Monday, April 24, 2006

Supernatural Muder - Italian Style

Perhaps part of my irritation with Paranoia could be attributed to the confidence of its double-feature predecessor, Lucio Fulci Sette Note In Nero (a.k.a. The Psychic). When good, the 70's Italian Giallo (named for the yellow cover of the era's cheap crime novels) present us with complex murder mysteries, begloved (assumed) masculine entities which frequently prove more feminine than initially perceived, chasing screaming girls in couture through dark alleys, typically, though not always endowing some sort of supernatural element. In The Psychic's case, the flailing and fabulously coiffed protagonist is... you guessed it, a psychic whose vision of a murder and its specifics (while driving repeatedly through tunnel after tunnel - insert Freudian conclusion, here) lead her to Nancy Drew about Rome after finding the skeleton of a twenty five year old girl walled up in the palazzo of her fiance. Of course, the visions that she attributes to this murder prove to be rather premonitions of what is to come.

Good by today's standards, yet typical in the body of Giallo films, The Psychic proves sufficiently nail biting while living up to the genre's pulpy point of origin. It is far more mannered than Fulci's later films and a great debt is owed to Poe. The last harrowing sequence and the films cliffhanger resolution is not to be missed. If interested, you can purchase a DVD-R of the film here.


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