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us title: All the Colors of the Dark
italian title: Tutti i colori del buio
year: 1972
director: Sergio Martino
composer: Bruno Nicolai
full details: IMDB
overall score: 56

Bottom Line: A Worthwhile Deviation
Breaks some important rules and comes out on top as a result.


WARNING: Spoilers Below

score analysis

All the Colors of the Dark, also referred to by its lesser known (but more apropos) title They're Coming to Get You, is quite an anomaly within the Giallo genre. All the usual suspects are involved - Sergio Martino directing a screenplay written by Ernesto Gastaldi with music by Bruno Nicolai and the acting talents of George Hilton and the breathtakingly gorgeous Edwige Fenech. And yet the film veers so far off course from the standard Giallo formula that one has to wonder if the film is included in the genre's filmography simply due to it cast and crew and the date of production.





The film doesn't include a black-gloved killer who remains anonymous until the final moments of the film. Instead, the focus is on Jane and the mysteries surrounding her post-traumatic stress. The whodunit elements of the film are still present but seem less important compared to Jane's voyage into paranoid psychosis and the supernatural world of black magic. When the film finally does offer up some rational explanations, they seem contrived and leave the audience asking more questions:

Barbara, Jane's sister, who may or may not be a Satanist, arranged for Jane to be killed in order to receive the entire inheritance left to her and Barbara by the man who killed their mother. But Jane's husband Richard (who had an affair with Barbara after Jane suffered a miscarriage) found out about the inheritance before Jane did and forced Barbara to shoot herself which in turn provoked the leader of the Satanic cult to attack him on the roof of Jane's apartment building, which Jane predicted would happen.

Wait...what??




Needless to say, it's a challenge to score this film. But I've decided (since I'm making up the rules as I go) to combine the characteristics of all the diabolical characters in the film (Barbara, the Cult Leader, and the Blue-Eyed Killer) into a single unit of conspiracy in order to score the Staples and Standards sections.

  • The motivation of monetary gain is attributed to Barbara

  • All three characters are purposely killed (and all by Richard!). No accidents or suicides.

  • Barbara's participation in the conspiracy is hidden until the end of the film but since she can't be regarded directly as a murderer, we can't award points for Hidden Identity.

The brilliant irony here is that inasmuch as All the Colors of the Dark is a terrible example of a Giallo, it's a wildly entertaining film with great photography, locations, set pieces, and features one of Bruno Nicolai's most memorable scores. And again, it's hard not to like any film that gives Edwige Fenech so much screen time.



One final note. Apparently, the original US theatrical version trims so much off the ending that the Giallo elements are completely lost and the audience is led to believe that Jane stabs her husband in the elevator and is then murdered by the Satanists in one last ritual. I haven't seen this cut of the film but the differences are well documented in "All the Colors of the Dark vs. They're Coming to Get You" by Donato Totaro

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score breakdown

Hint: Hover over a score item for more details
Staples : 30/60
Italian Director10 points
Classic Period (1970 - 1975)5 points
Motivation: Blackmail/Gain5 points
Avoid Capture: Killed by Police or other character5 points
Director > 15 points
Standards : 22/30
Body Count >= 34 points
More than one killer or accomplice4 points
Morricone/Nicolai/Ortolani3 points
Nude Scene >= 13 points
Suspects >= 34 points
Urban Location4 points
Signatures : 4/10
Chase scene1 point
J&B1 point
Psychologist1 point
Spiral Stairs1 point
Total Points : 56/100



trailer


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Published: 2012-09-13