Delirio caldo (1972)

Translating as Hot Delusion or Hot Frenzy, this film was also released as Delirium and has nothing to do with the 1987 giallo Delirium AKA Photos of Gioia. Instead, it stars one-time Mr. Universe and the former husband of Jayne Mansfield Mickey Hargitay as Dr. Herbert Lyutak, a man who is a psychological consultant to the police and the serial killer they’ve been chasing.

Just when he decides to let his wife Marcia (Rita Calderoni, who was in Nude for Satan and The Amazons) in on the secret, someone starts providing him with alibis and covering up for him, which is good, because Herbert can only perform in the bedroom when he’s beating his wife or murdering other women.

I mean, not good. Good for the story.

There’s also a dream sequence where Marcia and the maid engage in a sapphic encounter while Mickey remains in chains, flipping out and chewing chunks out of scenery that may nearly choke the entire cast. It’s awesome.

The American cut adds in a Vietnam subplot, where Herbert is now a PTSD-damaged ‘Nam vet and Calderoni the field nurse who fell in love with him. It also has two more murders, so there’s that.

Director Renato Polselli has the type of scuzzy credits that mark him as a talent to look into further, like The Vampire and the BallerinaThe Reincarnation of Isabel AKA Black Magic Rites (also starring Hargitay and Calderoni), Revelations of a Psychiatrist on the World of Sexual Perversion and Mania.

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