This tepid German/Italian giallo thriller stars Edwige Fenech, a familiar face (and then some) to fans of European horror films, as the frustrated wife of the American Ambassador to Austria -- as well as the object of lethal obsession for a Jack the Ripper-type straight-razor murderer who is slashing a bloody swath through the ladies of upper-crust Viennese society. A variety of suspects are lined up for our perusal, all of whom seem connected to Fenech's many romantic diversions; plenty of red herrings are netted before the film's denouement. There's lots of blood and nudity on display but little in the way of suspense until the thoroughly twist-filled climax. Originally known as The Strange Weakness of Mrs. Ward and later as The Next Victim, or simply Next!. ~ Cavett Binion, All Movie Guide
Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010
Type: Event | Date: Tuesday, Oct 6, 2009
Jack Hedley of The Anniversary stars as a hardbitten police lieutenant tracking a sadistic sex-killer in this gruesome thriller from splatter-maven Lucio Fulci. The misogynistic script (by Fulci and prolific collaborators Gianfranco Clerici and Vincenzo Mannino) posits a femme-hating psycho (who talks like Donald Duck) slashing beautiful women with a switchblade and a straight-razor because his daughter is in the hospital and will never grow up to be beautiful. Fulci was apparently trying to work in a statement about American competitiveness by making his heroine (Antonella Interlenghi) an aspiring Olympic athlete, and having a killer who is concerned that his daughter will never be "the best," but the point gets lost amidst the buckets of blood and gratuitously kinky sex scenes. Pandering to the lowest common denominator as never before in his career, Fulci showed with this blatant play for the sicko slasher crowd that the days of well-plotted, stylish Italian horror were gone, replaced with the most vicious sort of sexual violence and perversion. Despite all of that, there is one fairly masterful sequence in which the suspect's S&M sex partner learns his identity from a radio broadcast and must untie herself and escape while he sleeps. This scene is tense and nerve-wracking, a high-point of genuine fear amidst a nauseating collage of metal blades slicing female flesh. A shameful piece of work that makes Mario Landi's Giallo a Venezia look positively liberated, it co-stars Renato Rossini, Andrea Occhipinti, and Paolo Malco, with cult figures Alessandra Delli Colli, Daniela Doria, and Barbara Cupisti on the chopping block. Cinematographer Luigi Kuveiller, editor Vincenzo Tomassi, and composer Francesco De Masi have all done better work. ~ Robert Firsching, All Movie Guide
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