Spectacle | 124 South 3rd Street
aka Le foto di Gioia
Dir. Lamberto Bava, 1987
Italy, 94 min.
Originally helmed by Dario Argento, who dropped out of production at an early date and was replaced by one of his proteges, Lamberto Bava (son of the great Mario Bava, assistant director on everything from Suspiria to A Bay Of Blood to Cannibal Holocaust), DELIRIUM shifts our understanding of what a giallo is from the seventies to the eighties without a hint of nostalgia. Starring the almighty Daria Nicolodi (whose tumultuous marriage to Argento ended in 1985) and the stunning Serena Grandi (who you scuzzballs probably know from Anthropophagus), DELIRIUM is a glossy, flashy mid-80s Italian Vogue spread streaked in crimson. Serena Grandi plays Gloria, one-time prostitute turned head of a men’s fashion magazine called Pussycat. She begins receiving photos of her models murdered, disfigured, and displayed with photos of Gloria in the background. While the magazine drastically increases its readership due to the notoriety surrounding the murders, the noose closes in on Serena With lots of demented POV (where the killer imagines his victims with grotesque masks over their heads), lots of extra-sleazy Dynasty-inspired wardrobes, and drum machines aplenty, it’s an excellent example of where the giallo was by the mid-eighties, happily delivering all the style, perversity and murder set pieces any fan could want in a style entirely different from (but obviously deeply informed by) the 70s classics we most often think of as giallo. More from Lamberto (and fellow Argento protegee Michele Soavi) hopefully coming soon later this year!