La gatta in calore (1972)

Writer/director Nello Rossati isn’t an Italian filmmaker that gets brought up all that often. He does have some interesting films in his resume, including 1987’s Django Strikes Again, the only official sequel to a western genre all on its own. He also made Bona parte di Paolina, one of the few Napoleon-sploitation films that I can think of, as well as Ursula Andress making a comeback by slumming it in a commedia sexy all’italiana called The Sensuous Nurse, a poliziotteschi with the wild name of Don’t Touch the Children!, a movie called Io zombo, tu zombi, lei zomba that I really need to track down as its a sex comedy horror movie about four zombies running a hotel, a giallo-adjacent called Le mani di una donna sola in which a lesbian countess seduces married women until insane asylum escapees chop her hands off, an I Spit On Your Grave-esque film called Fuga scabrosamente pericolosa that stars Andy Sidaris villain Rodrigo Obregón, the all over the place genre buffet that is Top Line and this movie, which is a giallo from right in the middle of the golden era of the form.

Antonio (Silvano Tranquilli, who has been in plenty of giallo, like Black Belly of the TarantulaThe Bloodstained Butterfly and So Sweet, So Dead) is the kind of workaholic husband that falls asleep on date night before fulfilling his duties as a husband. Is it any surprise then that he comes home, finds a dead body in his yard and his wife Anna (Eva Czemerys, The Weapon, The Hour, The MotiveThe Killer Reserved Nine SeatsWomen in Cell Block 7) has a gun on the dining room table?

As she tells the story of how she left her husband’s bed for their neighbor Massimo, who is always surrounded by other women, loud classical music and a Satanic air. After he abuses her for being rich and continually calls her a cat in heat, then starts abusing her and luring her into all manner of kinks.

The whole time that his wife is telling this story, Antonio is trying to hide the body from neighbors. Yet what if the body is still alive? And how would this couple make it all work after a night of revelations like this? More importantly, is it a giallo when no one really dies?

You may think to yourself while watching this that it looks way better than you’d think, particularly during the LSD orgy sequences. That would be because the director of photography was Aristide Massaccesi, who you may know by one of his many, many names. I often just use the name Joe D’Amato and soon enough, he’d be making movies that put the sex quotient of this movie to shame. You may also notice that the assistant director is someone of some renown: Lamberto Bava.

If you’re new to the giallo, maybe start somewhere else. If you’re starting to think you’ve seen it all, check this one out.

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