Directed by Umberto Lenzi
Written by Umberto Lenzi & Massimo Franciosa
Produced by Ugo Tucci
Music by Ennio Morricone
Cast: Robert Hoffmann, Suzy Kendall, Ivan Rassimov, Adolfo Lastretti, Monica Monet & Guido Alberti
1974/94 mins/Color/Dolby Digital Mono
2.35:1 anamorphic/English/Italy/NTSC Region 1
Review from the Media Blasters DVD
Upon arriving at the beach, Christian (Robert Hoffmann) and his girlfriend Xenia find what they think is a dead woman's body. Thankfully, Barbara (the delicious and genre favorite of mine Suzy Kendall) is still much alive but a little confused. The next day Christian meet Barbara again at a party on a big yacht. They both go to a hotel for a night of passionate love. But while shaving himself in the bathroom, Christian is attacked by a mysterious unknown man who ends up dead by his own gun. From there on everything goes downhill for the couple, as Christian feels more and more troubled about all the events happening around him.
This is not your "typical" giallo! Umberto Lenzi's movie is one twisted and confusing tale of mental illness, extreme close-ups, terrible dubbing and creepy mannequins. Don't go in watching this one expecting to understand everything. For me, most of it came out as a complete mess. Still, I did enjoyed the movie. It has that sureal and uneasy feeling that lacks from pretty much all movies today.
Robert Hoffmann does a very good job of portraying the confused hero. Suzy Kendall is just as amazing and beautiful as in any of her roles. And Ivan Rassimov is... typical Ivan Rassimov. Still better dialogues would have helped since I found myself laughing way too much time. According to Lenzi, the movie was originally set to be directed by Lucio Fulci. Its also important to note that for its American release, the US distributors inserted some murder scenes. It got a limited released in 1976 as THE DEATH DEALER.
Shriek Show, a Media Blasters division, unleashed SPASMO on DVD in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The image is anamorphic and features a nice transfer. The colors are well saturated and vivid. The English dubbed Dolby Digital Mono track could have been better. A louder and clearer mix would have been much welcomed. It would have been great if an Italian track would have been included.
We get an interesting 13 minutes interview with director Umberto Lenzi who surprisingly seem to recall all about the movie and as usual think very high of himself. Seriously, there was no reason for him to take a shot at Dario Argento. The interview is conducted in Italian with English subs. We also get a still gallery which consist of lobby cards and posters with Ennio Morricone's soundtrack playing in the background. We get the trailer for SPASMO, EATEN ALIVE, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO SOLANGE and SEVEN BLOOD STAINED ORCHIDS. The movie is separated in 14 chapters, the menus are static but nicely designed featuring a very 70s look and an inlay card. One last thing about the cover, while the girl holding the gun is hot she has absolutely nothing to do with the movie. Media Blasters should have used the original poster.
Beyond "Psycho" SPASMO!
This Film Features:
Review by Kim Dubuisson. All Right Reserved. 2006. ©
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