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us title: The Case of the Bloody Iris
italian title: Perché quelle strane gocce di sangue sul corpo di Jennifer?
year: 1972
director: Giuliano Carnimeo
composer: Bruno Nicolai
full details: IMDB
overall score: 77

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

WARNING: Spoilers Below

score analysis

Case of the Bloody Iris could never be praised for its originality. The film feels like a cross between Blood and Black Lace and Sergio Martino's first two Gialli. The good news is that this doesn't detract from the film's overall entertainment value. Iris is a "party" film, not intended for academic scrutiny, and features another enjoyable performance by Edwige Fenech as the reformed sex orgy addict turned model from England.

The film makes use of all the genre devices, but it's clear when watching Iris that it doesn't expect to be taken too seriously. The ditzy blonde roommate, stripper wrestler, racist-misogynist-stamp-collecting detective, token lesbian, flamboyant photographer, and a handful of red herrings add much of the flavor to a storyline that isn't very exciting on its own. In fact, when the killer is finally revealed, the motive is explained as a haphazard afterthought, which really just enforces the filmmakers' desire to titillate the audience rather than pick their brains with an intricate plot.

As a Giallo, the film scores on the low side due to its deviation in the Staples section. Specifically, the tan (not black) gloves of the killer and the lack of anyone trying to solve the mystery other than the police.

There are also a couple of scenes in Iris that seem misplaced:

  • The filmmakers decided to add a flashback scene during the final conflict, but it has nothing to do with the killer. Instead, we find out why Andrea Barto is afraid of blood. Nice to know, but Gialli typically favor their killers for psychological profiles.

  • The final scene is an identical repeat of the opening scene, only with different characters. If this same type of ending was used in 1980s Slasher film, the audience would expect that somehow the killer will return in a sequel. But surely the filmmakers of Iris didn't expect us to believe this. Instead, it seems like a Iris is trying (at the very last minute) to introduce some social commentary. Swinging liberalism will not be thwarted by a masked killer trying to rid the world of corruption. Maybe I'm overreaching...

Lastly, it's important to note that Iris contains one of my all-time favorite opening themes composed by Bruno Nicolai, which along with his theme for Eyeball/The Secret Killer, can get stuck in my head for days.

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score breakdown



This is my fifth favorite non-Argento, non-Bava giallo.

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Published: 2012-09-18