Marta (1971)

MARTA (1971)
Article 4466 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 3-4-2014
Directed by Jose Antonio Nieves Conde
Featuring Marisa Mell, Stephen Boyd, George Rigaud
Country: Spain / Italy
What it is: Psycho thriller

A disturbed man who murdered his own mother takes in a murderess who bears a strong resemblance to the man’s estranged wife. This does not sound like the beginning of a healthy relationship…

This is one of those movies that I thought I had pegged early on; it’s made of so many familiar elements (a disturbed man with sexual hang-ups that involve his mother, a woman who bears an uncanny resemblance to the man’s first wife, sinister secrets in mansion) that I expected very little in the way of surprises in the way it would unfold. I was wrong; there are indeed surprises, things didn’t quite pan out the way I expected, and everything was just a little more complicated than I expected it would be. Yet, for all that, I can’t really say I like the movie. The characters seem to undergo too many jarring mood swings, parts of it seem very contrived, and there are other moments that strike false notes. In fact, despite some very definite horror trappings, it doesn’t feel like a horror movie, and when I look over the movie as a whole, the main point of it seems to be to reveal the precise nature of the man’s mental illness. It’s an interesting movie, there’s no doubt, but I would have liked it a lot more if it had rang true more often.

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