(3 out of 5 stars)
"You have to be in the right state of mind to enjoy this movie. The plot becomes so confusing halfway , one can't really tell what's going on. Many will simply turn off the TV, but if you're patient you will be rewarded with an pretty interesting ending. Film has all the familiar trappings: beautiful scenery, beautiful women, including a very sexy Suzy Kendall (looking a lot like Susan George) and some pretty weird characters. The violence is pretty explicit, but kind of tame for giallos. And there's very little nudity. This is a pretty good rainy Sunday afternoon movie. Worth a look."
"Spasmo" is Umberto Lenzi's Giallo Masterpiece
J. B. Hoyos | Chesapeake, VA | 05/11/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Spasmo" gave me quite a surprise. It has unseated "Seven Blood-Stained Orchids" as my favorite giallo from Umberto Lenzi, director of the notorious cannibal movies such as "Eaten Alive" and "Make Them Die Slowly." Surprisingly enough, you wouldn't think the same man directed "Spasmo" and "Eaten Alive." There is very little gore or nudity. What you do have is a lot of weirdness and strangeness from beginning to end. While watching this giallo, I kept asking myself, "What is going on here? Where is this leading? Why do these people keep acting so strange? Why are there so many plastic female mannequins hanging from the trees with nooses around their necks and knives in their bellies?"
The first murder doesn't take place until nearly two-thirds into the movie. I was beginning to wonder if "Spasmo" was truly a giallo. My patience was rewarded, however. Towards the end there are numerous twists and the bodies pile up. All the loose ends are nicely wrapped up. The plastic "dolls" are explained, and it wasn`t a fraternity playing tricks.
You won't soon forget the ending of "Spasmo." It will haunt my dreams for a long time. I never saw it coming. Whereas the plot for "Seven Blood-Stained Orchids" was more linear and predictable, the plot for "Spasmo" was wildly unpredictable. (In all fairness, some of the death scenes in "Seven Blood-Stained Orchids" were truly gruesome and unique.) It is unlike anything I've seen from Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci, Mario Bava, or Sergio Martino. "Spasmo" is a truly unique giallo.
Furthermore, Giallo queen Suzy Kendall (of Dario Argento's "The Bird With the Crystal Plumage" and Sergio Martino's "Torso.") gives an excellent performance in "Spasmo." Legendary composer, Ennio Morricone provides a beautifully haunting score. The ocean scenery is breathtakingly gorgeous; the stone beach house is very gothic.
"Spasmo" is a must have for giallo fans. It has been made a permanent part of my collection. The revelation ending is to die for.