Aug 15, 2020

The Shadow of a Memory (1978)

(Original Title: La sombra de un recuerdo) A Spanish movie about a serial killer who is haunted by his cheating wife and so must kill every girl he's able to hook up with.

José Espinosa (Manuel Tejada) is a deranged motherfucker.

 He caught his wife having sex with a black woman, so he pushes her into the ocean, drowning inside their car.

He quickly moves on to a new lover - a young girl named Teresa (Silvia Aguilar).

 They have sex.

José strangles Teresa to death.

He then has sex with her after she's dead (!) 

 I was actually very surprised that Silvia Aguilar would be in such a graphic and disturbing scene.  While she's certainly done nude scenes before, but this was unlike her other roles as I've seen.

 Pretty chilling how José nonchalantly gets dressed with Teresa dead and nude right there. Very macabre.

 He leaves a flower on her breast - his MO.

 Lola (Sara Lezana) loves him despite his "problems".

 Comisario Caballero (Emilio Gutiérrez Caba) is on the case.

As usual in these films, it's one wrong suspect after another, getting nowhere.

José moves on to Susana (Mirta Miller)

He strangles her and throws her in the lake.

José picks up two young girls, Paloma (Taida Urruzola) and Merche (Adriana Vega).  Vega has virtually no part in this film; this was her first film role.

José lays on the charm with Paloma.

 He loses his shit again, and rips open her dress and violently grabs her boobs.

 The police arrive, and José hauls ass out of there.

He drives his car into the bay; dying just as he had killed his wife. THE END

Repetitive and fairly barren of story; where it succeeds is in its grittiness.  If you're in the mood for a sleazy nihilistic grindhouse flick, this has what it takes.  This would feel at home on a drive-in screen for midnight showings in 1978.

Double FeatureSweet Kill (1972) - Tab Hunter plays a similar serial killer, in a similarly gritty and bleak mess.


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