it seems like you’re not happy to see me

DeliriumI don’t know if you would call it a giallo, but if so, it is certainly one of the best I’ve seen. But then again, I’m not a fan of giallo as they tend to be boring films of people walking around Italy in the seventies with a few hokey, yet over-staged, murder scenes. This, while similar though, is sleazy and over the top in just the right amounts. Sure it still has the hot 70’s shirts, hairy chests and gold chains, but the overacting is quite prime and the psychosexual goings on come across as sincerely extreme. It all comes together to make this film rather schizophrenic, not only in its lead character, but also in its swings between a gruesomely serious work of sex and violence on the one hand, but also a crappy and cheesy farce on the other. In Delirium (no, not the, um, impressively cast film from the 1980’s, this is Delirio Caldo from 1972), Mickey Hargitay brings his all to the role of Dr. Lyutah, a criminal psychologist who is frequently called upon by the police to aid them in investigating murders… The particular murder investigation that starts this movie off shouldn’t be too hard for the good doctor, because he is in fact the murderer. You see, Lyutah is a sex-crazed serial murder, who also happens to be impotent and has a penchant for strangling. Which gives his crimes an unpleasant air of uncontrollable misogyny. But his other side is quite pleasant and respectable.

 

Delirium

 

The murders that we get tend to seem rather random… and pointless. In the first one he offers a girl in a bar a ride only to chase her down into a river bed, beat her and kill her. There are more that seem to just be going after women that he randomly encounters. While this violence is as corny (and the little blood as fake) as one would expect for this sort of film it still feels rather harsh, something about his cruel strained grimaces and his fixation on strangling, I suppose. At least they also throw in some fantasy sequences and whips and chains to dull the edge.

 

Delirium

 

Throughout all of this carrying on, he lives in a villa with the above three women: his virginal wife who is an emotional wreck about to go over the edge (and who at least suspects her husbands vile deeds), the maid who is a quiet young lady who is a bit over-sexed and under-inhibited and his wife’s niece (?). All of whom feature heavily in some dreamlike torture chamber orgy scenes where Hartigay looks more like his Crimson Executioner character from Bloody Pit of Horror than a psychiatrist…

 

Delirium

 

Though amidst all of this glory, there are some terrible issues, scenes that just seem a bit too unlikely to just pass by… The Doctor keeps a victims bloodied garments in an ornate locked box on the mantel! A girl fearing for her life runs into a phone booth and calls a newspaper office and asks them to call the police? More silly plot features are around every corner, and throughout it all, the terrible dialogue and dubbing (you can get both bad Italian dubbing and English subtitles at the same time!), the badly acted facial expressions (especially from the police) and then some crazy scenes towards the end. There is a chaotic and odd (or maybe dumb) scene where the women in the house start hearing screams, the lights go out and then minutes go by where the keep running around the house, screaming, having shadows cast upon them and falling to the floor where they seem unable to get up. Ridiculous? Yes. Rad? Yes.

 

Delirium

 

All in all, it is pretty entertaining.



 

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You are... an atheist, though you probably already knew this. Also, you probably have several people praying daily for your soul.
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Vitruvian Man

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