Sunday, October 15, 2017

FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET (1971) Blu-ray review

Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1971) d. Argento, Dario (Italy) (2nd viewing) 99 min.

Swinging rock drummer Roberto (Michael Brandon) finds himself the target of a maniac, stalking him relentlessly, driving him emotionally and mentally to the brink of sanity. Implicated in the accidental stabbing of a shadowy figure (a set-up cleverly captured on camera by the masked psychopath), the tortured musician seeks out assistance from a gay detective (Jean-Pierre Marielle) and his sympathetic wife (Mimsy Farmer), only to find the noose tightening further around his figurative neck.

With a title derived from the (fictitious) “breakthrough technique” of capturing the last image seen by a murder victim (accomplished by running mysterious mumbo-jumbo electronics through the deceased’s retina), the concluding chapter of Argento’s “animal trilogy,” is also one of his most underappreciated efforts.

Featuring a stellar score by Ennio Morricone, supporting turns by legendary character actors Bud Spencer (My Name is Nobody) and Oreste Lionello (who also served as the voice of Woody Allen, Robin Williams, and Gene Wilder for their Italian dubs), a steamy bathtub sequence with Brandon and co-star Francine Racette, and a breathtaking slow-motion climax that is worth the price of admission alone.

Shameless’ high-definition presentation, released in all its uncut glory from restored vault materials, finally puts the spotlight on this stylish and hypnotic giallo thriller, the success of which paved the way for the masterpiece that is Deep Red (aka Profondo Rosso) (1975). Extras include an interview with co-writer and assistant director Luigi Cozzi (Starcrash, Contamination), a newly remastered English-language audio track, theatrical trailers, and a photo gallery.

Four Flies on Grey Velvet is available now on Blu-ray from Shameless Entertainment and can be ordered HERE:


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