*** ½ Out of 5
Release Date- August 4th, 1972 (Italy)
Running Time- 94-Minutes
Screenplay- Ernesto Gastaldi
Director- Giuliano Carnimeo (As Anthony Ascott)
Starring- George Hilton, Edwige Fenech, Annabella Incontrera, Paola Quattrini, Giampiero Albertini, Franco Agostini, Oreste Lionello
Most cite the 60s as when the first Giallo film was made and in the 70s these films reached their peak with the emergence of Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci and the continued success of Mario Bava who stared the Giallo; The Case of the Bloody Iris is pretty much the typical Giallo of its time and the formula for these movies are quite simple and in many ways these films can sort of be seen as the Italian slasher film as there is a thin line between them. As great as Italian cinema was in the 80s and despite how many great Giallo’s were released in the 80s nothing can top the 70s and Case of the Bloody Iris is an excellent if now flawed Giallo.
The screenplay was written by Ernesto Gastaldi who is no stranger to the Giallo; he wrote many of the more popular ones in the 70s most notable writing for Sergio Martino with such movies as Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh and Torso. The script is well written with some touches of comedy and while the comedy can be a little silly it isn’t over the top and does work rather well and offers something a little different than the norm; the investigation scenes while well written can at times be the only flaw in the script as it’s just not as interesting as many other movies like this. The actual mystery however is fairly strong and did have me guessing and while the identity of the killer may not be shocking I will admit I was caught off guard. The movie is driven more by the characters rather than action and while the characters may not have the most depth, Gastaldi does however create some fairly interesting characters that are able to keep things interesting when there are lulls in the action.
Director Giuliano Carnimeo going under the name Anthony Ascott does a solid job at keeping the pace moving along and there’s no shortage of suspects and nudity. The murder scenes are done well with some pretty good suspense and tension and while the investigation scenes can at times slow down the pace, Giuliano Carnimeo still is able to keep the movie above float. I can’t say I was ever bored with the movie, but at times the middle sections of the movie I did zone out just a little bit, but overall the movie is mostly always interesting and the scenes with the killer are well-done with some excellent moments of suspense, but this movie is more about the characters than the deaths and Carnimeo handles it well with only a few moments where things can lag.
The cast is solid led by the amazingly stunning Edwige Fenech as Jennifer. I haven’t seen a lot of her work, but what I’ve seen I have liked. You’ll be hard pressed to find a woman more beautiful than Edwige who I think might be the most beautiful woman I have ever seen and for me she was never more stunning than she was Case of the Bloody Iris. If you are a fan of Edwige this is essential viewing. George Hilton also stars as Andrea Barto and like Fenech I haven’t seen a whole lot of his work, but what I’ve seen I have liked. The two previously worked together in The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh, which was produced by Luciano Martino who also produced The Case of the Bloody Iris.
Overall the Case of the Bloody Iris is an excellent Giallo that sadly is mostly forgotten and while it may not be one of the best this style of film has to offer it’s still an excellent movie with no shortage of nudity and suspense and like I said earlier does make for an excellent mystery and despite some slight pacing problems in the middle of the movie Case of the Bloody Iris deserves more attention than it gets.