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us title: Autopsy
italian title: Macchie solari
year: 1975
director: Armando Crispino
composer: Ennio Morricone
full details: IMDB
overall score: 71

Bottom Line: For Completists Only
As long as you've seen eveything else, this is worth a look.

WARNING: Spoilers Below

score analysis

I've attempted to watch Armando Crispino's Autopsy several times. Each time I was put off by how the film just didn't sit right with me. Much like the theme of sunspots causing headaches and nausea, each viewing of Autopsy made me feel a little uneasy.

While re-watching the film for I finally came to the conclusion that I just don't like the film. Most positive reviews call it "unconventional" by Giallo standards, which it definitely is. But I think Autopsy could have been better if a few of the genre's tropes were incorporated in.

This is where the GialloScore is really and effective tool. Considering that the top scoring Gialli fall in the upper 80 to lower 90 range, a score of 71 is just about right for Autopsy. The film lost 15 crucial points in the staples section by leveraging a monetary gain motive, featuring a "one and done" director, and omitting the black gloved killer. In fact, the film is not really concerned with murder at all since both of them (another point deduction) occur off screen. 

Had it not been for the inclusion of a Morricone soundtrack, and the "charity" flashback points I awarded (when Edgar retells the story of how he included Betty in his blackmail scheme), Autopsy would have dipped into the 60s.

Casting Mimsy Farmer as the frigid medical student who is just aching to spread her sexual wings seems like a misfire to me. In a genre dominated by Edwige Fenech and Barbara Bouchet, she's too androgynous looking to make me care about her unquenched desires.

Another downside of the film is Morricone's lackluster soundtrack. I can't imagine it's easy to write hundreds of original scores that sound unique, but other than the main love theme, the soundtrack for Autopsy is really nothing more than sound effects.

To me it seems like all of this adds up to Giallo hack job, with Crispino trying to latch on to the success of the genre by recycling elements of Argento and Martino and filming in a gorgeous location. But without the solid foundation of an interesting story and the ability to create tension, Autopsy is a chore to sit through.

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score breakdown

Hint: Hover over a score item for more details
Staples : 45/60
Italian Director10 points
Hidden Identity10 points
Amateur Detective5 points
Classic Period (1970 - 1975)5 points
Motivation: Blackmail/Gain5 points
Avoid Capture: Acciental Death/Suicide10 points
Standards : 20/30
Flashback Revelation3 points
Italian Location3 points
Morricone/Nicolai/Ortolani3 points
Nude Scene >= 13 points
Suspects >= 34 points
Urban Location4 points
Signatures : 6/10
Car or Motorcycle Racing1 point
Death from Falling1 point
J&B1 point
Pathologist1 point
Photography/Glamor/Modeling/Art1 point
Priest1 point
Total Points : 71/100



Crispino actually made a giallo before this one called 'The Etruscan Kills Again' - would be cool to see how that one stacks up on the Giallo Score!

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Published: 2013-12-31