A newspaper reporter and a retired, blind journalist try to solve a series of killings connected to a pharmaceutical company’s experimental, top-secret research projects and in so doing, both become targets of the killer.
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Argento really thinks this is his worst movie? On pure entertainment terms, I found this the peak of the "Animal Trilogy" by a nose. Four Flies may be more creatively insane & Crystal Plumage more genre-definitive, but Karl Malden as a blind Sherlock Holmes aided by his child niece could yield an entire film series. And there's also the car chase scene, the milk scene and of course...the crypt scene.
Out of all Argento's horror films, this one feels the least like a horror and more like a detective story, well, investigative journalism story. Superb soundtrack evokes spring night romanticism with "Ninna Nanna In Blu" and paranoia with "Paranoia Prima". The acting is one of the best ever seen in the giallo movie. Car chase through the streets of Rome and rooftop scene are the highlights of somewhat tedious whole.
Early Argento is utterly sublime. He is formally far more gnarled and unkempt that Hitchcock, but the integrated components of design facilitate the formation of an immersive aesthetic domain equal parts tacky and elegant. In some ways he is like a Visconti of fun (and funny!) trash. I find it positively inspirational to see Karl Malden so game for this madness, and it features one of Morricone's very finest scores.
While Argento broadens his hypothesis on the notion of sight & sightlessness (which played a big part in the conception of his great debut), this second film is devoid of the stylistic flair & bravura set-pieces that characterised much of the filmmaker's early works. It's by far the most conventional of the animal trilogy; hindered by a convoluted corporate conspiracy & generic style that feels closer to television.
A lower tier Argento giallo. The plot becomes horribly convoluted 3/4th's of the way through and will leave some people scratching their heads especially with the endless amount of twists & turns. Also the abrupt ending just feels extremely shallow. The main things of interest is Argento's stylized approach that is done in a more subdued manner compared to many of his other films and Morricone's score.-2 1/2 stars.
One of Argento's lesser thrillers but still very enjoyable due to the effective storytelling and competent acting from the leads. The visuals and music are stellar, and while the movie lacks the full on suspense from Argento's early giallos, this experiment in american style film making still pays off in spades.
Half way through, there's a shot where, in the background, two characters are getting it on while, in the foreground, there's milk leaking out. That should tell you exactly what to expect from this feature by the style over substance and shallow master of horror. I don't want to sound like a misogynistic barbarian, BUT, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't aroused every seconds that Catherine Spaak's tits were on screen.
**1/2 Average giallo saved by two scenes, the station's and the cemetery's. In fact, a big disappointment except for the Argento completist who will appreciate Catherine Spaak's perfect anatomy if not her haircut.