Double Face (1968)

Klaus Kinski starring in a Riccardo Freda movie: I’m all in. I picked this one up in a ravenous impulse-buying frenzy from the now defunct, and sorely missed, grey market auteur VSOM (Video Search of Miami), as it was the only way to get most of these Euro-Giallo gems.

German Krimi films, a crime thriller sub-genre of film popular in the 1960s, gets an Italian giallo makeover with Riccardo Freda (1962’s The Horrible Doctor Hitchcock and 1963’s The Ghost) directing a script by Lucio Fulci (1971’s A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin, 1972’s Don’t Torture a Duckling), which he adapted from one of several of Britain’s Edgar Wallace novels (Massimo Dallamono’s What Have You Done to Solange? and Umberto Lenzi’s Seven Blood Stained Orchids are Wallace novel adaptations). Being Euro co-production, this carried two titles: in Germany as Das Gesicht im Dunkeln, aka The Face in the Dark, and A doppia faccia, aka Double Face in Italy and the rest of Europe, with the Italian title adopted for its U.S Drive-In undercard release.

This is one of those films where everyone is sleeping with everybody else. In this case, Klaus Kinski’s rich industrialist is carrying on an affair with his secretary; meanwhile, his wife Helen (British actress Margaret Lee; they both starred in 1971’s Slaughter Hotel) openly flaunts her lesbian affair with Liz (the heart stopping Annabella Incontrera (the Matt Helm entry The Ambushers, Black Belly of the Tarantula, The Case of the Bloody Iris).

Then the ubiquitous POV black gloves tinkers with Helen’s car—and she dies in a fiery accident. And as in the Freda’s The Horrible Doctor Hitchcock: Kinksi comes to discover his wife may not be dead.

But how?

Well, his new fling, a pretty, mod-swingin’ chick (Christiane Krüger; 1969’s De Sade with Keir Dullea) takes him to porn theatre showing a film starring herself and Kinski’s dead wife—and the film was made after her death. Together they search for the answers surrounding his wife’s death—and the evidence points to Kinski’s industrialist. Did he do it?

Arrow did this film right with a Blu-ray released in June last year, which is easily available in the online marketplace.

You can watch this for free on You Tube.

About the Author: You can read the music and film reviews of R.D Francis on Medium and learn more about his work on Facebook. He also writes for B&S About Movies.

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