Case of the Bloody Iris, The / Perché quelle strane gocce di sangue sul corpo di Jennifer? (1972)

4.0 out of 5

Unashamedly derivative and commercial, Iris’s referential nature results in a kind of giallo greatest hits package that acts as an excellent entry point for the uninitiated. The delightful first twenty minutes manages to cram in a suspense filled murder scene, a racy photo shoot, a bizarre feminist / sadomasochistic nightclub act, a sex-cult orgy and a direct homage to Mario Bava. It’s no surprise that Iris struggles to sustain such momentum, but there’s plenty of fun to be found in the film’s later acts.

The third collaboration between Luciano Martino, Edwige Fenech and George Hilton, Iris draws heavily on the team’s previous work and the iconic status of the cast, grounded only the year previous. However, with Giuliano Carnimeo replacing Sergio Martino in the directorial chair, the film lacks a certain psychological bite and poetic sadism, and seems content to coast breezily upon previous achievements. Still, the zoom happy director invests enough energy in the project and, barring the usual interminable police procedural elements, the film is pacy enough to entertain even the most jaded of palates. Fenechphiles will certainly be delighted by the fabulous fashions, the most stylish of her career, adorning this most beloved of actresses.

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