Isaacs Picture Conclusions

GIALLORAMA! THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE (1970) THREE TOP HATS

Here we are again with another one of these Italian beauties from the 70s, this one also directed by Dario Argento (apparently this was the first movie he made). I don’t recall seeing a lot of Argento’s works but, for some reason, I remember them being very bloody and full of bare skin. These two movies of his that I have watched recently have been pretty tame – pretty low rated PG tame IMO. Granted, honestly, there were aspects of “Crystal Plumage” that probably would have scared me when I was a kid, like that shadow in the hallway when that chick is smoking, or that scene with the knife and the door, but I kinda found this a little boring for the most part until the big pay off in the end, lol “hopelessly insane!!” Speaking of the hole in the door… that eyeball that looks through there – I didn’t catch that as being the eyeball of the actual killer – did anyone else notice that it was? Either way, I liked what they did here, with that painting and the artist and the big twist, and I thought Argento did some slick camera work, but I thought the “action” was pretty soft and I prefer my horror a little harder and more of it. Like when the foie gras just needs a little bit more something. And no I’ve never had that I just like the name.

An American named Sam (Tony Musante) is on vacation in Italy (where nothing ever happens”) with his blond girlfriend Julia (Suzy Kendall) and he is walking by an art gallery when he accidentally over sees a murder in progress! Oh Shit! The glass art gallery doors are locked! He doesn’t even try to break them! Luckily a stranger passes by and summons the cops who show up just in time and the woman (Monica – Eva Renzi) is saved! Whew! While the cops look into this attack, this being the the third (the first two women didn’t make it) we must have a perverted, serial attacker on the loose! They completely awesome forensic team gets involved and feeds a bunch of samples from the crime scene into some gigantic, hi-tech mainframe computers and they get a print out of the suspect!! OH TECHNOLOGY!! While we couldn’t get the snapshot of the printout from the DVD, the highly skilled and overpaid art department here at The IPC has tried to recreate the magic (obviously, click for the larger version of this instant classic piece of work):

With this state of the art info, the police have narrowed it down to 150,000 possible suspects and the hunt is on! Well, not really, but Sam starts his own investigation since the cops are so stupid. During his proper Boy Scout sleuthing, he comes across a bug eyed, stuttering pimp who has to end his sentences by saying “so long”, a cat eating painter and a very flamboyant art dealer while enduring whispered threats over the telephone to him and Julia and being chased at gunpoint down the street. Eventually, Sam’s friend cracks the case open by understanding what a particular noise is in the background of one of those taped phone calls and IT’s ON! Lucky for us, just when you think it’s over it’s not and off we go!

That was actually a lot more fun to write than it was to watch but this wasn’t too bad. I can’t remember what Giallo is up next but I think it’s a doozy.

4 comments

  1. If I recall correctly, this movie has some pretty wild seventies deluxe home decor in some scenes; I can’t find a screenshot but either the wallpaper or the furniture in someone’s apartment really stood out in a decade of excessive decor.

    Like

    • theipc

      I went through a period of 70s Italian movies before the well ran dry on Netflix. Some of them were pretty good – but they were all definitely weird.

      Like

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