Amuck! / Alla ricerca del piacere (1972)

4.0 out of 5

The definitive steamy suspense or chamber giallo, Amuck! features and trades upon the inspired pairing of Barbara Bouchet and Rosalba Neri. Director Silvio Amadio stirs up a heady brew with sensual sapphic interludes, fairytale stag films and murder, adding spice to an already over-heated concoction. Bouchet and Neris’ slo-mo tryst has justifiably become the stuff of legend, and is treated by Amadio, the master of such fodder, with a dreamy sumptuousness that emphasises the erotic over the explicit. In fact, for all the torrid couplings on display here, Amuck! is a touchingly innocent affair, often resembling an adventure of a Nancy Drew who has grow up and unrepentantly given in to her desires.

Bouchet is entirely serviceable as the short skirted, wide-eyed heroine, however, it’s Neri who steals the acting honours, attacking her role as the amoral, perverse and downright wicked Eleanor with delicious abandon. If there was ever a character devised to showcase her unique brand of fierce femininity and lithesome loveliness, Eleanor is it.

Amuck! Is held in high regard by giallo fans, and quite rightly so, for the film shamelessly and joyfully exults in naughty, sexy fun.

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