15 September 2014

Amuck! (1972)
98 min.
Directed by Silvio Amadio.
With Farley Granger, Barbara Bouchet, Rosalba Neri, Dino Mele, Umberto Raho, Patrizia Viotti, Petar Martinovic, Nino Segurini.
Winsome young Greta (Bouchet) takes a job as a secretary to novelist Richard Stuart (Granger), who lives on a secluded island off the Italian coast near Venice.

But the job is just a front. Greta's really there to investigate the disappearance of her friend Sally, another blond beauty who worked for Stuart previously, and has now gone missing.

However, uncovering the truth will be more difficult than Greta could have imagined. First, she'll have to get by Richard's wife Eleanora (Neri), a wily thing who seems intent on engaging everyone in bizarre sex games.

Then, there's a retarded fisherman named Rocco (Martinovic), a mute hulk who looks like he's ready to rape Greta, or club her to death, or both. And if all that weren't enough, Greta will also have to contend with the always-randy Sandro (Mele), a friend of the Stuarts who just can't keep his hands off her.

Will this poor girl ever find out what happened to Sally?

Despite a plotline that occasionally verges on contrived, this 1972 thriller is surprisingly good. Bouchet and Neri have great chemistry, and pull off their love scene together with the right degree of aplomb.

There are a few notably suspenseful moments (such as 'the hunt scene,' where a gun-totin' Neri stalks a helpless Bouchet through harsh, swampy marshlands). Granger and the rest of the cast are also good, but it's really Bouchet and Neri's show - and they milk it for all its worth. All in all, watchable continental thrills.

Aka Maniac Mansion.

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