Footprints on the Moon (1975)

Alice Cespi (Florinda Bolkan, A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin) watched a strange film in her childhood called “Footprints on the Moon,” where astronauts were stranded on the moon’s surface. Now, as an adult, the only sleep she gets is from tranquilizers and she starts missing days of her life. Get ready for a giallo that skips the fashion and outlandish murders while going straight for pure weirdness.

After losing her job as a translator, Alice find a torn postcard for a resort area called Garma. That’s where she meets a little girl named Paula (Nicoletta Elmi, DemonsA Bay of Blood) who claims that Alice looks exactly like another woman she met named Nicole, who is also at the resort. Slowly but surely, our heroine starts to believe that a huge conspiracy is against her.

This is the last theatrical film of Luigi Bazzoni (he has directed some documentaries and wrote a few films since), who also directed The Fifth Cord. There are only two murders, but don’t let that hold you back. There are also abrupt shifts in color and a slow doomy mood to the entire proceedings. It’s unlike any other giallo I’ve seen and I mean that as a compliment.

Klaus Kinski also shows up as Blackman, the doctor who was behind the experiment that Alice saw as a child. He’s only in the film for a minute or so, but he makes the most of his time, chewing up the scenery as only he can. And cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, beyond working on The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, also was the DP on films like Apocalypse Now, RedsLast Tango in Paris and Dick Tracy.

Shameless Films, who are the folks to order this from, referred to it as “the loneliest, most haunting and beautiful giallo you will ever see.” I have to agree — especially with its shocking ending. This isn’t like any of the films that came in the wake of The Bird with the Crystal Plumage and it’s a shame that its director didn’t make more films in the genre.

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