Mrs. Wardh (Edwige Fenech) just arrives in Germany, and all hell breaks loose. She’s married but has many traumatizing memories from a previous relationship (a boyfriend played by Ivan Rassimov), Carol, a best friend who is somewhat oblivious to the whole matter (played by Martino regular Conchita Airoldi) and to make matters worse, she takes up a relationship with a good-looking cousin of Carol named George (George Hilton). Add to that a psycho killer and a blackmailer, and you can see why this is, indeed, strange.
If Mario Bava created the giallo genre and Dario Argento popularized it, then it was Sergio Martino who perfected it. Blending a truly engaging psychological story with the visceral violence the genre would soon become known for, it all predates this film, Martino’s first giallo. The cinematography is beautiful, especially in the flashback sequences featuring Fenech and Rassimov with their violent sexual fetishes, done in slow motion, and with cascading rain. The cast is top notch as well, featuring many seasoned Eurohorror players. This movie made Fenech a superstar, and she would become the Giallo Queen, appearing in films for Martino (Your Vice Is A Locked Door…, All The Colors of the Dark) and other directors (Case Of The Bloody Iris, Strip Nude For Your Killer) while also being the undisputed queen of the Italian sex comedy. Ivan Rassimov has appeared in films such as Man From Deep River and Eaten Alive, and like those movies, he plays a weird, freaky looking pervert/egomaniac. It’s his eyes! Conchita Airoldi would go on to appear in Martino’s horror masterpiece, Torso, as the hippie girl.
I have to take time to talk about the one thing that separates this film from most giallos, and that’s the music. While a lot of famous scores were produced for giallo films by genius composers (Goblin, Morricone, etc.), Nora Orlandi, a woman, would come and create the best. It’s a score that is very dreamlike, just like this movie, and it almost feels like Orlandi could feel the struggles and conflicts that Fenech’s character was suffering. It’s use of organ piano and female chorus voices is the most important part of the film, and to me, as essential to a movie as Carpenter’s score is to the original Halloween. So don’t miss this masterpiece of Italian cinema, it’s just that damn good!