Seven Notes in Black -1977
Jennifer O’Neill – Virginia Ducci
Gabriele Ferzetti – Emilio Rospini
Marc Porel – Luca Fattori
Gianni Garko – Francesco Ducci
Ida Galli – Gloria Ducci (as Evelyn Stewart)
Jenny Tamburi – Bruna
Fabrizio Jovine – Commissioner D’Elia
Riccardo Parisio Perrotti – Melli
Loredana Savelli – Giovanna Rospini
Salvatore Puntillo – Second Cab Driver
Bruno Corazzari – Canevari
Vito Passeri – Caretaker
Franco Angrisano – First Cab Driver
Veronica Michielini – Giuliana Casati
Paolo Pacino – Inspector Russi
Fausta Avelli – Virginia as a Girl
Elizabeth Turner – Virginia’s Mother
Ugo D’Alessio – Art Gallery Owner
Luigi Diberti – Judge
Review by Sven Soetemans
Picked up an entirely French version of this and even I, a vivid Lucio Fulci fan, couldn’t immediately tell what film it was I held there in my hands. When it comes to style and substance, “7 Notes in Black” comes darn close to the master’s ultimate success film “Don’t Torture a Duckling”. Less gruesome and the emphasis lies on story and atmosphere. I guess that’s why this little gem got catapulted straight into oblivion, as numerous gore flicks settled Fulci up with his infamous and still growing “Godfather of Gore”-reputation.
“7 Notes in Black” is an unhinged and powerful giallo, complete with a very twisted plot, morbid atmosphere, spooky sound effects and far-fetched twists. Dario Argento and Mario Bava usually are the experts in this domain, but Fulci once again proves himself capable of delivering an equally brilliant and suspenseful mystery that keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time. The film opens with an unsettling sequence in which a young girl witnesses her mother committing suicide (by the way, the actual suicide is almost an exact copy of the one in “Don’t Torture a Duckling” and shows the victim bumping her head against the cliff several times…quite gruesome) even though she’s in a completely different country.
The young Virginia is clairvoyant and almost 20 years later, she has a similar vision in which she witnesses a woman getting walled up in the house belonging to her husband. When there really is a skeleton found inside the walls of the mansion, Virginia attempts to reconstruct what happened to this unfortunate women by the images shown to her in a vision. But our courageous heroine is in great danger, since it’s unclear whether the vision illustrates past …or future.
The screenplay is well-written and smart, while Fulci’s professional directing manages to keep you guessing along until the very last second. There’s a constant ominous tone featuring in this film and the magnificent “7 notes” tune even increases the tension. This is vintage Italian horror and definitely Fulci’s most regretfully underrated achievement. Despite of what everyone thinks of him, he’s a gifted filmmaker with an eye for absolute terror and a passion for the macabre.
If you also were a fan of “Don’t Torture a Duckling” (and I know there are a lot of fans of that title here on this site) I strongly advise you to look for this film as well. It’s a hard one to find, but it’s worth every minute of trouble