Libido (1965)

Giallo owes a lot to Ernesto Gastaldi, who wrote The PossessedThe Murder ClinicSo Sweet… So PerverseAll the Colors of the DarkTorsoThe Suspicious Death of a MinorThe Scorpion with Two TailsThe Killer Is Still Among UsPuzzleDeath Walks at MidnightThe Sweet Body of DeborahDeath Walks On High HeelsThe Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh and this movie, which he co-wrote and directed with Vittorio Salerno (No, the Case Is Happily ResolvedSavage Three).

Filmed in only 18 days on a dare, this was based on an idea by Gastaldi’s wife Mara Maryl, who also acted in the movie. Perhaps she’d seen Les Diaboliques or The Pit and the Pendulum hmm?

When he was just a boy, Christian (Giancarlo Gianni, Black Belly of the Tarantula) watched his father kill a woman and then hismelf. Now he’s come back to the house where it all happened along with his wife Helene. The only others there are Paul (Luciano Pigozzi, who we all know was Pag in Yor Hunter from the Future) and his wife Brigitte (Meryl).

As soon as the master of the house arrives, he’s seeing his father’s ghost and going mad. But is it really happening? Or is someone else trying to make him lose his sanity?

Speaking of being influenced, the beginning of the film, where Christian plays with a windup toy as he watched human lives get snuffed up, had to have been a major influence on Deep Red.

It wouldn’t be giallo if it wasn’t confusing, so please know that this is a different movie than In the Folds of the Flesh, which also had the title Libido, and yes, Spasmo is pretty much influenced by this too, down to having a main character named Christian.

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