Spasmo (1974)

SPASMO (1974)
Article 4865 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 7-8-2015
Directed by Umberto Lenzi
Featuring Robert Hoffmann, Suzy Kendall, Ivan Rassimov
Country: Italy
What it is: Dreamlike giallo

A man hooks up with a woman, kills a stranger in her bathroom, and then tries to figure out what’s going on.

There are certain types of movies out there where, for most of their running lengths, you have one question running through your mind, and that question is “What the hell is going on?” That’s not necessarily a bad thing if what’s happening on a moment by moment basis is fascinating enough to keep you glued to the screen. Unfortunately, I don’t find that the case here; most of the action consists of giallo and mystery cliches, driving scenes, people wondering what’s going on, and conversations that seem to be mostly made up of people mouthing half-completed vague generalities. To me, this doesn’t build suspense; it just makes me itchy for the movie to get around to the point where it actually shows us the hand its playing. And, after seventy minutes of futzing around in vagueness, all I can say is that there better be one humdinger of a revelation to make it feel worth the effort. Sadly, I found no humdingers. As for the giallo elements, it’s surprisingly light on blood, but there’s a fair amount of sexual perversion to go around. Some people will probably like this one for its dream-like qualities; I myself have seen better dreams.


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