Monday, January 18, 2010

Virgin Viewings: Perversion Story (1969)

New Discoveries,
Pretty Pictures

Lucio Fulci's giallo-lite, Perversion Story (aka. Una sull'altra, aka. One on Top of the Other), is filled with psychedelic sex and devious plot twists -- some sensational, some unsatisfying, but all of this stylish and (awkwardly) sensual. The Italians knew what they were doing, even when they didn't. It's like an Italian variation on Vertigo, possibly titled "Asthma," considering this film's main physical affliction. Similarly it includes a picturesque San Francisco setting, dual motives and even a doppelganger or two, although more manic than Hitchcock to be sure -- such is the pleasure of this era in Italian horror/thrillers. One of Fulci's finer films, more akin to Lizard in a Woman's Skin with it's drug-induced, jazz-infused, lesbian-lusting murder and manipulation. Quite a contrast from later Fulci fare, such as The Sweet House of Horrors, to which I recently recapped here.

Eyes: not only a window to the soul.

Perversion Story is most memorable for a stunner of a score from composer Riz Ortolani (Don't Torture a Duckling, Cannibal Holocaust), and immersing visuals that includes a lush sex scene filmed from beneath its lovers, through the veil of pink silk sheets. Another great moment has our lead doctor George, a dashing Jean Sorel, having a scandalous encounter with a prostitute he believes to be his wife, cross-cut with the dead body he also believes to be his wife. Italian film enthusiasts, lovers of camp, and general perverts take note. This one piles on the twists and the T&A, one right on top of the other.

No comments: