The Red Headed Corpse (La Rossa dalla pelle che scotta, The Sensuos Doll, 1972)

US DVD edition

Text below written 2018-12-10


A very obscure lowbudget B grade Italian and Turkey co-production art-horror-drama that can be placed in the Giallo sub-genre of
Strange Giallo maybe, and i like that. Slightly, but not too much, arty. Luckily the B factor with nudity from a genre icon actress prevents
it from being too pretentious, God Bless Italian 1970's gialli, eurocrime, genre actresses and horror films.
This giallo takes place in Istanbul, and this unusual Turkish setting for a giallo gives it an interesting atmosphere, and Farley Granger is
surprisingly good as the grumpy and tormented (american?) artist longing for his red-headed model even though it's Erika Blanc that carries
this film. The short-comings of this film lies instead entirely on the director and his too slow approach to the story.

The picture quality of this alternative market DVD looks OK. This film has been released in the US on a now hard to get DVD from some obscure
company and that was most probably a public domain release too


BEWARE OF SPOILERS BELOW

BEWARE OF SPOILERS BELOW

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Erika Blanc

A Turkish man (!?) with the name of Manuel Gonzales (Venantino Venantini) ... eeh ... goes to the police and reports a girl missing, she has
vanished, a girl he loved and was supposed to go away with. He had the flight tickets but she never turned up. She lived with an artist,
John Ward (Farley Granger) and she was his model. We're at the police station and this Gonzales tells the story in Flashback, how he
sleuthed around for the missing redhead. But now something strange happens, when Gonzales very brief Flashback ....

turns into John Ward's Flashback ? WTF ? How is that possible ?

John meets a cute prostitute (Ivana Novak, another gorgeous redheaded actress of the genre) at an Istanbul café, and maybe because of her
red hair he follows her home. But now, maybe ?, nothing's that clear in this strange film, John has a Flashback within his Flashback (within
Gonzales Flashback?) and he remembers how his doll turned to life and into a redheaded woman of flesh and blood.
John had already been given a a mannequin doll from a hippy hanging around in the vicinity of his house.

Ivana Novak and Granger

John has a hard time selling his art to galleries in Istanbul, and here we understand that the art of the "art" in these shops are questionable
and of B quality. They want more sellable art and with half-nude or nude sexy women in it. John clearly has more artistic goals with his art
but he needs money and when his faceless mannequin doll suddenly turns to life his life is about to change.
The doll first transforms into a sweet nude redheaded woman, played by Krista Nell, and then into another redhead, a sexually advanced
one, played by Erika Blanc and she becomes his model. With his new model John's paintings are a success and he suddenly earns a lot.

But, his redheaded model doesn't just pose and have sex with John, she seduces every man she sees, and when a local hunter passes by
John's house (yes, that Gonzales again) they've sex and become lovers. She also have sex with the gallery owner Omar Bey (Aydin Terzel)
and with a young man on the beach and snubbed by her John loses his mind and stabs her to death .... MAYBE ?

This film is very intricately constructed and at the end you scratch your head and wonders what really happened. Did he have a redhead
model at all or only a doll ? If his model never existed what about the Gonzales guy and his flashback ? Was he a figment of John's mind too?

Maybe you have to watch this film 2 times to get a hold of what's really happening. An interestingly unusual giallo it was for sure.

This DVD presentation have an english audio and a probably slightly cropped ratio (i'm not sure)

The film even starts oddly in the intro credits with a lot of still image pictures of Erika Blanc who appears a lot in the nude all through the film.
Krista Nell does nudity too but Ivana Novak is seen very, very briefly in the nude and one wonders why her scene with Granger up in her
room seems so jumpy. In think i know. There are a lot of nudity in this film so her nude scene is certainly not cut .... not cut by censors anyway,
but i know there was a habit among film projectionists to steal frames out of 35 mm prints .... just a frame or two out of a nudity scene, no one
will miss that, well, if many projectionists reasoned like that the print would finally be badly chopped up. Obviously luscious Ivana Novak
or Ivana Gibilisco, italian genre actress in erotic horrrors and Eurocrime was too tempting (she's still attractive today by the way)

 

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