"Not exactly a movie for the kiddies, I would consider 1972's Delirium to be some what of a grade B Giallo. The production is okay, the acting not bad, the dialogue average, but the violence is over the top with several grisly murder scenes. There is also way more nudity than your average Giallo. There are two versions, the American (85 minutes) and the European (102 minutes). The American version starts out with the main character, Herbert Lyutak, getting wounded in Vietnam. The movie mixes stock footage from the war with newly filmed scenes in a pretty ungraceful job of editing. But we do learn that Herbert was born in Hungary and immigrated to the US in 1961 and joined the army in 1962. He has done three tours of duty in Vietnam and is a decorated, model soldier. He has been wounded and is being taken away in a helicopter. He is looking at a nurse and she changes into another woman who we soon find out is his wife, Marcia, played by the lovely Rita Calderoni (The Reincarnation of Isabel, Nude for Satan). Right after the credits we get to see Herbert pick up a girl in a bar and drive her out to a remote spot, chase her into a stream and then strip her and beat her to death. It's a pretty violent scene and not for the squeamish. Of course that could apply to almost every murder in this movie. The European version really is quite different than the American release and I thought it had a more coherent story. Both versions are a bit confusing but the European version is more consistent. It also skips the whole Vietnam segment which wasn't very well done anyway. The endings are both quite different as well and a couple murders are filmed differently also. I don't want to give away too much but we do know that Herbert murders a girl at the beginning of both versions and after that it is a bit of a cat and mouse with the cops who are trying to solve the murders along with Herbert who is a criminal psychologists and supposed to be helping them in the investigation. His wife starts having weird S&M dreams involving her husband as the sadist and their maid and another woman who we later find out is her niece. The three women fondle and kiss each other while Herbert watches. The editing from the dreams to reality is a bit confusing and at one point early in the film Herbert does beat and cut Marcia as a substitution for sex which he can't perform with his wife. He does seem troubled about his violent tendencies and does not want to unleash his murderous ways on his wife, but he does like looking at her throat which is a very enticing part of female anatomy for him.The picture on the European version looks fine and is presented in 1.85:1 widescreen. The American version however is missing a couple sections of the original so Anchor Bay had to take some Dutch footage from a VHS copy and splice it in. So you are watching and all of a sudden the picture gets worse and there are Dutch subtitles! But we are talking only a couple minutes worth so it is pretty minor actually. There is also a recently filmed 14 minute interview with director and writer Renato Polselli and Actor Mickey Hargitay which is pretty good really. I watched the US version, then the interview, and then the European version of the film. I did have more of an appreciation for the film after the watching the interview and as I said earlier, the European version is overall a better and more coherent storyline. The US version is dubbed in English and the European version is in Italian with English subtitles. Overall not too bad if you like extreme Giallo. Not nearly as good as say, What Have You Done With Solange, or most Bava's or Argento's, but certainly worthy of [the money]."
frankenberry | Los Angeles, CA USA | 08/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you're a euro-trash junkie, this DELIRIUM is a must purchase. Renato Polselli, the man behind the ridiculously overwrought "Reincarnation of Isabel", directed this fun 1972 horror-sleaze epic which stars Mickey Hargitay and the beautiful Rita Calderoni (both also in "Isabel"). Never released on homevideo in the US (and not to be confused with another "Delirium" with a Vietnam subplot once released on VHS by Paragon and Academy Video), this DVD from Anchor Bay not only offers us the original uncut Italian version of the film (102 minutes), but also the alternate American version of the film (85 minutes) which is a completely different cut with additional scenes, a different ending and major changes to characters and their motivations. Although the Italian version contains more violence, sleaze and graphic material than the American version, it also contains more plot exposition and takes more time in unraveling the "mystery". The American version is a bit more "slap-dash", scenes are trimmed throughout, but it moves like lightning and contains at least one extra murder (of a character not even in the international version!) which leads to a completely modified ending to the proceedings. The American version also adds snippets of scenes here and there (the killer's mask, etc.) and contains a new "subplot" about Hargitay's character being a shell-shocked Vietnam War vet (through real and fake footage) which now opens and closes the film and this version has a completely different ending as well. So with all the added and deleted and re-edited scenes and plot and character modifications, you really need to watch both versions of the film....the International version is still the preferable choice overall and should be viewed first, but either way, it's a double-feature of Delirious Delights! The presentation of the International version is excellent - spotless and colorful - 1.85:1 enhanced - with removable English subtitles. The American version starts with a title card indicating that the only available print of this version was not in the best of shape so the opening and closing sequences (including the Vietnam footage and other shots) were taken off a VHS master of this version and contain some Danish subtitles. The quality of these sequences are obviously sub-par, but nothing to really get upset about if that's all they could get their hands on to restore the American version of the film. It's great that AB even took the time to serve up this version of the film as an "extra" considering how different it is - most companies would probably have just given us the euro-cut and left it at that. Also on the disc is a 14 minute featurette with new interviews of both Polselli and Hargitay which is enlightening and entertaining."
Raniel Almaria | Roselle, IL | 08/05/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"DELIRIUM (aka DELIRIO CALO) stars Mickey Hargitay who is a psychologist who is also a demented serial killer. He picks up young girls & kills them in some really brutal fashions. His sexy wife is subjugated to some really perverse sexual fetishes.This is a truly bizarre film that almost defies description. I give it 3 stars only with hesitation because of the disturbing nature of the film, as well as some rreally graphic viloence & some graphic lesbian sex scenes. Anchor Bay has both the US & International versions on one DVD which makes this quite a bargain. Both versions have very different beginnings & endings.DELIRIUM could have been better, but unfortunately, it wasn't. Still, it is a very bizarre & disturbing film that would please many a horror/giallo fan."
Charlie Spivey | Richmond VA. U.S.A. | 01/30/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Didn't know what to expect from this. It turned out to be a great little movie. Some of the dialogue was a bit hokie, but that is okay. There were some surprises and was a bit different. I watched the "International" version, and although there was ample nudity, the sex was to a degree muted. There was one instance of some groping that was somewhat explicit, but was central to the overall storyline and definately not gratuitous. It is not for everyone, but for those who like a quirky little film with a pretty decent storyline, they might find it worth a watch. I would rent it before deciding to add it to your library though. Charlie S."
THIS IS CULT
Yves Scotto Di Liguori | Villemomble, France | 10/23/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A strange curiosity that became a Cult movie for seventies italian gialli fans. Very hard to see in France. A must for Rita Calderoni fans."