The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh 1971

Discussion in 'Movies' started by BLUEPLANET, May 3, 2012.

  1. BLUEPLANET

    BLUEPLANET Guest

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    The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh (1971)
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    Newly married to an older man, Julie returns to Vienna, where a razor wielding slasher is killing women. Jean, her cruel and sadistic former lover, immediately contacts her, certain that only he can satisfy her strange vice. But she rejects him. She also meets George, the handsome cousin of her friend Carol; both are newly rich, thanks to an uncle's death. Julie's husband Neil is away frequently, so George pours on the charm. Meanwhile, it seems that the slasher is now focused on Julie. Bodies pile up, other murders are barely avoided, and George invites her to go away with him. Can it end happily?

    Sergio Martino's "Lo Strano vizio della Signora Wardh" (1970) is a welcome addition to the list of giallos that had remained long unseen for me. Martino has done some of the most interesting of the 70's exploitation cinema (like "Torso" and "Mountain of the Cannibal God") and also an interesting spaghetti western "Mannaja." The giallo hasn't as hard-to-follow and confusing plot as it could have, there are not too many characters which makes their efforts and plot turns easy to follow. The story is simple and involves strange murders closely related to beautiful Wardh lady. There are some masterfully constructed mystery / giallo segments that look no less ambitious than those of Dario Argento. I mean mostly the garage scene and the "gas" scene near the end. These build the suspense well and involve the audience much better than some of the more gore-oriented works of the genre. Martino's film has also some stylish and violent murders but fortunately he didn't concentrate only on them. The locations are simply stunning, and the end twist is surprising and certainly original in my opinion. I think this is among the best of the giallo genre, on the same level with Mario Bava's "Blood and Black Lace", the films by Argento and Tonino Valerii's "My Dear Killer", for example, to name just a few.


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