L'OCCHIO NEL LABIRINTO
THE EYE IN THE LABYRINTH aka BLOOD
D: Mario Caiano.
P: Lionello Santi for Transeuropa Film//St & Sc: Mario Caiano, Antonio Saguera, and Horst Hachler//DP: Giovanni Ciarlo//E: Jolanda Benvenuti//M: Roberto Nicolosi//Art D: Franco Calabrese & Otto Pischinger//Makeup: Massimo Giustini.
Cast: Rosemary Dexter, Adolfo Celi, Sybil Danning, Alida Valli, Horst Frank, Franco Ressel, Michael Mayen, Benjamin Lev, Gigi Rizzi, Peter Kranz, Gaetano Donati, Mario Cantatore, Elisa Mainardi, Rosa Toros.
Julie (Rosemary Dexter) has a dream about killing her psychiatrist/lover Luca (Horst Frank) that takes place in a labyrinth. She attempts to locate him and ends up meeting Frank (Adolfo Celi), who claims he'll try and help her, yet what he really wants to do is to get inside her pants. She meets his mistress Greta (Alida Valli) and stays at her beach house (which is also populated by a bunch of worthless young people who know Valli's son). It is revealed that most of these people knew Luca and because he was such a scumbag, all had a reason to kill him (as we learn in flashback). Meanwhile, several attempts are made on Julie's life causing everyone at the house to distrust everyone else. When Julie accidentally kills one of their own they decide it's time to put her out of their misery. She's rescued by Frank who intends to make her his sex slave but unfortunately for him, things are not going to work out quite that way.
The plot to this film matches the labyrinth found in its title. There are many twists and turns in the film, but if you hang around till the end, you'll be well rewarded. The film's opening sequences, involving discordant jazz and images of a bloodied man racing through a maze, helps set the tone for the film's narrative which mixes light, shadows and geometric shapes. This is Rosemary Dexter's film all the way. Dexter is a Pakistani born actress whose first role was in the Italian SF film OMICRON. Her portrayal of a woman in dire straits, with no where to turn to, is very effective in maintaining audience sympathy throughout the film.
Adolfo Celi, as the opportunistic Frank, appears to want to help her, but all he really wants is to add her to his list of conquests (Jeez, this is Adolfo Celi afterall, when did he become a sex machine?). It's a role that fits him like a glove. Had this film been made in the fifties, it would have been considered a "woman's" picture because of its narrow focus. It thus makes the conclusion all the more shocking, because Caiano and his script writers give the viewers plenty of options on who the killer might be (there's even significant doubt raised on whether the victim is even dead!). The rest of the cast is strong with Alida Valli elevating the talky drug subplot involving her and Celi to a high level based on her character's innate toughness. Sybil Danning has a nice cameo (which means she has a nude scene) and even gets to emote a little. The film reveals the riches to be found in the Gialli Genre as it adapts several stray plot elements making for a captiving viewing experience.