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The Case of the Bloody Iris

The Case of the Bloody Iris (1972)
What are those strange drops of blood doing on Jennifer’s body
Perché quelle strane gocce di sangue sul corpo di Jennifer?
Giuliano Carnimeo

Ernesto Gastaldi
Ernesto Gastaldi

Vittorio Galiano
Luciano Martino
Marcello Romeo

Edwige Fenech – Jennifer Lansbury
George Hilton – Andrea Barto
Annabella Incontrera – Sheila Heindricks
Paola Quattrini – Marilyn Ricci
Giampiero Albertini – Commissioner Enci
Franco Agostini
Oreste Lionello – Arthur
Ben Carra
Carla Brait – Mizar Harrington
Gianni Pulone
Carla Mancini
Georges Rigaud – Professor Isaacs, Sheila’s father
Luciano Pigozzi – Fanelli, the Nightclub Owner
Maria Tedeschi – Mrs. Moss

Review by Sven Soetemans

This gem is what ‘giallo’ is all about!,
I’ve seen quite many Italian giallo-horror movies by now and, not reluctantly, I would call “What Are Those Strange Drops of Blood Doing On Jennifer’s Body?” the ideal prototype to illustrate what exactly are the marvelous aspects for which this unique sub genre stands. This movie has them all: beautiful women (preferably large-eyed fashion models or strippers) are brutally stabbed to death by a masked killer whose motive remains a big mystery until the very last minutes of the movie.

Indispensable also are the many eccentric characters, going from dumb coppers to a large collection of uncanny suspects, beautiful music, sleaze and nudity (although stylish at all times) and imaginative camera-work. As top of the bill, and this really is what makes this gem a truly representative giallo for me, the amount of red herrings is just enough to constantly trick you without the risk of making you lose your interest for the actual revelation of the killer’s identity. Too often it happens that one silly twist too many turns an initially compelling whodunit-mystery into a ludicrous comedy and that’s certainly not the case here!

The drop-dead-gorgeous Edwige Fenech (also a regular Sergio Martino muse) stars as the petrified new tenant of an apartment where a black stripper violently got murdered. She becomes the new target of the relentless killer but she doesn’t receive much help from anyone around her. Her brainless roommate Marilyn laughs her fear away and the police inspector in charge of the investigation cares more about finding rare postal stamps for his collection!

Just to make things more complicated: all the other people living in the building complex behave strangely and distant, Jennifer’s ex-husband returns to stalk her and she can’t yet trust her new boyfriend Andrea enough. The screenplay for this film was written by the true Italian horror prodigy Ernesto Gastaldi (just click his name and browse through the gigantic list of horror beauties this man delivered) and, even though he sometimes borrows ideas from his own previous work, his script is very original and genuinely shocking.

The building complex makes a great setting with its ideal filming perspectives and the murders are intriguingly sadistic. Some of Italy’s finest horror directors made unforgettable gialli movies, like Mario Bava, Lucio Fulci and Dario Argento, but there are numberless other highlights out there that are lesser known but equally unmissable.

This gem certainly is one of them.

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70s Films

A tour through the great and not so great films of the seventies The seventies saw a huge change in styles and genres from the advent of the slasher horror movies like Halloween and the blockbuster summers films started by Jaws. More...

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