Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Four Flies On Grey Velvet(1971)

This obscure movie is one of Dario Argento's earliest and it is much less gory than his later horror movies. It is different from his other movies but in some ways it is very similar. There is an unknown killer who is never seen until the end, which is something that he has in a lot of his movies. There are some creepy scenes and as always, there is great suspense in it.

The movie begins with a man called Roberto(Michael Brandon) who is a drummer in a band. He is playing with his band when he notices a man with dark glasses staring in at him. He becomes angry and chases after this man to see what he wants. He follows the man to an abandoned theatre and he confronts him about what he is doing. The man denies everything and pulls a switchblade on Roberto. Roberto struggles with the man and stabs him by mistake. He is horrified by what he has done and he runs off in terror as he realises that someone wearing a puppet mask has been watching him and has taken pictures of Roberto holding the knife.

Roberto returns home and he is plagued by guilt by what he has done. He receives a letter the next day with the dead man's i.d. in it and he realises that he is in trouble with the person who saw what he did. His wife Nina(Mimsy Farmer)wonders what has happened as he is having nightmares of being decapitated and Roberto tells her the story. She is worried and scared as they receive more threats. Roberto goes to see a friend of his called Godfrey(Bud Spencer) and his pal tells him to hire a private eye to see who is sending the letters and who is getting into his house. Unfortunately, Roberto doesn't do this. The maid(Marisa Fabbri) has overheard Roberto and Nina talking about what has happened and she calls an unknown person to get money from them, but she ends up dead. Also, the man who was 'killed' by Roberto is actually alive and well. He is meeting with the unknown person when he his killed for real this time.

Nina is called by the police to identify the maid and she decides that she has to leave for a while and stay with relatives. Roberto hires a private investigator, Gianni Arrosio(Jean-Pierre Marielle) who looks into his background and into people who might want to drive him insane with this blackmail ploy. He stumbles upon something juicy when he is killed by injection in a train station. Roberto is at his house with Nina's cousin, Maria(Laura Troschel) who runs a bath for him and massages his shoulders. It turns out that she fancies him and they have sex. She is at home one day when she hears a noise and she goes to investigate. The killer is waiting and Maria is killed too. The cops try an experiment whereby they test her eye to find the last image on it before death. There are four flies reflected on Maria's eye. They don't know what it means.

When Roberto finds out about Maria, he knows that it is only a matter of time before he is next. He gets a gun and he waits for the killer to come and get him. When his wife comes in, he is surprised and he sees that she is wearing a chain with four flies in the pendant and he eventually realises that it was her all along. She grabs the gun.She has gone crazy and she wants to kill him. She shoots him in the shoulder and the leg before his pal Godfrey turns up and gets the gun from her. She escapes in her car but she manages to crash and get her head cut off, hence the nightmares Roberto had been having. This is where the movie ends. I like this movie. It is a good solid thriller and there is plenty of action to keep you watching. I will give this a 7/10.


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