AKA L'Ossessione Che Uccide
Directed By Riccardo Freda
Starring: Stefano Patrizi, Anita Strindberg, John Richardson, and Silvia
Running Time: 92 minutes
While taking a break from shooting a horror film,
actor Michael Stanford (played by Stefano Patrizi) visits his mother
(Anita Strindberg) at their old mansion. The only other person on the
property is Oliver (played by John Richardson), the eccentric butler.
Michaelís girlfriend, Deborah (Silvia Dionisio), and some of their
filmmaking friends join Michael at the mansion for a couple of days rest.
Michael reveals that he murdered his father (who was a famous orchestra
conductor) during a psychotic episode when he was a child and he is
immediately suspected when his friends start getting killed.
The late great Italian horror maestro, Riccardo Freda (The
Horrible Dr. Hichcock), directs
his final horror film and an odd little number to be sure. As to why a
film with a plot as dumb as this needs four writers is anybodyís guess.
Nonetheless, somebody did manage to slip some cool scenes of black magic,
blasphemous imagery, and freaky incestuous overtones into a halfhearted
Giallo script with shamelessly bad dialogue. The splatter is dirt cheap
yet still gruesome with Martine Brochardís neck meeting the business end
of a chainsaw. Murder Obsession
fares better at baring flesh than at cutting it.
It seems that composer Franco Mannino got his first synthesizer and a
flange pedal for his birthday in Ď81 because he really cuts loose with an
electro assault on the senses. The music of Liszt and Bach are also
present and misplaced in the soundtrack. These seemingly random music cues
mixed with the actorsí bland dubbing to make one hell of a drowsy
concoction. Do not watch while operating heavy machinery. Zing!
I canít say Iím too hot on Stefano Patriziís performance in
The guy hits his stride near the end of the film after the shit hits the
fan and actress Silvia Dionisio (Live
Like A Cop, Die Like A Man) pulls the
same routine. Deborah isnít very interesting until her life is threatened
and the horror of it all begins to sink in. Check out the last few minutes
of the film just to see her completely freak the hell out.
MmmÖ Martine Brochard (Eyeball).
I can never get enough of this lady and that is certainly the case here.
Her character, assistant director Shirley, gets very little to do other
than discover the killerís identity and die horribly. John Richardson (Eyeball, Torso)
is as suspicious as ever as Oliver, butler and psychic. Laura Gemser (Erotic
Nights Of The Living Dead) plays
Meryl the actress and is really the only member of the cast that is truly
Anita Strindberg (Your Vice Is A Locked
Room And Only I Have The Key) is
awesome as Michaelís mother, Glenda. Strindberg retired from acting after
making this film which is a dang shame. Although it isnít a worthy
farewell for such an intense actress and a strikingly gorgeous scream
queen, Iím proud to have a copy of this one on my shelf if only for her
final manic horror film performance. Comeback, anyone?
is definitely not a classic but it is an interesting and quite strange
little piece of Italian trash from the early 80s horror boom. The supernatural aspects of the plot and the surprisingly irreverent religious imagery really threw me for a loop. It is too
bad that director Freda didnít manage to maintain his career for much
longer after this (his second to last). This film is tailor made for a lazy afternoon viewing as
one can feel free to doze off until you hear the chainsaw revving up. Did
I mention the huge rubber spider and fake bats on string? No? Good, Iím
not going to! Ciao, Riccardo. Ciao, Anita.
ďLegends are mysterious, they canít be proven one
way or another. But theyíre important if you believe in them.Ē