So for our next lesson, let us take a gander at the letter ‘L’. For my first ABC’s we went down to the depths of horror world. Down to the gates of hell with Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond (1981). One of my personal all-time favorite films for the Halloween season. So today we are going to tackle another Fulci classic. One that is completely different in every way, but it is equally enjoyable. The sexually charged giallo, A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin.
The film begins during a vividly colorful and downright sexy dream, where we see the main character Carol (Florinda Bolkan) caress and take another woman to bed. It turns out that the woman she laid with in her dream, is in actuality her next door neighbor Julia (Anita Strinburg) whom she has never met. Neighbor Julia, is known for throwing raucous and sexually debauched parties at all hours of the night. Much to the chagrin of Carol and her husband Frank next door. The next evening, Carol has the same intimate dream. But this time it ends differently. She dreams of herself viciously stabbing Julia in bed, killing her. In reality as it turns out, neighbor Julia is found murdered in her apartment. Stabbed to death like in Carol’s dream. Carol becomes completely distraught. Did she act on her dream in real life? Or is something more sinister taking place?
This flick is tense and mysterious. You are never quite sure who the killer is as there are multiple suspect possibilities and motives. The eerie score was performed masterfully by Oscar award winning composer Ennio Morricone. Which helped keep the tone of the film thrilling and bleak. Like most Italian films from the 1970’s, this film was shot in the dying art of technicolor. So the psychedelic and vividly colorful imagery blended fantasy and reality so seamlessly it was truly striking.
This is a bizarre giallo. It examines the allure and the mysticism of the flesh. It also looks at the forbidden temptations that sexuality can offer. This film is very sexy and will hypnotize you. Some may consider these vivid scenes of the film as ‘artsy fartsy’. But I believe that these creative sequences only reinforced the tone of the film, because the killing was so mysterious and sexually motivated. Although not as scary as The Beyond, this creative thriller will leave you thinking afterwards. I really enjoy this film, after each viewing I notice something new I hadn’t before. A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin has a very Hitchcockian feel, which is perfect for the Halloween season. I hope you all consider it for you scary viewings this month!
Thanks for reading dudes and dudettes! Stay tuned all month long with the Syndicate and see where The ABCs of Horror will take us! Tomorrow is letter ‘M’. What is in store?