Synopsis: When two young women are viciously slain in a luxury high-rise, a beautiful young model (Edwige Fenech of Strip Nude For Your Killer and Hostel: Part II) moves into one of their vacated apartments – and soon finds that she is now being stalked by the mysterious killer! The suspects include her ex-husband (a member of a group sex cult), a predatory lesbian neighbor, the deformed son of a sinister widow, and even the building’s handsome architect (George Hilton of The Killer Must Kill Again) who suffers from a paralyzing fear of blood. Can she expose the masked maniac with a taste for luscious women and depraved murder before she becomes his next victim?
Directed by Giuliano Carnimeo (under the pseudonym Anthony Ascott) and written by Ernesto Gastaldi (screenwriter of such notorious thrillers as Torso and The Whip And The Body), this shocking giallo is also known as Erotic Blue and What Are Those Strange Drops Of Blood Doing On Jennifer’s Body?
eyelights: its photography. its pretty girls.
eyesores: its contrivances.
“A pretty girl is never ridiculous.”
Giallo films are a genre that is very much associated with ’70s Italian horror cinema. Though its elements can be found in other areas, its most closely associated with Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci. Mario Bava has also dabbled in gialli a little.
I don’t know much about gialli, having mostly seen Bava and Argento entries (and frankly, the others aren’t worth mentioning), but I know what I like. And I rather enjoyed ‘Perché quelle strane gocce di sangue sul corpo di Jennifer?’
Released in 1972, and known here as ‘The Case of the Bloody Iris’, it follows a few models as they move in and brutally get checked out of a luxury apartment highrise. Naturally, the police is on the case, but they can’t find the killer.
And this mysterious killer strikes and strikes again.
Our main character is Jennifer, a sumptuous porcelain doll with long dark hair and perfect eyes. She moves into the apartment of a murdered model with her best friend at the behest of the building’s owner, Andrea, a client of her photographer.
Andrea and Jennifer soon hit it off and become lovers. The thing is that Andrea was also one of the last people seen with Mizar, the former tenant; the police are putting the heat on him, and events are transpiring to put him in a very bad light.
Even Jennifer has her doubts.
But she has other concerns: the leader of a love cult she once belonged to is after her to return to them, leaving white irises everywhere he goes – which is wherever she is. He is jealous, after all, and he lashes out at her and Andrea.
Plus Jennifer has the killer after her: ever since she’s moved in, the mysterious stalker keeps popping up in her bedroom, only to be foiled by one thing or another. Jennifer’s life is at risk, something neither her roommate nor the police believe.
They’ll eventually see the light – even if they never see the light of day again.
What makes ‘Bloody Iris’ fun are the sights. While the story is par for the course and contrivances abound, the picture is shot in such a beautiful and/or creative fashion (as only the best giallo films do) that it’s a pure joy to behold.
It’s not just about the locations, which are stunning, having been shot in some of Genoa’s most impressive streets and buildings, it’s about the framing of many of the shots, embellished either with terrific long shots or ingenious camera angles.
And then there are the beautiful women. Clearly the filmmakers picked models for their film, women so striking as to make a grown man cry. And, as most of them play models, they are always looking their best and in various stages of undress.
The rest of the picture is your usual half-baked mystery with the killer being related to or involved with the main characters in some fashion. And there are the standard-issue red herrings, which lead both the characters and audience astray.
…sometimes in ways that seem obtuse.
As for the violence, well, giallo films are always extravagant in the way they dispatch their characters. ‘Bloody Iris’ is no different, though it’s not excessive, mostly limiting itself to stabbings with a small knife, a drowning and a fall.
The performances are typical of the genre, given that the cast is filled with character actors and models. But, on the plus side, since the DVD only featured the English dub, it was impossible to get a true sense of the quality of the work.
So, all in all, I enjoyed watching ‘Perché quelle strane gocce di sangue sul corpo di Jennifer?’. It’s not grand cinema, and it’s not a landmark in its own niche genre, but I found far more interesting than the average North American slasher.
That alone makes it appealing.
And worth seeing again.
Date of viewing: September 18, 2016