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us title: Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key
italian title: Il tuo vizio è una stanza chiusa e solo io ne ho la chiave
year: 1972
director: Sergio Martino
composer: Bruno Nicolai
full details: IMDB
overall score: 64

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

WARNING: Spoilers Below

score analysis

There are some Gialli that make a great first impression and others that require a few viewings to truly appreciate. A fast-paced whodunit with a titillating cast and a jarring score will always garner the attention of new fans. Sergio Martino's, "Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key" (hereafter referred to as "Your Vice") is a much more subtle Giallo and I must confess that my initial viewing of the film left me bored and indifferent compared to Martino's other films of the genre.

A few years and dozens of films later, I've returned to this film with a broader understanding of its context within the genre and Martino's filmography and it has now become one of my favorites. With "Your Vice" Martino seems to have found a perfect balance between pushing the boundaries of the genre and recycling established elements to make a unique film. Your Vice is an erotic-gothic-horror-mystery-thriller that combines the best elements of The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh and All the Colors of the Dark with nods to Poe and Hammer for good measure.

A score of 64 indicates that Your Vice is not a conventional Giallo by any means, but it still incorporates enough of the normal characteristics to give it a Giallo "feel". There are few suspects and set locations. The majority of the film takes place in the mansion set in rural Italy. And other than the sparse presence of the police, there's no amateur detective. The main characters are much more concerned with their schemes and their bizarre (and possibly incestuous?) love triangle.

Moreover, the film is undeniably Martino with his signature camera work and the recycling of story elements and personnel from his previous films. Even the title of the film is a reference back to a note attached to a floral bouquet given to Julie Wardth in Strange Vice. As always, Edwige Fenech is truly captivating, but it's also worth noting that despite a bit of overacting, Anita Strindberg delivers a strong performance as the scheming vixen pretending to be the battered hausfrau.

Torso, Martino's follow up to this film and his final offering within the classic Giallo period, exhibits the director's return to form. But I would argue that Martino could not have made Torso without Your Vice, which clearly marks the end of his experimental phase and clears the way for a film that lays the groundwork for the American Slasher genre that would soon follow.

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score breakdown

Hint: Hover over a score item for more details
Staples : 35/60
Italian Director10 points
Hidden Identity10 points
Classic Period (1970 - 1975)5 points
Motivation: Blackmail/Gain5 points
Director > 15 points
Standards : 23/30
Body Count >= 34 points
Italian Location3 points
Mistaken Identity2 points
More than one killer or accomplice4 points
Morricone/Nicolai/Ortolani3 points
Nude Scene >= 13 points
Suspects >= 34 points
Signatures : 6/10
Car or Motorcycle Racing1 point
Death from Falling1 point
Dolls/Dummies1 point
Gay/Lesbian1 point
Foreigner1 point
J&B1 point
Total Points : 64/100



This is my second favorite non-Argento, non-Bava giallo. I like Edwige best with this hair...

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Published: 2014-07-22