Despite the worries of this past year and my normal thoughts that this is existence can be a prison, the truth is that the world can be a magical place at times. Case in point, I just learned that one of my favorite actors, Michael Moriarty, made a giallo with one of the great ripoff artists, Alberto De Martino. Who knew?
Beyond making movies that take a Hollywood idea and going wild with his own craziness — witness The Antichrist, OK Connery, Holocaust 2000 — this movie goes so far to feature a poster that blatantly lifts from The New York Ripper.
Michael Moriarty plays Craig Manning, a doctor who has visions of women being killed somewhere in Germany by someone who he believes is his thought burned to death twin brother Keith — yes, also played by Moriarty — who he feels that he must stop, despite his girlfriend Julie (Penelope Milford, Coming Home).
How can we make this more of a movie that I’d enjoy? By having Cameron Mitchell play an ex-boxer goaded into a boxing match that Keith kills him in, that’s how. The good twin falls for Mitchell’s daughter. After they aardvark, the bad twin shows up, kills her and lets his brother take the blame for all the killing.
I totally love the ending of this, which leaves it up in the air whether or not Keith had psychic control over Craig, or whether he is calling to him from the grave, or whether they’re all insane or if — my personal feeling — is that there was only one of them all along.
Made in Germany with an all-Italian crew and a Morricone score, this is the kind of movie that you’d rent when the store was closing and the sales clerks were looking annoyed and then when you watched it, you’d be the only one of your friends who liked it and then for years, they’d all make fun of you for enjoying it so much. Hey — it has Moriarty and Mitchell, two guys I thought I’d never see in a movie together. To be fair, when you make as many movies as Mitchell did, those odds aren’t all that high.
You can watch this on YouTube.