Puzzle (1974)

Released in Italy as L’uomo senza memoria (The Man Without a Memory), Puzzle was directed by Duccio Tessari, who like many Italy exploitation directors had a career that went from genre to genre: peplum (he wrote several, including Goliath and the Vampires and Mario Bava’s Hercules in the Haunted World),  westerns (he wrote and directed A Pistol for Ringo and The Return of Ringo), Eurospy (Kiss Kiss…Bang Bang), blacksploitation (Three Tough Guys) and the giallo with The Bloodstained Butterfly and this film.

Eight months ago, Ted Walden woke up from a car crash and has been trying to piece together his past. And when he meets anyone from it, they often pull guns on him and then get killed or they’re his ex-wife who has moved on after his death. Well, if he can’t find the million dollars he stole from the syndicate, he’s going to die again and his ex-wife will as well.

I kind of love that Ted slowly learns what a horrible person he used to be and how he can use it to remain the better person he has become. Also, for an amnesiac, he has not forgotten how to dress well.

Less of a murder-based giallo and more of a discovery of identity — with a crowd-pleasing ending that was made the very same year as a certain film from Texas — this one surprised me.

You can watch this on Tubi.

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