Monday, October 21, 2013

"Macchie solari" (1975) d/Armando Crispino

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Tonight's movie, whose title translates to "Sun Spots" ( misleadingly released as Autopsy here in the States two years later), stands as an odd entry in the gialli sweepstakes, missing the trademark black gloved killer so prevalent in other films of the genre, but what it lacks in convention it more than makes up for with heaping dollops of sleazy sex, hallucinatory nightmare sequences, and the usual stellar evocative soundtrack from Ennio Morricone, not to mention one of the more delirious premises you're ever gonna find in movies like this. Director Crispino handles the frantic workload with lurid zeal, as though he himself had been affected by the magnetic activity on the star's surface, with an able cast that's headed by usual genre suspects, Mimsy Farmer and Ray Lovelock.

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"Let go of my hand already, hippie, my nipples are getting fenceburn."
After opening with a disturbing montage of a sudden rash of suicides attributed to the titular solar phenomena, we head to the Roman morgue, where Simona ( Farmer) hallucinates the reanimation of a chunky female stabbing victim while other corpses come to life and copulate amid the limp come-on's of her assistant Ivo (Ernesto Colli), before her boyfriend Edgar (Lovelock) surprises her on a slab. Later, the body of a leggy redhead (Gaby Wagner) turns up on one of the young pathologist's gurneys just a day after meeting her, the victim of an apparent gun-inflicted suicide on the beach, with Ivo lustily squeezing her dead boobs like a package of ass paper on a supermarket shelf, and just as Simona is laboriously working on her thesis paper on real and staged suicides, what luck. While dining out with her playboy father, Lello (Carlo Cattaneo), she has a sun-induced migraine that tunes her into a clue about the deceased ginger, leading her back to the morgue, where she meets Father Lenox (Barry Primus), the dead girl's brother and a race car driver-turned-priest(!), who believes his sister's death was no suicide...

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Empty a bottle of limoncello at the morgue, and this is what happens.
Lenox pummels the superintendent's face in the stairwell with his holy mitts, using the same reckless abandon in investigating his sister's death that forced him to prematurely retire from the racing circuit. As Simona gets closer to the truth at the criminal museum, a booby trap nearly erases her from the equation. Edgar walks away from his accident at the speedway, and shows  Simona a vintage pornography slide show that ends in tears and a non-bj (the worst kind, I tell you). Lello does a high window flopper that leaves him mute and paralyzed while his daughter, who never bought a blouse with buttons, parries an attempted morgue-rape by Ivo with a fork. Finally, she goes in for some nudie prod games with Edgar, only realizing mid-coitus that she's in love with Father Lenox. Lello flatlines in the middle of answering a question about his attempted suicide, and in the end, surprise... it's Edgar, who's the right homicidal bastard, scheming with Lenox's sister to rob Simona's father of his fortune. After narrowly escaping a staged double suicide, the priest and doctor rush to the square for a high scaffolding intervention that naturally goes badly. Cue: stock footage of solar flares and Morricone.

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...because"Wet Mimsy" doesn't need a witty punchline, at all, really.
Crispino's other directorial efforts include his first attempt at giallo, 1972's L'etrusco uccide ancora aka/ The Dead Are Alive, John il bastardo aka/ John the Bastard (1967), a western, and 1968's Commandos, a war movie starring Lee Van Cleef. The Chicago-born Farmer was no stranger to gialli, herself, appearing in no less than Argento's 4 mosche di velluto grigio aka/ Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1971) and 1974's Il profumo della signora in nero aka/ The Perfume of the Lady in Black (1974). Lovelock, always a favorite, regularly worked with directors like Fulci, Deodato, Grau, Di Leo, and Gariazzo throughout the sixties and seventies. On the scale, Autopsy garners a solid three wops, and comes recommended for anybody with a taste for the lurid side of genre film from the boot. Check it out!

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...looks like another case of "Irish Sunglasses".
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