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Delirium Photos of Goia (1987)
22nd Apr 13
Everyone admires Serena Grandi’s magnificent chest, but which particular tit-fancier is knocking off the models working for her skin mag? Clue: although he looks like he wouldn’t even spit out the bones if he ate your baby, George Eastman is innocent.
Serena Grandi’s huge tits and no-slouch bum are all over the montage title sequence of one of Lamberto Bava’s more embarrassing but most enjoyable late 80’s schlockers. This accurately sets the tone of a movie in which Grandi’s norks are constantly bulging beneath wet T-shirts, heaving in ill-fitting outfits, unleashed for all to see or being soaped up in a hygienic yet titillating fashion. It becomes obvious very quickly that Delirium is closer in gaudy tone to the marvellous demon bodybuilders of Bava’s Demons 2 than it is his relatively successful serious giallo A Blade In The Dark and restrained psychological horror Macabre (the one with the pre-Re-Animator scenes of a severed head getting a lot of action).
Widowed model and owner of skin mag Pussycat, Grandi is regularly spied on and perved over by paraplegic teenager Karl Zinny, nominee for Most Annoying Person of Any Age in an 80’s Horror Flick. (Giovanni Frezza, we salute you for winning by a nose). When he’s not being obnoxious, Zinny is witness to one of the mag’s cover models on the receiving end of a pitchfork in Grandi’s pool. Everyone else is slow to catch on to what is happening but our buxom heroine keeps receiving posed photos of the corpses in the mail – jarring, for sure, but preferable to those electric bill reminders and Readers Digest shite.
Among the long list of awkward-acting suspects are photographer David (Stagefright) Brandon, agent Daria Nicolodi, and Grandi’s frankly scary man’s man ex-lover George Eastman (of Anthropophagous fame), who rekindles their love in a bathtub sex scene but still looks like his idea of foreplay would be to eat the spleen of his mate. The cops, meanwhile, haven’t got a clue as the bodies pile up, their wisdom and progress reflected by profound observations like “There are lots of blondes, both men and women…and wigs besides…” Jeez, the case is as good as solved.
Bava regularly employs a Genre-Standard prowling subjective camera, bathed in red / blue filters and accompanied by Simon Boswell’s Now That’s What I Call Groovy Cues To Be Chased By (Volume III). The audience gets to witness the murder scenes partially from the perspective of the warped killer’s imagination, which means we get to see one pursued victim clad in a Cyclops face mask for reasons somewhat unclear. A midpoint highlight has a naked woman drying off after a bath stalked to her doom while sporting a bee’s head from the maniac’s point of view. If you tuned in at this point, you could only assume you were watching some sexed up acid-trip rip-off of The Fly . Or merely that you need to cut down on your weed intake.
There are more boobs than nastiness in the largely bloodless Deliriumand, as a giallo, it is dumber than most, with outrageously silly red herrings (Zinny even figures in a weirdo rapey nightmare sequence just to string out the narrative) and clunking dialogue. For cheese fans, however, its appeal is almost off the scale, especially during the unmasking of the giggling, impotent killer. Clad in a cheap silly wig and finding time during the confrontational climax to strip our heroine for old times’ sake (“No one will ever caress your body again!”), he’s almost entertaining as the tacked-on De Palma-inspired fake shock ending involving a case of mistaken paraplegic identity.
4th Oct 04 With its fine blend of dark humour and shock horror, you will barely be able to avert your gaze from the screen; from the opening sequence on the desolate moors, to the thrilling finale in Piccadilly Circus.