Eyes Behind the Wall tells the story of Ivano (Fernado Rey, The French Connection), a wheelchair-bound man who has an apartment filled with audio-visual equipment that allows him to spy on Arturo (John Phillip Law, Danger: Diabolik) and his various sexual conquests. He also gets off making his wife Olga (Olga Bisera, The Spy Who Loved Me and obviously a confidant woman, as she was the partner of Luciano Martino — who had been married to Edwige Fenech and Wandisa Guida — from 2004 until his death in 2013) watch these shenanigans. But now, he wants her to seduce him and be part of the action. And that’s where things get…giallo.
There’s also an astounding disco sequence with Bava-esque lighting, public nudity and a song called “Disco Boogie” that made me lose my mind. There’s nothing quite like a disco scene butting its way in to a movie that has nothing to do with dancing and these scenes are always quite welcome. I mean, everyone in this scene is going for it in a way that I never could on the dance floor.
Giuliano Petrelli was usually an actor — he’s in Massacre in Rome and The Italian Connection — and this was his one and done as a writer and director. It’s a shame, because this definitely has some great moments and was way better than I thought that it was going to be. It’s an adjacent giallo, I guess, as it’s more Rear Window than The Bird With the Crystal Plumage. And I did not expect that post-disco scene coming where Arturo’s black friend (Jho Jhenkins, The Perfume of the Lady In Black) takes him from behind on the floor while Ivano gleefully watches and Olivia runs screaming to her bedroom.
Seeing as how the movie starts with Arturo assaulting and murdering a young girl on a train, these things certainly can’t end well for anyone. And what’s with the butler, who seemingly worships Olga, picking up her body hair and underwear in an almost state of religious ecstasy?
This is an adjacent giallo that could fit into the sex thrillers of the late 80’s and 90’s, except that it doesn’t have any negative attitude toward sexual behaviors, from normal to, well by the end of the movie you learn more, totally aberrant. Nor does it shy away from male nudity, so it’s totally the least closed minded pervy 1977 Italian movie you’re ever goign to see. And hey — that Pippo Caruso (Primitive Love, Escape from Women’s Prison) soundtrack is all over the place, from that aforementioned disco number to the strange ambient music that Arturo listens to and the score that drives this film.
The end of this movie will either make total sense to you, gross you out or all of the above. Here’s to 70’s movies that end on the flaming wreckage of their main characters.
You can watch this on YouTube.