Love and Death in the Garden of the Gods (1972)

There’s a scene in this movie where Erika Blanc walks down some steps wearing a white coat and I swear that if I hadn’t already been through puberty, I had my second one. I try to be above such things when I write of giallo (and gothic horror and women in prison and nunsploitation and Jess Franco and man, maybe I am scum) but I think I now believe in some form in Divine Spark and I will argue it with you at will.

Anyways, director Sauro Scavolini didn’t direct many other movies, but he did write All the Colors of the DarkYour Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key and American Tiger amongst many others. He also wrote this along with Anna Maria Gelli.

When a professor moves into a new home, he finds a mess of tape in the woods. When he cleans it, he finds himself drawn into the life — and death — of Azzurra (Blanc), just married to Timothy (Rosario Borelli) but in love with her brother Manfredi (Peter Lee Lawrence) and on a one-way ticket to suicide.

It may seem like the only nod to giallo is that the old man teaches ornithology and is only at the house to try to study a rare bird. It’s more a journey backward through the tape, as we see the many tragedies that led to greater tragedy. After she slices her wrists — nude in the bathtub so you don’t forget that this is a giallo — she’s saved by her brother’s supernaturally gorgeous new lover Viola (Orchidea de Santis, Seven Murders for Scotland Yard) and then falls for her and vice versa.

It also looks gorgeous, with cinematography by Romano Scavolini, Sauro’s brother and the man that would one day make Nightmare In a Damaged Brain. Somehow, a garden fried chicken party becomes a psychedelic freakout and even Blanc simply walking takes on a dreamlike tone.

Some people find this one too strange and too talky and not much happens but look, there are plenty of giallo that have actual killers and stalking and you can go watch those. If you want to be challenged, this one is ready.

You can watch this on YouTube.

One thought on “Love and Death in the Garden of the Gods (1972)

  1. Pingback: What’s Up in the Neighborhood, January 7 2023 – Chuck The Writer

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