Death Laid an Egg / La morte ha fatto l'uovo (1968)

2.0 out of 5

Against a backdrop of an automated chicken farm, a love triangle between the boss Anna, Gina Lollobirigida, her husband Marco played by Jean-Louis Trintignant and Anna’s pretty cousin and secretary Gabrielle, Ewa Aulin, springs up. All the while Marco is getting his kicks killing off prostitutes, and Gabrielle is plotting with ad man Mondaini, Jean Sobieski, in a bid to take over the chicken farm.

Writer/director Giulio Questi crafted a unique giallo that examines the idle intrigues of the rich as well as the dangers of technology and automation, but it skirts the definition of the genre having more in common with movies like Hatchet for a Honeymoon or The Killer Must Kill Again. Death Laid an Egg is chock full of lesbian undertones, Fellini-esque imagery, and even a man who intends to file chickens, but it fails to bring all the elements of its plot together in a cohesive way. The score by Bruno Maderna, comprised primarily of disjointed free jazz, only emphasizes this flaw, and Dario Di Palma’s stunning cinematography gets lost in the mix. The backdrop makes it an interesting oddity, but hardly that notable in the genre.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics