of a train, unable to open any of the side rooms. She then has to push through several people in the hallway, and ends up in a white room, surrounded by dozens of nude couples, until she comes to a black room, in which her neighbour Julia (Anita Strindberg) is waiting for her. After they both undress, Julia begins kissing Carol until she wakes up in her bed. Of course, this was a dream.

Carol is married to Frank Hammond (Jean Sorel), a lawyer employed by her wealthy politician father, Edmond Brighton (Leo Genn). They live in a very large and very gorgeous flat in the nice end of town. Unfortunately for the Hammonds, their neighbour, the woman that Carol dreamed about, has nightly parties full of LSD and orgies. Carol speaks of her dreams to her psychologist, who says that in her dreams, Carol sees Julia in this way, because while she is not someone to be respected, she is curious of her freedom, and is attracted to the thought of it.

While her father and husband are discussing ways that they can take Carol away from everything, Mr Brighton receives a phone call with a mysterious stranger on the other end saying she has information regarding a member of his family. That night Carol has the same dream, only this time, she stabs Julia several times in the chest, losing her scarf and coat as she flees. She also notices that a couple were sitting to the side of the room, and witnessed the whole thing.

Carol tells her psychiatrist about the dream, but he says that she merely killed a part of herself in the dream. Several days later, Julia is found dead in her apartment, killed the same way that Carol said she did in her dreams. After searching the apartment, the police find a number of Carol's belongings and have her arrested. Her powerful father soon has her back out, but to make matters worse, she is harassed by the young couple that she saw in her nightmare. Did Carol actually kill her neighbour, or is she being framed for the murder?

First off, the music. Ennio Morricone did the soundtrack, and for those of you who know who that is will be very impressed. To have a man like that work on a Fulci film should be a pretty good indicator as to how good this movie is. The music fit perfectly with every scene, as it captured the psychedelic moods of the sex orgies and Carol's dreams, as well as the calm, quiet moments with the Hammonds.

I watched both the US release, which was cleaned up and unfortunately cut, and I saw the Italian version which was fuzzy, uncut, and much, much better. If you can spare a clean DVD transfer for more nudity, gore and subtitles, the Italian version is the one for you. Films like this feel much better when watching them in their original form. Fuzzy or not, the visuals in this movie were fantastic, and Fulci had some interesting ways of filming certain scenes. An entire dinner sequence shot almost completely in the reflections from the table was very impressive, and creative. For the film as a whole, I loved it. There was a very unique and interesting storyline, and Fulci gave us a good heaping handful of gore and violence, something you grow accustom to with his films. This is another Fulci gem, and proves why isn't the hack director many make him out to be. Sure he has some stinkers, but so does every director. And more often than not, his films only do poorly because of lack of funding, not because he is a bad director. He does the best with what he has given, and this is why he remains to be one of my favourite Italian directors.

7.5/10
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