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Blu-ray Review: The Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion (1970)

Lonely (and rich) housewife Minou (Dagmar Lassander) spends her time pining for the affection of her husband Peter (Pier Paolo Capponi) who is never around. While walking alone one night, Minou is accosted by a weirdo who tells her Peter is, in fact, a murderer. She pays this insanity no mind, but soon the evidence appears to back up the stranger’s claims, and Minou finds herself tumbling into an ever deeper abyss of blackmail at the hands of the devious (and horny) creeper. Will Minou be able to regain a semblance of a normal life and escape this ordeal with her sanity intact or will she be destroyed by the blackmailer’s game?

The Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion appears to be a giallo, but honestly it isn’t; no black gloved killer appears…hell, no murder appears in the film at all…but what the film is is a mystery with giallo window dressing. Director Luciano Ercoli has infused the piece with layers of mystery, stylish cinematography, garish sets, beautiful women, sleaze…and more sleaze, and a score by Ennio Morricone…plus, sleaze…all hallmarks of those groovy giallo flicks…but without the murder biz things end up being flat-out off kilter in a fascinating and infinitely watchable way!

As solid as a pic as The Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion is, there’s some extra features on here that sweeten the putrid pot as well! First up you get your choice of viewing either the Italian or US cut of the film. Following that is an amazing audio commentary from the ultra-knowledgeable fright film scholar Kat Ellinger. For those that haven’t experienced bonus features containing her work, let me say you are in for an incredibly engaging and fact based listen! Following that comes a newly edited documentary on the film, an in-depth interview with musician/soundtrack collector Lovely Jon on the film’s music (and the music of the genre in general), a Q&A with actress Lassander, Italian and English theatrical trailers for the film, and an image gallery!

If you dig on giallos, and yearn to see something done slightly different with the tropes of the genre, then I urge you to give The Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion a look; it’s garish, lurid, and an enjoyable mystery…talk about your hat trick eh, my creeps?!!

 

 

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