Chilly blond Mimsy Farmer is an Italian medical student who has disturbing visions of the waking dead during a rash of grotesque suicides. She works in a morgue where every living man in her orbit hits on her and one cowor... more »ker even tries to rape her ("You can't blame a guy for trying. Nothing turns on a man more than an icy woman," comforts an oh-so understanding boyfriend). Barry Primus is an angry priest with a dark past and anger-management issues (he screams, "I've killed many others and I'll kill you too," while beating a man's skull into the pavement). The apparent cause of the suicide hit parade is extreme sunspot activity (each death is punctuated with fiery images of solar flares), but when victims close to Farmer start dropping from high-rise windows, the picture twists into a murder mystery with a gallery of sleazy and shady suspects. Director Armando Crispino fills in the edges with unending images of death, shocking violence, and gratuitous nudity, creating an intermittently stylish but often bluntly exploitative horror mystery. Shorn of 15 minutes when it debuted in American theaters in the mid-1970s, the sex and violence has been completely restored for video. One short scene is in Italian with English subtitles, due to missing soundtrack materials, while the rest is dubbed in English. Ennio Morricone provides a suitably strange mix of atonal stings and lovely melodies. --Sean Axmaker« less
""Autopsy - A Chilling Slab of Unspeakable Horror"Or so we read on the box of this DVD. Of Italian origin and first released in 1973 as "Macchie Solari", Autopsy has not aged well as a horror movie. Interestingly, I believe the original title referred to suns spots, which are a recurring theme in the movie.Autopsy starts brilliantly depicting a number of suicides that invariably end up in the autopsy room, where we meet the protagonist played by Mimsy Farmer. Mimsy is studying forensic medicine and writing a thesis on how to distinguish between real and fake suicides. Something happens and Mimsy begins to see the cadavers moving around.After this promising opening, the movie strays away from the moving cadavers and turns into a murder mystery. A young woman that Mimsy briefly meets in her apartment is found dead in what appears to be a suicide. However, dead woman's brother (played by Barry Primus) is convinced that it was murder.Eventually, Mimsy realizes that the dead woman's brother, who is also a priest, is correct. By then, other suicides/murders start occurring around her, and even she becomes the target of one attempt. Suddenly, she doesn't know if she can trust the priest, her father, her father's business associate, her boyfriend (who also is a target of a murder attempt) or even herself.By now, this movie is no longer a horror film. Instead, it has become a classic who-dunnit film, with occasional sunspot flare- ups depicted a certain intervals. Surprisingly, the mystery is actually well-done. Agatha Christie couldn't have written a better murder mystery.Why the movie was titled Autopsy in English is beyond me. Scully and Mulder (X-Files) spend more time in the morgue than do Mimsy and Barry. Furthermore, the autopsies in the X-Files are sometimes even more graphic than in this movie. I can only speculate that the studios felt that "Autopsy" would draw more movie-goers than "Sun Spots". On the subject of sun spots, the movie tries to suggest a relationship between sun spots and suicides, which doesn't really fit into the murder mystery.Overall, it is an excellent movie-if you like mysteries. But a horror movie it is not, certainly not one of "unspeakable horror"."
AUTOPSY WITH A BLUNT SCALPEL
don138 | 08/26/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"this so-so "giallo" was directed by ARMANDO CRISPINO, not Josè Marìa Forquè. Set during a sizzling Roman summer, "Autopsy" opens with a grim montage sequence depicting various people committing suicide/homicide. Straight after this we are plunged into a startling episode at the central morgue: as overwrought heroine Mimsy Farmer looks round, grotesquely leering corpses seem to come to life and get up from the slabs. Powerful stuff, but unfortunately the rest of the movie doesn't come up with anything to top it. What follows is an involved, but not very interesting murder mystery, fleshed out with exclusively unlikeable characters - Farmer included - and occasional touches of cruelty. Certain scenes - the deadly trap in the crime museum, for example - are effectively suspenseful, but the tricksy narrative outstays it's welcome long before the 100 minute running time is up. Picture quality, however, is excellent and the DVD includes a trailer for the film under it's official export title, "The Victim". If you're new to the "giallo" and are looking to build up a good collection on DVD, invest your money in films like "The Girl Who Knew Too Much", "Blood and Black Lace", "The Bird With The Crystal Plumage", "Deep Red" and "Torso". "Autopsy" is passable entertainment, but hardly essential."
Not bad, but not great either; 2.5 stars
Stephen Gladwin | USA | 06/05/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
""Autopsy" has a few things going for it that sets it apart from the many other giallos competing for audience attention in the 70's: first, it has a great score by the equally great Ennio Morricone. Second, it has an intriguing element of natural phenomena woven into the plot (the heat of the Italian summer supposedly driving citizens to commit suicide, in fact, the film's Italian title is "Sunspots"). But the natural phenomena element is not explored enough to be satisfying and refreshing, and it actually seems like it was an afterthought. Adding to the faults of the film is the flat and innefectual performance by Mimsy Farmer. Her performance recalls Deneuve's role in REPULSION- cold and sexually repressed. The problem with the performance is that her bland aura simply doesn't allow her to convincingly reach the emotional plateus that the script demands. As a result, her sudden changes of heart and her motivations seem ludicrous, even absurd (for example, she suddenly becomes infatuated with a priest whom is a prime suspect in a murder case). Unfortunately her bland performance affects the rest of the film. The plot of the film is depressingly susceptible to common giallo trappings (red herrings, confused dialogue and nonsensical characters, not to mention poor dubbing). Perhaps the true problem with the film is the opening sequence: we are treated to a stunning (and disturbing) montage of suicides of various citizens of Rome, juxtaposed against footage of the burning sun. This opening effortlessly pulls the viewer in and tantalizes with its promises for the remainder of its 100min running time. But the result is far more pedestrian. The film unfortunately peaks during the opening. Most frustrating of all is that the angle of the "sunspots" as the motivator for the suicides IS NEVER EXPLAINED, and the real motive for the killings is depressingly derivitave. On the plus side though, Morricone's ecclectic score does add atmosphere to the sometimes dull goings-on, and the photography and direction does take advantage of Rome's splendor, and thankfully there is not a tremendous amount of zooming (a common giallo affliction). But even these tasteful technicalities cannot overcome Crispino and Battistrada's bland and unremarkable script coupled with Farmer's uncompelling performance. "Autopsy" is never quite a bore, and it does dabble in a handful of fascinating ideas, but the real tragedy is they are never fully developed, and the film remains a mere shell of what it could have been. OFFICIAL RATING: 2 1/2 stars"
A Masterpiece!!! (You have to be a little twisted though)!
ilovevictoriaprincipal | Tokyo, Japan | 11/30/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"O.K. First of all, what is up with the bad reviews for this movie? If you are into hilarious dialog, wigs, hilarious dialog about wigs, mannequins, gore, trippy visuals, incestuous innuendo, sex, bitchy cat fighting between characters and movies that are totally weird, unsettling and need a couple viewings to really savor all the aforementioned details then this is your movie. If not, then check out the latest blockbusters playing at your local theater. For those of us that are into this stuff, this is HIGHLY recommended, a 1000 stars out of 5. Also recommended: The Baby (1973), Liquid Sky (1983), The Antichrist (1974), Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1983), early 80's Lucio Fulci gore (City of the Living Dead, The Beyond, House by the Cemetery). If you see these, prepare to leave your sanity behind!!!"
This is worth watching for Giallo fans.
Puzzle box | Kuwait | 07/18/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"About as weird as an Italian mystery can possibly get, Autopsy gained notoriety upon its original theatrical release when the U.S. distributor encouraged rumors that real autopsies were conducted and filmed during production. Of course, this is about as believable as the final "real" murder in the exploitation film Snuff, but the movie became a 42nd Street and drive-in favorite anyway. What viewers really got was a twisted, unconventional giallo packed with creepy set pieces and a truly novel setting, there are also fine performances from Mimsy Farmer, Barry Primus and especially Ray Lovelock of 'The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue'-fame... While a stifling heat wave strikes Rome and sends many of the population fleeing into the countryside, a wave of suicides provoked by sunspots causes more activity than usual in the local morgues.
Sensitive pathologist Simona (Mimsy Farmer) is working on a thesis examining real versus staged suicides, and her work begins to get to her. Simona's disturbing hallucinations feature the fresh, mutilated corpses rising from their slabs, mugging for the camera, and even having sex on the morgue floor!. Simona's boyfriend, Ed (Ray Lovelock), is peeved when her visions interfere with their sex life. One day a gunshot suicide victim found on the beach is brought in, and Simona recognizes the victim as a beautiful woman she had seen earlier. The brother of the deceased, a slightly sinister priest (Barry Primus), believes the woman's death was actually murder, and Simona's research indicates he may be correct.
Compared to many other Giallo films, Autopsy features a believable, solid plot and it sticks to it without the overuse of unnecessary plot-twists. The score (by Ennio Morricone) was great and the main characters are creatively presented. How about a depressed pathologist who has weird visions of dead people? Or a racecar-driver turned priest and out for vengeance? Autopsy is a lot more suspenseful than it is gory (except for the beginning suicide scenes the rest of the film wasn't really that gory), even though the DVD-cover leads you to believe otherwise. Tension-highlights include a compelling sequence inside the `Death Museum' and an atmospheric experiment upon an entirely paralyzed victim. Add a bit of stylish nudity to all this and you've got yourself an undiscovered and ignored cult-gem. It may not satisfy horror-rookies on a quest to see tons of blood, but it'll sure please the more experienced horror fans. If you're searching for a top-macabre and unsettling horror film, then watch this underrated giallo film."