Il Dolce Corpo di Deborah, or The Sweet Body of Deborah, is a gorgeous film that embodies the fashionable side of the giallo. It’s directed by Romolo Guerrieri (Johnny Yuma) from a script by Ernesto Gastaldi (Hands of Steel, 2019: After the Fall of New York, The Case of the Bloody Iris, The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh — obviously this man knew what he was doing with a resume like that) and producer Luciano Martino (who, in addition to helping write The Whip and the Body and Delirium, was engaged to Edwige Fenech at one point).
Adding to this pedigree — the cast. Carroll Baker is a giallo queen if there ever was one, thanks to appearances in So Sweet…So Peverse, Orgasmo, A Quiet Place to Kill and Baba Yaga (a comic book adaption with George Eastman in it, so it’s amazing that I’ve never written about it here). And Jean Sorel, who was in the proto-giallo Perversion Story for Fulci, appears here as well. Finally, to make every fan of the black-gloved psychosexual realm pleased, George Hilton (who once played Sartana, as well as appearing in Luciano’s brother Sergio’s films, such as All the Colors of the Dark and The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail) is here as a voyeur.
Oh yes. We have a winner, dear reader.
Deborah (Baker) and Marcel (Sorel) have returned home from their honeymoon, just in time for them to learn that Marcel’s past lover, Susan, has killed herself. The mood transforms from frolic and fun to fright, as a man from the past named Phillip (Luigi Pistilli, Iguana With the Tongue of Fire, A Bay of Blood).
Marcel — and Deborah — both start to receive threats related to Susan’s death. But is she really dead? And who is Robert (Hilton) and why is he perving all over our girl?
While this isn’t the best giallo you’ve ever seen, you get to see Baker in — and out — of some insane fashions. There’s a bonkers outdoor twister scene set to some cool jazz and a nightclub with pop art all over the walls, including Batman and several sculptures of Cybermen from Dr. Who. The whole mood and tone are totally perfect.
Ah man. If only all films were this sumptuous. And sounded this great, thanks to a score by Nora Orlandi. You may know her from the song “Dies Irae”, which was in The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh and Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill: Volume 2.
There’s also an amazing knife fight scene in the dark and a great ending. What else do you want?