Oct 15, 2018

Murder Obsession (1981)


We just reviewed a movie called Killing Obsession, so what the heck - let's have a look at Murder Obsession, featuring Laura Gemser, giant spiders, satanic rituals and a groovy Italian horror vibe.





When Michael (Stefano Patrizi) was a child, he brutally murdered his father.  His mother, Glenda (Anita Strindberg), couldn't believe this little boy could be capable - so she attributes it to demonic possession.

Years later, Michael has become a successful actor.  He returns home and is greeted by his suspicious caretaker, Oliver (John Richardson).

Michael reunites with his mother.  

 Michael has brought along his full-time secretary and part-time lover, Deborah (Silvia Dionisio).

The next day, other guests arrive, all a part of a film he's involved with: the director, Hans Schwartz (Henri Garcin),  the assistant director Shirley (Martine Brochard), and his co-star Beryl (Laura Gemser).

That night, Beryl is nearly drowned by a shadowy figure with black gloves.

Now we arrive at Deborah's nightmare sequence - the best scene in the movie, and one of the best nightmare sequences ever.  It involves Deborah running through haunted hallways wearing a see-through robe with her boobs hanging out.  This movie had its origins in the Italian comic book and trashy paperback series,  Oltretomba.  If you're familiar with these adult fumetti, then you can imagine  this scene: a very Halloween vibe with a scantily clad victim at the center.  I don't know that I've ever seen an Italian horror fumetti captured better than this one scene. It's cheesy for sure, but I love that Italian horror fumetti mojo.

Deborah encounters a giant spider, is attacked by bats, has her robe torn off running through bramble, is bled on by hanging skulls, then faints.

 When she wakes up, Deborah finds herself tied up in part of some dark ritual.

Actress Silvia Dionisio was married to Ruggero Deodato, the man behind Cannibal Holocaust.

The film is at its lowest when Michael relates the trauma of his childhood.  I suppose it can't all be thrills and chills, but when this film is boring, it's really boring.  Here, Michael talks with Beryl - and then they have sex.

Michael wakes up and finds that Beryl is murdered.  Did he do it?  I don't know, but we do get a full frontal shot of Laura Gemser.


Deborah finds that Shirley has been decapitated by a chainsaw.

She runs through the forest in the pouring rain, which again causes her nightgown to be transparent and her tits to hang out.

There's a number of twists and turns - first leading us to Oliver as the killer, then finally Glenda.  She kills Michael.  Deborah, wearing a sacred necklace, manages to escape.  THE END

The story is pretty lame and well-worn, and the ending just hits you with twist after twist - none of which you'll give two shits about.  The film's only redemption is the groovy Italian-Gothic horror vibe, epitomized in Deborah's nightmare, which is off the scale cool.

★★★★☆

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