Psychout for Murder / Salvare la faccia (1969)

3.0 out of 5

With an English language title that promises the giallo equivalent of a Bruce Dern head movie viewers may be surprised by what is in effect an intriguing, almost Marxian, satire of life behind the facade of bourgeois morality as a wealthy industrialist is prepared to have his daughter committed to an asylum rather than face the scandal of her public displays of sexuality as exposed by her blackmailer boyfriend. However, behind the scenes, there remains a class who take the greatest pleasure in seducing each other's wives.

In the name of revenge reluctant mental patient Adrienne Larussa, Lucio Fulci's Beatrice Cenci from the historical classic, lays a series of fiendish tripwire traps with all the guile of Wile E. Coyote. Her sexuality acting as a bait to divest assorted hangers-on, with their sense of entitlement to some trickle down wealth or dowry, by means of a little push off the mortal coil.

The movie, directed and written by star Rossano Brazzi, does feature a groovy hey-daddio hippy happening and the occasional nod in the direction of experimental filmmaking of the period. It also features a score by Benedetto Ghiglia to die for, or, in the case of some unfortunate members of the ensemble, die to. Not exactly perfetto but no way too shabby either.

An Electra complex of sorts is suggested, albeit with some ambiguity, and the whole moral basis for the affair is called into question with a somewhat subtle twist of an ending.

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