Gloria (Serena Grandi) is considering a return to work after a few years away now that her husband has died trying to break a land speed record. She used to be a top model, something she graduated to from prostitution, but now she finds that although her partner's will left her a wealthy woman, she still yearns to do something with her time, so chooses to help in editing his men's magazine, the sort which would feature the kind of photographs Gloria would have appeared in not so long ago. After a long shoot at her mansion home, she is bidding goodbye to her guests when...
Well, this is a giallo, so what do you think happens? If you guessed "Her friend gets murdered with a pitchfork and falls into the swimming pool" then you're not far off, except while we see that occur we don't see who the culprit was nor what happened to the body. When Gloria goes out in the pouring rain in a silk nightie to see if anything's up (gee, I wonder what the motivation was for that scene?) there's no one to be found, not even any blood in the water somewhat improbably. But one character has seen this, and he's wheelchair user Mark (Karl Zinny) who also has a line in perversity when he spends his time spying on our heroine.
And phoning her up to tell her what he'd like to do to her - according to Gloria she allows him to carry on in this frankly illegal manner because she feels sorry for him, and not because it introduces an unearned Hitchcockian angle to the murder case, after all Mark is pretty unsavoury for a hero, and might not need that wheelchair after all. If it wasn't clear from this description so far, this was made when the heyday of the giallo was well and truly over, no, it wasn't the nineteen-seventies anymore and the world was moving on, no matter how much those associated with the genre endeavoured to sustain it. Here we had an effort with surface gloss of the day, but without a brain in its head.
Our director for this was son of Mario Bava, Lamberto Bava who was evidently trying to follow in his father's footsteps after his two hit Demons movies by making something akin to Bava Sr's Blood and Black Lace what with all those people in the modelling world biting the dust. Unfortunately for him the results were very far from that stylish sixties shocker, and were generally more ludicrous than tense or shocking, though his idea for offering us the killer's point of view by seeing his victims with weird faces wasn't a bad one. Just a pity he only had the budget to do it twice, and while a woman with a huge eye for a head was an arresting image, seeing Sabrina Salerno naked except for a bee's noggin was daft.
Sabrina (as "Sabrina", apparently) would be best recalled around this time for her Europop hit video Boys Boys Boys, if not the song itself - bouncing out of her bikini would do that to an impressionable TV audience. Anyway, she's only in this for five minutes before a swarm of bees kill her off, leaving the lion's share of the nudity to Grandi, although even that wasn't wall to wall, though she seemed as if she knew what she was there for. It certainly wasn't to solve the mystery of who is assassinating her friends and colleagues, as red herrings abound and the final explanation doesn't quite explain the behaviour of the innocent characters who were acting rather strangely. Capucine, in one of her final roles, provides sparks as a rival to Gloria who has a porno film she made as security/blackmail, and George Eastman has nothing to do with the rest of the story as Gloria's old flame, so by the time the denouement rolls around and the killer is ordering her to strip you'll be rolling your eyes. Diabolical synth music by Simon Boswell.
Italian director/producer and son of legendary horror auteur Mario Bava. Began working as an assistant to his father on productions such as Planet of the Vampires and Baron Blood, and co-wrote Mario's final film Shock. Made his directing debut in 1980 with the effective chiller Macabre, which were followed by exploitation favourites A Blade in the Dark, Blastfighter, Delirium and two gore-laden Demons movies, both produced by Dario Argento. Bava's subsequent work has largely been for Italian TV, his last theatrical film being 1991's duff Body Puzzle.