Perché quelle strane gocce di sangue sul corpo di Jennifer? (The Case of the Bloody Iris) Reviews
As in all gialli, a gloved killer wrapped in sharp black is mercilessly butchering physically beautiful young women for kicks, this time in a luxurious high rise apartment. Days after two women are murdered in a twenty-four hour period, models Jennifer (Edwige Fenech) and Marilyn (Paola Quattrini) move into one of the victims' apartment, hardly worried about the room's sordid past. "Life goes on," Marilyn scoffs, as if wishing to jinx herself into murder mystery oblivion. But it doesn't take long for the pair to realize that such things can hardly be laughed off, especially when considering the building itself seems to contain a number of shady characters easily able to commit such heinous acts. Suspects include a stereotyped lesbian neighbor, a misogynistic old woman that lives with her disturbingly deformed son, and even Jennifer's love interest (George Hilton), an architect with a crippling phobia of blood. And it doesn't help that Jennifer's maniacal ex-husband (Ben Carra) enjoys spending his days stalking his former wife instead of making a living.
In order to fully enjoy "The Case of the Bloody Iris", one must disregard the horrendous dubbing, the severely stiff performances, and the regularly asinine script - because this is a film about style and Edwige Fenech, not much else. (Those expecting the normal amount of generous giallo gore will be sorely disappointed.) The first murder is exquisitely shot - with hardly a word of dialogue to spare, it follows a comely blonde from a telephone booth to her apartment building's elevator, where she winds up slashed to death after the passengers depart one by one. Clearly inspiration for Angie Dickinson's gruesome offing in "Dressed to Kill" (which is miles better), the scene sets the tone of the film: absurd but competently suspenseful. Because much of the film is absurd - Jennifer's religious cult backstory is unneeded and contains a gratuitous orgy scene (hardly graphic) more laughable than tantalizing, and her bad habit of wandering away from safety in a time of danger is maddening - but, for the most part, "The Case of the Bloody Iris" classes it up while later '70s peers of the "Black Christmas" mindset didn't. It cares more about how it appears than how it builds intellectually, so thank God it looks like the chic second cousin of "Blowup" or some other mod infused character study.
Best of all is Edwige Fenech: never have I seen her in one of her famous gialli (those were directed by Sergio Martino, and I'm still in the process of trying to find a copy to view), and this film gives an idea as to why she is an underground legend. With her cat eyes, voluptuous figure, and jet black hair, it's impossible not to stare at her, mouth agape and all. One can hardly call her a fine actress, but Fenech has presence, a characteristic hardly found in other giallo women like Barbara Bouchet or Ida Galli. The camera clings to her composure almost passively; she can turn a poorly executed scene into a work of art by merely acting as its center. Maybe her films with Martino are better, but "The Case of the Bloody Iris" is a giallo minor but palatable.
Well worth a rental.
Je ne connais pas trop le réalisateur de celui-là, mais en tout cas il s'est très bien débrouillé avec ce giallo qui n'en finit plus de partager des gênes avec le slasher américain. Fidèle à la recette du whodunit, ce film là est quand même un petit peu plus malin que les autres et on se laisse facilement prendre au piège quand à l'identité du tueur. Pour le reste c'est la même chose, Fenech toujours elle, qui survit malgré qu'on en veuille à sa peau, mais c'est bien fait, et on prend toujours le même plaisir, alors pourquoi gâcher son plaisir !
Hilton and Fenech are very good separately here, though their chemistry together isn't as good as in other movies. Hilton does a good giallo-style Cary Grant. And he has a better fight scene than I remember Cary Grant ever having. Frano Augstini gets comic relief and some humanity into the movie out of the stock supporting role of the half-competent, half-bumbling policeman.
The camera movement has very little poetry and doesn't contribute atmosphere, but there is a lot of swish-zoom work that doesn't stick out and makes fast connections between framings. Giallo fans could focus on this aspect of the movie alone, because it's a masterly example of the use of zoom and handheld camera in the genre. On the other hand, the movie also has a very generous perception of how much light is created in a dark room by one match.
The literal translation of the title is "What are those strange drops of blood doing on Jennifer's body?" Good question. Here's another one: What makes drops of blood on a body "strange drops" of blood? Are they square-shaped or something? In fact, one of the characters is afraid of blood, and any drops that end up on the person of our sexy heroine, Jennifer, are not strange at all, just red and icky like usual. The epilogue of the movie is unnecessary but seems to celebrate all the trashiness that has transpired.