Saturday, April 30, 2016

Giallo Film: The Fifth Cord

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I thought I would look at a Giallo movie today. For those that are unaware of this, a giallo movie is a murder mystery with a fair degree of gore inspired by yellow paperbacks translated for Italy the mystery novels of both British and American writers and primarily devised by director Mario Bava.

Today's giallo is straight up murder as a raspy, excited voice over anticipates murder. Deciding the pros and cons of weapons versus hands on and with such glee you think he was opening Christmas presents instead of arteries. This is The Fifth Cord.

What do you mean you cannot do Eggs Benedict??!!!

With a fish eye lens our killer speaks of stalking his prey at a New Year's get together with too much thrill in his voice. John Lubbock (Maurizio Bonuglia of The Troops Get Married, Ludwig, The Perfume of the Lady in Black and The Kiss of Death) was the killer's first victim but he bungles it and leaves him alive and by that I mean he survives the clumsy attack. Finding out this man injured but alive fellow partygoer and journalist Andrea Bild (Franco Nero of Django, Force 10 from Navarone, The Salamander, Enter the Ninja, The Last Days of Pompeii, Django Strikes Again, Die Hard 2: Die Harder and Django Unchained) decides he better investigate into this attack. A second attendee of the party a invalid doctor's wife Sophia (Rossella Falk of 8 1/2, Modesty Blaise, Black Belly of the Tarantula and Sleepless) is gacked rather easily in her own home and even Andrea's crotchety elder editor has been found dead in the park.

Ew, make out scenes with Edmund Purdom.


Both bodies leave a calling card, a black glove with each with a finger cut off. Next thing Andreas finds himself as a potential suspect being an often outspoken alcoholic, this lead police to start to put things into perspective. Who is next? Why is this happening? Will Andreas be convicted via lazy cops?

The atmosphere in the film drags us across many lives from what lurks behind closed doors to what is out in the open for all to see. It dares you to look away but has the feel of a crime caper rather than a typical gialli and even gives a strong role to a woman rather than treating her like eye candy or a prop to be moved from set to set. Helene played by Silvia Monti (The Brain, Blackie the Pirate, A Lizard in a Woman's Skin and While There's War There's Hope) brings a sharp mind, a cool head under pressure and insight to a grim scenario.

Our director Luigi Bazzoni (Pride and Vengeance, The Possessed, Footprints on the Moon and Blu Gang e visseror per sempre felici e ammazzati) brought his "A" game telling a dark and morbid tale along with acquiring the astounding cinematographer Vittorio Storaro (The Bird with the Crystal Plumage and Apocalypse Now) giving shape to blackmail, bizarre sex parties and astrology intertwined with a murder mystery. That being said, the gore fans will be a tad disappointed as the gore isn't shown in gushing fashion. This is rather stylish and while a bit restrained, this film is completely worth watching for its complex story and excellent characters. I still the ninja??