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us title: An Ideal Place to Kill
italian title: Un posto ideale per uccidere
year: 1971
director: Umberto Lenzi
composer: Bruno Lauzi
full details: IMDB
overall score: 50

Bottom Line: Entertaining
Nothing ground breaking here, but a fun time nonetheless.

WARNING: Spoilers Below

score analysis

Rounding out Lenzi's four-film offering of "sexy-thrillers" is An Ideal Place to Kill (aka Oasis of Fear, Dirty Pictures). The film, which was recently revived and marketed as a "Lost Lenzi Classic", features many of the same elements that Lenzi employed in his unofficial Carol Baker trilogy, but with a less effective cast and story compared to the other three.

The film can be easily separated into three distinct acts, beginning with the montage-styled scenes of Dick and Ingrid as they embark on their quest to bring the "Gospel of sexual freedom to darkest Italy". 

The second act slows the film down considerably as Lenzi establishes the all-too-familiar sexual triangle between the fun loving hippies and Barbara, the bourgeois emotionally unstable housewife who clearly has something to hide. 

But once Barbara's motives become clear, the film accelerates back into full speed for a finale of suspenseful cat-and-mouse antics, culminating with an ending that is so peculiar you'd have to see it to believe it.

Compared to Lenzi's other three thrillers, his protagonists in Ideal Place aren't very likable and I found myself rooting against them for most of the film. In the end their fate seems justified and Lenzi's inferred subtext criticizing the unfair prejudice of the hippie youth movement is overshadowed by how utterly stupid they are!

Once again, this Lenzi proto-Giallo doesn't do very well on the Giallo Score.  It is clear though that the establishment of the genre's tropes were starting to have an effect on him with the inclusion of some of the more typical Standards and Signatures on the list.

An Ideal Place to Kill is not really the "lost classic" that it's marketed to be. Lenzi's third sexy-thriller, A Quiet Place to Kill, represents the director at his peak for this type of film and should be your first choice when visiting this period of his film making. Nevertheless, Ideal Place provides some entertaining moments and is worth a look if you're Lenzi fan.

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score breakdown

Hint: Hover over a score item for more details
Staples : 25/60
Italian Director10 points
Classic Period (1970 - 1975)5 points
Motivation: Blackmail/Gain5 points
Director > 15 points
Standards : 19/30
Flashback Revelation3 points
Italian Location3 points
Mistaken Identity2 points
More than one killer or accomplice4 points
Nude Scene >= 13 points
Urban Location4 points
Signatures : 6/10
Car or Motorcycle Racing1 point
Chase scene1 point
Gay/Lesbian1 point
Foreigner1 point
Photography/Glamor/Modeling/Art1 point
Spiral Stairs1 point
Total Points : 50/100



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Published: 2016-03-21