I decided to add a giallo to the line up since I haven't seen one before. I got the idea from Cinema Diabolica, which is an awesome podcast and you should give it a listen sometime. I kinda just picked this one randomly, not knowing anything about it before hand.
Story starts with writer Peter Neal in New York on his way to Rome to promote his latest mystery novel "Tenebre". While in the airport, he gets a call on the phone and he rather stupidly leaves his carry on bag alone on the floor while he gets the call. So this is probably the reason why you get asked if the bag was in your possession the entire time anytime you fly anywhere. Thanks "Tenebre"!
Anyway, in Rome some girl is shoplifting a copy of Tenebre and is caught by the middle aged security guard. Shoplifter offers Security Guard sex in exchange to let her go and being a middle aged security guard he takes her up on the offer and lets her go. She gets a ride on a motorcycle (kinda unsafely, she had both of her legs on one side, but what do I know about motorcycles in Rome?) and arrives home. There, she's accosted by some crazy hobo who wants to rape her. She manages to run away in time to the non-safety of her house cause she gets her throat slit and her mouth stuffed with pages of Peter's book.
Peter arrives and meets with his agent John Saxon. Yes, THAT John Saxon. I'm gonna just tell you now that this movie really really slows down at parts, mainly the parts with John Saxon, oddly enough. Since Saxon is just an agent, all he and Peter talk about is business and books and stuff.
The Captain of the Rome Police meets with Peter and tells him about Shoplifter and that he got a threatening letter. So Peter is the key to the whole thing since the murder resembled a murder in his book.
After some meeting with a womens lib reporter and a weirdo TV talk show host, we get to more killings, this time a lesbian couple. One girl in the couple feels like dick tonight and picks up some random dude in a bar/arcade. I guess they have those in Rome? I should ask my Dad, he went to Rome.
Anyway, the other girl in the lesbian couple is pissed and when she gets home she finds that the dude boned her girlfriend already. More pissed off, she has a drink while the maybe Bi-Sexual Girl puts on an album.
I forgot to mention the music. This is a late 70's/early 80's film so the entire soundtrack is generic disco music. The song being played here by Bi-Sexual Girl is the same song as the opening credits, so I guess anytime we hear this song, it means she's playing this album. Of course the killer is here and kills Bi-Girl. Pissed Off Girl finds Bi-Girl and gets killed herself.
Then it slows down again as we're introduced to some characters like Marie, the 17-year-old daughter of the Hotel Manager that runs the hotel Peter is in. There's also Peter's ex-girlfriend and/or wife Jill. Then there's Ann, Peter's assistant, and Johnny, John Saxon's assistant. See, all these characters are here to make us go "Hmm...which one is the killer?" since all the females in this movie make a point to throw in "or her" when asked "So the killer went in and he-". Cause it'd be sexist to think only men kill or something.
Johnny takes Marie out on a date but I guess things don't go so good cause he drops her off in the middle of nowhere. She's pissed off and starts walking when suddenly an angry german shepherd appears.
The dog chases Marie and attacks her. She fights the dog off and appears at a house...a house we seen the killer leave a few minutes ago! GASP! She runs inside the house and finds pictures of dead chicks and cut up letters to use as ransom notes and some kind of schedule, which I guess maps out who he's gonna kill when. And a file we seen the killer use, pulling out a file on Prostitutes, under P. I guess you can call this "organized crime"! *rimshot*
Anyway, Marie tries to take this stuff as proof she's in the killer's house but instead of instantly leaving (yeah there's a dog outside but she could find something quickly to beat the dog off her or something) she lingers around until the killer shows up and, well, kills her.
So now Peter starts his own investigation and remembers how creepy the TV host guy sounded and something he said sounded similar to a note Peter got from the killer, so he and Johnny decide to check it out. Johnny goes in to take a closer look and he finds TV Host (by the way the TV host totally lives in the house Marie was in) reading stuff then suddenly he gets killed himself!
Johnny runs away and finds Peter knocked out by a rock. Johnny didn't get a look at the killer but the entire thing is haunting him. The next day, Peter meets with Saxon and says he's gonna leave Rome cause his life is in danger. Saxon is like "Uh, ok. By the way I'm totally banging Jill, your ex" but Peter was long gone by the time Saxon said this.
So Peter goes to leave Rome. Johnny goes back to TV Host's house and realizes that TV Host was the killer but then someone killed him! GASP! So Johnny goes to tell the police this but he gets strangled. Saxon is out in the street just watching people fight and argue when he gets stabbed. Jill feels nervous and paranoid and calls Ann to come over to discuss things when the killer bursts in and chops off Jill's arm, in the gorest scene I've seen in a long time.
A girl shows up and the killer kills her when it's revealed that the killer is...
Peter! WHA??? I know, it don't make a whole lotta sense, but he killed TV Host guy, who was the original killer and now he's...killing other people randomly. Well, he probably killed Johnny so he don't remember seeing Peter kill TV Host. And he probably killed Jill for humping Saxon. And he killed Saxon for humping Jill. Ok, so it somewhat makes sense.
But the girl Peter killed wasn't Ann like he thought but the female cop working with Police Captain, who both come in and find Peter. Peter slits his own throat, but when Captain and Ann are out in the car and Captain comes back in, he finds Peter's body gone and that Peter used a fake knife with fake blood inside it.
Of course Peter is right behind Captain and he kills him. Ann hears a comotion and goes to investigate. This is kinda hard to describe. There's this tall spikey thing that fell over and when Ann pushed open the door the spikey thing fell the other way, hitting Peter in the stomach, killing him once and for all.
There was stuff in between that I didn't mention, like all the weird dreams/memories the killer is having throughout the movie and how much nudity there was, but all that stuff you kinda have to see for yourself. Yeah I spoiled it but now you can just watch for the scenery of the whole thing.
This was directed by Dario Argento, who kinda reminds me of an Italian Hitchcock, the way he pans around things and has stuff happening far away from where the camera is and stuff. This is just my opinion, so don't leave a comment saying "YOU SUCK! ARGENTO IS NO HITCHCOCK! YOU A COCK!"
Overall, this movie is pretty interesting to watch. I tried not to get too bored during the slow parts, cause in a way it works here in this movie. The pacing is ok, unlike modern day horror films where killings happen one after an other for 50 minutes straight. Nothing wrong with that, per se, but a little pacing and set up and mood doesn't hurt either.