In the Folds of the Flesh (1970)
By: David Michael Brown on April 16, 2009  | 
DVD
Severin (USA). All Regions, NTSC. 1.85:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 2.0. 92 minutes
The Movie
Cover Art
Credits
Director: Sergio Bergonzelli
Starring: Fernando Sancho, Alfredo Majo, Emilia Gutierrez Caba, Pier Angeli
Screenplay: Fabio de Agostini, Sergio Bergonzelli
Country: Italy
External Links
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The advent of video, laser disc and DVD has made life a lot easier for the discerning horror and thriller fan out there. Despite over zealous customs officers, video nasty acts and excessive censorship, it has been possible to discover almost all of those films you read about but never had a chance to see, let alone own. As DVD has proliferated it's still amazing how many films have barely made their presence felt on video, let alone a digital format. Italian horror has generally been very well catered for. The works of Argento, Bava and Fulci flow like a severed artery and Giallo have become a mainstay on the release schedules of the likes of Blue Underground, Anchor Bay and Severin. Despite this there is still a plethora of unreleased 'classics' screaming to be released. One of those was thelong missing in action In The Folds of the Flesh.

This candy coloured nightmare fuses many mainstays of the sub genre while throwing a healthy amount of new and bizarre ideas into the mix. Nazi flashbacks, caged flesh eating buzzards, incest and child killers are just some of the bloody delights that director Sergio Bergonzelli has cobbled together in this confounding, yet somehow rewarding Giallo. All the genres trappings are present and correct: hazy flashbacks of a gruesome murder, this time a decapitation; femme fatales wearing just too much eye make up; a Scooby Doo style ending that helps the audience unravel exactly what they have been watching for the last 90 minutes;, they even throw in a cyanide bath to dissolve body parts. All that is missing is the leather gloved killer lurking in the shadows.

Plot wise the twisting storyline aims to confuse and does so easily; it's almost pointless to attempt to describe the psycho-sexual shenanigans as they unfold. A sinister house is frequented by Lucille, played by Eleonora Rossi Drago of Camille 2000 fame, and her two grown up children, daughter Falesse (Pier Angeli) and son Colin (Alfredo Mayo) who have a very strange relationship. The aforementioned head rolling memory holds the key to why this family is so dysfunctional. We think that the father was killed and his daughter made the fatal swing of the blade, but as anyone who watches Italian thrillers knows, what initially meets the eye is not necessarily the truth. We do, however, know that all the remaining members of the family seem to have been driven insane by the event and will do anything in their power to cover up what happened that night, even if it means killing everyone who visits them. It's only when someone turns up claiming to be their supposedly murdered father that the he mystery is solved.

The film looks glorious, the palette bursts full of primary colours. From the costumes to the garish decorations that adorn the mysterious house, the design is a lurid 70s style delight. Director Sergio Bergonzelli had previously made Colt in the Hand of the Devil and The Sea Pirate has produced a visually sumptuous thriller that does just enough to keep the audience intrigued while their eyes are being dazzled by the resplendent 70s fashions.
Video
The image is sharp and crystal clear. The garish colour scheme pops out of the screen. Orange is the colour; clothes, furniture and decorations, everything is orange and the bright tones remain stable. There is a hint of print damage here and there but nothing that can detract from the viewer's enjoyment.
Audio
The stereo mix is adequate. The delirious psychedelic chills of the soundtrack of Jesús Villa Rojo sound good and the quality doesn't impede the listening pleasure. Alas it is the badly dubbed English track and not the original Italian dub.
Extra Features
All we get is the demented theatrical trailer.
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
Dazzlingly over the top; In The Folds of The Flesh is a bizarre melange of Euro trappings, delirious story telling and gruesome delights. While the film is more confusing than thrilling it does hold a certain charm, and the bevy of beautifully adorned Euro starlets only adds to the appeal. If Freudian psychology mixed with incest, Nazis and flesh eating buzzards are your bag, then this is the film for you.

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