HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Oblomov
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
Ibiza Undead
Wings of Eagles, The
Beats
Body Parts
Shock of the Future, The
Friday
High Life
High Noon
Comes a Horseman
Scandal in Paris, A
Greta
Fight, The
Pink Jungle, The
Skiptrace
Double Date
Mind of Mr. Soames, The
Long Shot
Sherlock Holmes
Amazing Grace
Monitors, The
Memory: The Origins of Alien
Mesa of Lost Women
Banana Splits Movie, The
In Fabric
Sisters Brothers, The
Aniara
Flamingo Kid, The
Queen, The
Avengers: Endgame
Vanishing Act
Critters Attack!
Prison on Fire
Dragged Across Concrete
Do the Right Thing
Hellboy
Pond Life
Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
   
 
  Plot of Fear Sordid secrets for saleBuy this film here.
Year: 1976
Director: Paolo Cavara
Stars: Corinne Clery, Michele Placido, Quinto Parmeggiani, Edoardo Faieta, John Steiner, Jacques Herlin, Cecilia Polizzi, Greta Vayan, Sarah Crespi, Enrico Oldoini, Tom Skerritt, Eli Wallach
Genre: Horror, Drama, Sex, Thriller
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: A sadomasochistic pervert is strangled to death by a transvestite hooker. The killer then murders a woman on an empty bus. Inspector Gaspare Lomenzo (Michele Placido) takes on the case but is baffled by an ongoing string of seemingly unconnected deaths. When Jeanne (Corinne Clery), a beautiful model and party girl, befriends Lomenzo she reveals the victims were all guests at a sleazy party thrown by Hoffmann (John Steiner), a wealthy children's author and closet degenerate. It seems the party got out of control resulting in the accidental death of a young prostitute named Rosa Catena (Sarah Crespi). Lomenzo suspects the killer is likely Rosa's vengeful pimp, Agostino. Yet his investigation unearths a more complex and unsettling conspiracy.

Former Mondo filmmaker Paolo Cavara made two offbeat, equally outstanding giallo thrillers: The Black Belly of the Tarantula (1971) and E Tanta Paura whose original Italian title translates as Too Much Fear although its more widespread English title is Plot of Fear. Except in Sweden where, for some reason, it was re-titled Bloody Peanuts. Those zany Swedes. Co-written by Bernardo Zapponi, then fresh off a groundbreaking collaboration with Dario Argento on Deep Red (1975), with input from comedy scribe Enrico Oldoini, has elements in common with the earlier giallo. Specifically the lurid children's book that provides a vital clue and the repeated flashbacks to a traumatic event that relay fresh information from shifting perspectives.

Around this time several gialli touched on the subject of rich and powerful middle-aged men exploiting vulnerable young women. Yet Cavara's film treads its own sociopolitically-charged path. Plot of Fear forgoes conventional moral outrage and paints a far more unnerving and ambiguous scenario where reactionary and progressive attitudes towards the permissive society of the Seventies are mere currencies manipulated by those playing a more elaborate game. The key figure here is Pietro Riccio played by the venerable Eli Wallach in one of his Italian cult film roles (a young Tom Skerritt also turns up as Lomenzo's superior and, like Wallach, is jarringly voiced by a different actor in the English dub). Riccio is the shady but well-connected head of an all-pervasive surveillance agency. He not only holds dirt on seemingly every rich and infamous player in town but, as Lomenzo comes to discover, the technological means to manipulate their sordid secrets to his ambiguous advantage. Along with a touch of post-Watergate techno-paranoia in common with Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation (1974), Plot of Fear's political themes and stylish mis-en-scene (both Franco Di Giacomo's cinematography and Franco Fumagalli's production design are exemplary) reflect the influence of more 'serious' sociopolitical satirists Francesco Rosi (especially Illustrious Corpses (1976)) and Bernardo Bertolucci. Cavara keeps one foot in the commercially sound arena of sleazy exploitation, sating fans with gory murders, gratuitous nudity and sleaze (including a pornographic cartoon created for the film by noted erotic animator Gibba, of King Dick (1973) infamy) but also gives viewers plenty of food for thought.

Unusually for genre that wallows in sensationalism while more often than not upholding a hypocritically conservative stance, Plot of Fear manages to denounce true amorality while adopting a relatively benign view of the freewheeling hedonistic Seventies. Oldoini's contribution is evident in the film's disarmingly light touch. It is a rare giallo where the comedy not only works but reinforces core themes, as when Lomenzo listens bemused while a conservative and progressive in police custody deliver their respective takes on the killer's motives. Michele Placido's affable cop is drawn as an educated man of progressive ideals able to empathize with criminals without condoning them. At one point he drives past a young couple making love in the park and remarks while the state considers that a crime he does not. The boyish, caring, vulnerable and funny Lorenzo and the sensual, morally compromised yet warm and playful Jeanne make an endearing crime-solving duo. Sort of a hip, swinging Nick and Nora Charles for the giallo set. Their fumbling romance injects a certain sweetness even while their steamy love scenes recreate illustrations from The Joy of Sex. Indeed the film is suffused in moments of disarming humanity as when police catch Rosa's pimp while laying flowers on her grave. If the film blunts its satire somewhat by drawing the degenerate rich as cartoonish grotesques it still succeeds in placing the leads' evolving relationship as the heart of a labyrinthine mystery where the self-righteous have their own morals turned against them.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 604 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
  Derrick Smith
   

 

Last Updated: