L’occhio nel Labirinto (1972)

directed by Mario caiano
transeuropa film/tv13 filmproduktion/filmages

First off, this picture has the most swingin’ soundtrack you’re likely to hear for some time, vast amounts of fusion-era Miles Davis electrobop courtesy of composer Roberto Nicolosi. It also has pretty great examples of breathless, stentorian dubbing for the dialogue. (The title translates as “Eye in the Labyrinth,” if you’re wondering, but the version I watched didn’t bother with all that.) And I spent the early portion of the movie deciding to describe the heroine as “sylphlike,” before discovering at length that she’s not the heroine. Ergo, as is usual for a giallo, nothing much is coherent for most of this flick. Unusually for this type of film, however, eventually everything is explained, and even makes some sort of sense – at least in terms of the story being presented, that is, not in any identifiable reality. Unfortunately, it mostly translates into a mundane mystery. On occasion, it appears as though the cameraman (Giorgio Aureli? Maurizio Maggi?) loses control of his equipment.

why did i watch this movie?

I … really don’t know, but my speculation is that I was transfixed by the baffling cognomen, a promising sign for a production of this type.

should you watch this movie?

Only if you’re really hung up on early ’70s Italian trash cinema and its cultural signifiers.

highlight and low point

At a certain point, once the killer has been outed, we’re treated to a re-creation of a key murder, which is suffused with the most obviously overdubbed sound effects you could ever hope to hear, tremendous gristly sounds of butchery, louder than anything else in the film. This is repeated, more minimally, at the expected conclusion.

rating from outer space: c−

previously issued as Atmosfera (Fontana, 1973)

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