The Case of the Bloody Iris (1972) AKA Perché quelle strane gocce di sangue sul corpo di Jennifer?
Fourth and last in my reviews of Anchor Bay’s 4 disc set entitled The Giallo Collection brings us The case of the Bloody Iris other wise known as Erotic Blue and What are those Strange Drops of Blood doing on Jennifer’s Body.
Directed by Giuliano Carnimeo under the name Anthony Ascott and staring the unbelievably beautiful Edwige Fenech (Mario Bava’s 5 Dolls for an August Moon (1970) and Sergio Martino’s Tutti i colori del buio (1972) AKA All the Colors of the Dark ) as Jennifer and George Hilton (also All the Colors of the Dark) as Andrea. Scripted by Ernesto Gastaldi who wrote Sergio Martino’s Torso (1973) which is one of my favorite psycho-sexual thrillers and Mario Bava’s The Whip and the Body (1963) starring Christopher Lee. Also it has a great score by the great Bruno Nicolai (Jesus Franco’s Eugenie (1970) and my favorite giallo of, quite probably, all time, Umberto Lenzi’s Gatti rossi in un labirinto di vetro (1975) AKA Eyeball, I think it is also known as The Secret Killer.
Women are being brutally murdered in an apartment complex that Andrea works for as an architect. Enter Jennifer and her friend Marilyn (Played by Paola Quattrini) who decide to move into a vacant apartment made so by the murderer. Jennifer befriends Andrea (who has a phobia about blood) and forms a relationship with him, but could he be the killer? Could it be the strange old woman who loves horror magazine stories, or her deformed son? Could it be the leader of a sex cult who not only is stalking Jennifer but happens to be her husband? Many suspects but as expected it has to be someone in the building.
Out of the 4 movies this might be my favorite even though it is pretty average fare in the long list of gialli. It is very seventies, the music, the look, the costumes, everything screams 1970’s. It focus’s a lot on the police investigation while making them not look like fools, which can happen. Quite a bit of the time you find the police ineffectual and the mysteries are solved mainly by the main character(s) who happen to get caught up in the mystery like Dario Argento’s Profondo rosso (1975) where David Hemmings and Dario Argento’s long time partner Daria Nicolodi do.
There is only a little blood which is to be expected but the set-pieces are good for its time. There is a little more nudity than you might expect which is always nice. You even have a strip wrestler.
If anyone is interested the Iris flower seems to be used in the film to represent the sex cult, members being like the petals of the flower. Quite a few bloody Iris’s get their petals violently removed.
My favorite scene is the scene where Marilyn gets killed. Basically Marilyn is coming back from shopping carrying packages and she sees someone she recognizes. Just as she thinks the person is going to help her, the killer plunges a very intimidating knife into her belly. Yes there is blood but what makes the scene is the camera tracks her last moments through a crowd as she slowly falls to the ground. Almost reveling in her death. I found it very sad and effective.
Unlike the other 3 films, this disc has NO interview with the director or featurette. It is Widescreen enhanced for 16×9 TV’s and for the most part the picture is good. There is also a theatrical trailer and a filmography. The best special feature is an alternate “Stabbing Scene”, which seems to be a re-editing of Marilyn’s death scene. I think I prefer the version that is in the film.
All in all a satisfying entry into the genre known as the giallo or ,plural, gialli.