Directed By Armando Crispino
Starring: Mimsy Farmer, Barry Primus, Ray Lovelock, and Carlo Cattaneo
Running Time: 100 minutes
AKA Macchie Solari
DVD Released By Anchor Bay Entertainment 2000
Mimsy Farmer plays Simona, a student of pathology, who begins to suspect
that a string of recent suicides (blamed on sunspots by the media) may, in
fact, be homicides. Matters take a downturn for Simona when she begins
experiencing grotesque hallucinations which puts a strain on her future
career as a pathologist as well as her relationship with her boyfriend,
Edgar (Ray Lovelock). After her fatherís plucky mistress, Betty (Gaby
Wagner), turns up dead of an apparent suicide, she is convinced there is
some kind of conspiracy. Bettyís brother, Father Paul (Barry Primus),
joins Simona in her search for a killer that might not even exist.
Armando Crispino (The Dead are Alive) directs this tense, hallucinatory, and unsettling
tension and dread boil over in Autopsy and the viewer gets the
sense that death is everywhere. The film is profoundly trashy (with hints
of necrophilia and other various perversions) but with yet another
brilliant score by Ennio Morricone and precise cinematography by Carlo
Carlini (Virgin Terror,
Seven Deaths in the Catís Eye),
Autopsy is raised above itís willingness to wallow in the muck.
Barry Primus gives the viewer their moneyís worth with his wild portrayal
of the rageaholic and epileptic Father Paul. Ray Lovelock of
Sleeping Corpses Lie and Murder Rock is very cool as Edgar,
Simonaís very understanding (has a porn slide collection) boyfriend. Keep
an eye out for Ernesto Colli (Torso) as the bewilderingly creepy
morgue attendant, Ivo. The film may run a little long but itís worth it,
even if just for the scene where Farmer finally snaps on this guy.
Of course, the star of the show, Mimsy Farmer, gives us another of her
grand, yet flawed, performances. Farmer is truly is an acquired taste and
her trademarks (her shrillness, that darn pouty look) can get annoying.
However, itís easy to forgive (and even grow fondness for) Farmer, the
perpetually braless staple of so many great Italian horror flicks:
Perfume of the Lady in Black, Four Flies on Grey Velvet, and
Lucio Fulciís The Black Cat, just to name a few.
Autopsyís disarming credit sequence of the sun, heat, sounds of
crying, moaning, and screaming leads right into an excellent montage of
suicides utilizing various means (drowning, razor blades, submachine gun,
etc.). I would be lying if I said the film keeps up this intensity
throughout but how could it without being an endless stream of people
offing themselves? Instead, the opening grabs the viewerís attention and
prepares you (somewhat) for a 100 minute stretch of weirdness.
Unfortunately for splatter enthusiasts, even the bountiful gore in the
first third of the film takes a backseat to the oppressive mood of
Autopsy is a film that delivers its brooding theme of death,
insanity, and mystery with change to spare, making it easy for
recommendation to giallo fans. Sure, the killer may not be wearing black
gloves this time around but the film has itís share of priestly
malfeasance and crazy twists to make it a solid entry in the genre. Hell,
thereís even a rushed and confusing explanation behind the killerís motive
which should make fans of the yellow films feel right at home.