Amuck! (1972)

AMUCK! (1972)
aka Alla ricerca del piacere
Article 5016 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 12-12-2015
Directed by Silvio Amadio
Featuring Farley Granger, Barbara Bouchet, Rosalba Neri
Country: Italy
What it is: Sexy crime movie

In order to find out what happened to her female lover, a woman takes the last job her lover had – as the secretary to a writer whose wife is addicted to strange sex games.

Every once in a while a movie has the dubious distinction of making me realize that I’ve seen a certain plot set-up one too many times. It isn’t necessarily the fault of that movie itself; it just happens to be the one where my brain says “Enough!” That’s the case here; I’m really sick of the concept of someone trying to solve the murder/disappearance of a friend/relative/lover by putting themselves in the same situation that caused the friend/relative/lover to die/disappear in the first place. In almost every case where that plot is used, the heroine (and it’s almost always a female who tries this) needlessly puts herself in danger and hasn’t adequately prepared herself for that danger. That’s the basic story here, and I really find it hard to sympathize with a character who is being that foolish and short-sighted.

This movie is supposed to be a giallo, but I don’t think that’s a good fit; there’s very little blood here, and it seems a lot more interested in getting as much nudity and sex into the story as it can. In short, it’s mostly a sexploitation crime movie, though there is a truly repulsive scene where an eel is killed and gutted onscreen for what seems to be purely shock value. Beyond that, the closest it gets to any fantastic content is when the wife comes down with what amounts to an “attack of ESP” where she becomes possessed by the spirit of a dead woman, though in all honesty, it seems to be a ruse designed to mislead another character. There is one good suspenseful scene when the heroine investigates a cellar, but most of the rest of the movie is sleazy variant of an overly familiar story. I’m afraid I didn’t really care for this one.


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