30 September 2014

Plot of Fear (1976)

97 min.
Directed by Paolo Cavara.
With Michele Placido, Corinne Clery, Eli Wallach, Tom Skerritt, John Steiner, Quinto Parmeggiani, Edoardo Faieta.
This offbeat 1976 Italian horror is an intriguing hybrid of the giallo and poliziottesco subgenres.

A rash of unexplained murders begin to plague the Milan area and police lieutenant Lomenzo (Placido) is assigned to the case.

But this one won't be easy to solve.

Seemingly, the only link between the bizarre slayings is a clue left by the killer at each crime scene: an illustration from a children's book of fairy tales.

Is the bloody carnage just the handiwork of a disgruntled pimp perhaps?

Or is there some larger conspiracy at play here? And what does snaky private investigator Wallach have to do with this whole mess?

A provocative mystery from the same director of 1971's excellent Black Belly of the Tarantula, this benefits from a believable performance from lead Placido and a genuine mood of distrust & confusion as the plot of fear slowly alights from murky shadows.

Marches to its own beat, undoubtedly, but fans of neapolitan-flavored thrillers will find this one enjoyable.

Italian: ...e tanta paura.

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