Delirium (1987) Starring Serena Grandi, George Eastman, Karl Zinny, Daria Nicolodi, Vanni Corbellini. David Brandon, Trine Michelsen, Lino Salemme, Sabrina Salerno, Capucine, Loredana Petricca, Lionello Pio Di Savoia, Béatrice Kruger, Gianni Franco, Marcia Sedoc, Patricia Boom, Giulio Massimini, Massimo Manasse, Marco Grillo Spina.
Directed by Lamberto Bava.
Runtime: 94 Minutes.
Rating: R (Nudity, Sexuality, Violence, Coarse Language, Drug Use)
“Only a monster could kill like that!”
Upper class Italian pornographer Gloria (Grandi) publishes a magazine called ‘Pussycat’ (subtle!). Her wealthy husband died a year ago. On the anniversary of his death murders of several Pussycat centrefolds occur along with those of other people close to Gloria.
The first murder is of a centrefold named Kim whose layout is published the day her body is discovered. Circulation for the magazine skyrockets due to simple free publicity but also due to morbid curiousity.
Wealthy, wheelchair-bound pervert Mark, Gloria’s next door neighbour continually spies on her estate offering lewd commentary of goings on to Gloria via telephone and actually catching sight of the first murder. Mark, a regular nuisance whose intrusions should contravene basic criminal harassment laws soon finds out his role is to be more than snarky spectator.
The lunkhead police detective on the case can’t figure out who is doing it or why. As we have come to know about slasher films the motive is secondary. The real motivation of the plot is to maximize the emotional havoc on screen. The people behind this production seem not to have lost sight of that and made a genuinely serious effort toward achieving it. That does not however mean they were in any way successful.
I’m glad I got the dubbed version because having to watch this in Italian and try to puzzle out what is going on would have been difficult particularly during the scene where the centrefolds turn into monsters before being murdered.
I will also admit a certain confusion at seeing a photoshoot of Kim at the estate just as a copy of her issue of the magazine is given to Gloria. But eventually there are so many continuity errors that you either get used to them or you don’t.
This rubbish has a familiar cynical slasher film preoccupation with cleavage and screaming. That said, there is not nearly as much nudity as one might expect in a movie with this kind of setting.
Exploitation productions like this represent missed opportunities to construct something interesting within production pressures of investment capital based upon drive for profit from those subsidizing it. Their influence is, however not merely felt in what gets shot but in how it gets edited.